Christmas mass in English
All are invited to an English language Christmas service at 16:30 Christmas Eve at the Evangelical Malý Kostol (small church), Panenská 26/28 (at the intersection with Lýcejná). The candlelight mass will include familiar Chrismas carols. For more information call Pastor Paul Hanson at 02/5443-3263.
Christmas melodies in Piešťany
Soprano Alžbeta Trgová and baritone Šimon Svitok will perform famous Christmas melodies with the orchestra of the Banská Bystrica state opera, including Panis Angelicus, Ave Maria, Ave Verum and Noel, opera arias and duets from La Traviata and Don Pasquale. Concert begins at 19:30 December 21 at Congress Hall, Kúpeľný ostrov (Spa Island), Piešťany, one hour's drive from Bratislava. Tel: 033-775 2150.
Austrian forum exhibitions in Košice and Bratislava
Eastern Slovak Beauty Through Viennese eyes, a painting exhibition by former Austrian ambassador to Slovakia Gabriele Matzner-Holzer's, runs in Košice at Technické múzeum (Technical Museum), Hlavná 88, until January 15. Tel: 055/622-4035(6,7). Paintings also for sale.
Actress Elfe Gerhart-Dahlke and school headmaster Herbert Sams capture the wintertime beauty of their Austrian alpine hometown in a photography exhibition at the Austrian Culture Forum, Zelená 7, Bratislava. The exhibition runs until January 25. Tel: 02/5443-2985.
Old Town Christmas fair
Bratislava's main square is site to 82 stands selling traditional Slovak Christmas gifts and decorations, including advent wreaths, bee-wax candles, embroidered pictures, hand-made ceramics, painted mugs, silver jewellery and hand-decorated ginger bread men. Another 22 stands sell mulled wines with cinnamon and cloves, sweet punch with fruit and hot 'medovina', a fermented honey drink dating back to the ancient Slavs. Some stands also sell traditional Slovak foods, such as potato pancakes with goose lard, cigánska pečienka ('gypsy's liver'), pork hamburgers, typical Slovak sausages, bread with pork lard and onions or garlic on bread. Open daily between 10:00 and 22:00 until December 23.
Old Town Hall courtyard has 15 more stands, a live nativity scene and a large Christmas tree. Open daily between 10:00 and 19:00 until December 23.
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