Around Slovakia

Two spots face off for championship arena

HOCKEY and municipal officials will choose between two locations to build a new arena for the 2011 World Hockey Championships.
The first site is on the right bank of the Danube, between the Prístavný bridge and the Apollo bridge. Now a second location, at Letisko Západ (Airport West), between the D1 Motorway and the airport, is also being considered, the TASR newswire reported.
"In the next two months, Aréna 2011 and the City of Bratislava will do their best to make a definite decision on locating the hall, and begin processing project documents for the building location, building permit, and the selection of suppliers," city spokesperson Milan Vajda told TASR.
Both locations are considered functionally suitable for the arena, which will have a capacity of 13,000. During the next few weeks, specialists will assess the airport location's transportation links and technical infrastructure.
The government and the Slovak Ice Hockey Association will finance the construction of the new arena via the association's affiliated company, Aréna 2011. The City of Bratislava has promised to help the investors and rent them a suitable site for a single symbolic crown.

Celtic ruins found at Klarisky church

ARCHAEOLOGISTS have dug up part of a Celtic stronghold that once stood in today's Old Town.
The archaeologists discovered a fortification from about the first century BC during the reconstruction of the Klarisky church.
City of Bratislava spokeswoman Eva Chudinová told the SITA newswire that the finding is the first archaeological proof of the fortifications of a Celtic oppidum.
An oppidum was the political, economic and military centre of a Celtic tribe. The oppidum of the Boii tribe was located in what is today Bratislava's Old Town. There was an acropolis on the current castle hill, and part of the oppidum was built on its foothill, on the left side of Kapitulská Street.
Such fortifications were usually clay walls with a ditch. The archaeologists working at the Klarisky church uncovered part of a clay mound, with the front wall made from stones.
"This is a unique archaeological find from the period of Bratislava's oppidum as the centre of the Boii Celtic tribe," Branislav Lesák, the head of archaeological research from Bratislava's City Institute for the Protection of Monuments, told the SITA newswire. "So far nobody has managed to find anything like this within the area of Bratislava's Old Town."
The archaeologists had already uncovered an ancient dwelling place near the church in June. They found there some ceramics, animal bones, and part of a clay pan, which was used for roasting corn. That find dates back to the end of the ninth century and the beginning of the 10th century.
The archaeological excavations also uncovered medieval settlement structures from the 13th and the 14th century.
Archaeologists started excavations in February prior to building facilities for artists performing in the Klarisky church, which serves as a venue for concerts and exhibitions.

Vajnory church might be oldest in Bratislava

Evidence discovered during an excavation at Vajnory church in Bratislava could prove it's the oldest church in the city.
photo: Peter Žákovič

ARCHAEOLOGISTS at a church in Vajnory have found what could be the foundations of a 12th-century Romanesque chapel - and proof that the church is Bratislava's oldest.
The archaeologists found the stones during the reconstruction of the church floor in the Vajnory area of Bratislava.
Earlier, they uncovered a huge crypt from the 15th to 16th century, which, by its size, suggests that important church representatives or aristocrats might have been buried there.
Then they found a complex cellar of an original Gothic church from 1279. The head of the archaeological research, Michal Slivka, told the TASR newswire that the discovery would make the Vajnory church the second-oldest church in the Bratislava area.
But the newest finding might mean the church is 100 years older, which would make it the oldest church in Bratislava.
Along with the newest findings, historical documents also support the theory. Vajnory was a vibrant wine-making community at the turn of the 12th and the 13th century, historical documents show.
After such significant archaeological findings, Vajnory priest Stanislav Stohl is pondering a change in the church reconstruction plans. The plan was for a new red and white marble floor with the shape of a cross, but instead, Stohl said he'd like to install a suitable cover for the crypt that would display the history of the church.

Educational path opens in Slovenský Raj

A new path in Slovenský Raj features educational posters in two languages.
photo: TASR

HIKERS in the Slovenský Raj (Slovak Paradise) national park can now use a new hiking trail with educational signs in Slovak and English.
The trail, called Prielom Hornádu, opened in early August. The marked path goes through a canyon-like valley created by the Hornád river and is flanked with 19 signs, the SITA newswire wrote.
The posters tell hikers about local flora and fauna, as well as the positive and negative influences of human beings on the local environment.
The path with the signs gives added value to tourists and visitors, the deputy director of the park's administration, Tomáš Dražil, told the SITA newswire.
The path starts in Hrdlo Hornádu (Throat of the Hornád River) and goes up the river to Čingov and back. The path takes hikers to well-known places such as Letanovský Mill and the Tomášovský lookout. The hike takes about two hours for the average hiker.
The path was created as part of a European Union project called Nature: Protection of Biotope Diversity in the Slovak Paradise National Park. The aim of the project is to increase the awareness of local citizens, as well as Slovak and foreign tourists, about the park's unique natural treasures and the need to protect them.

Students uncover ancient Roman camp

The students of a summer camp for archeologists are studying the ruins of a Roman camp near Komárno.
photo: TASR

SLOVAK and foreign students are spending their summer vacation excavating and studying the ruins of a Roman camp.
This is the fifth year of the international summer archae-ological camp called Kelemantia, close to the village of Iža near Komárno.
The camp, at a place known as Leányvár, was part of the Roman border defense line along the Danube river, the Limes Romanum.
Archaeologists have been working at the site since 1978, Ján Bielik of the Archaeological Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences told the TASR newswire.
The students are working in the area of the so-called spa - a building from the early third century.
Sixty percent of the building has been uncovered so far, and archaeologists say that they might be now at the level dating back to the end of the third century AD.
After gradually excavating the building, students process the findings in a field laboratory. After a primary cleaning and conservation, the artifacts are transp orted to the Archaeological Institute in Nitra, where they undergo a more comprehensive treatment. Afterwards they will be exhibited in a museum.
The summer archaeology school started on July 2 and will last until August 24. A total of 12 to 20 students from Poland, Belgium, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and Slovakia are expected to attend.
Leányvár is important because it is one of the longest systemic archaeological investigations in Slovakia. In spite of this, archaeologists have so far managed to examine only 16 percent of the camp's three hectares.

Police search for payphone bandits

THIEVES in the Bytča and Žilina districts tore four pay telephones off a wall and made off with them.
Žilina police spokeswoman Jana Balogová told the SITA newswire that each phone contained coins worth about Sk3,000 (€89), but the thefts will cost Slovak Telekom at least Sk160,000 (€4,777) in damages.
Police are still searching for the culprits.

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