Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

Around Slovakia

143 refugees found in barn think they are in Germany
Lost medieval castle is found
Accident claims two lives at VSŽ


143 refugees found in barn think they are in Germany

Residents in this town of less than 1,000 in northwestern Slovakia showed what brings out the best in all of us when Slovak border police found 143 refugees huddled together in a barnthere. The refugees, who came from as far away as Afghanistan, Iraq and Sri Lanka, were hungry and suffering from cold temperatures that dove down to -15 degrees Celsius.
Moreover, they had no idea where they were. Upon questioning, they thought they had reached their destination in Germany. The emigrants, of whom 46 were children, paid $4000 per adult and $ 2,500 per child to be smuggled out of their countries, they told police.
Their guides, however, left them with no help near Červeny Kameň, they added. Responding to their immediate needs, the police asked the director of the primary school to allow the refugees to spend a night there.
Then, as if responding to one of their own children, the people living in the village made them 100 liters of tea and one by
one brought them food, fruit, clothes and shoes. When word got out about the border police's unusual find, people from surrounding villages pitched in to the cause, sending bread, soap, and apples. Six children under the age of five had to be hospitalized for hypothermia.
A translator tried to explain to the refugees that they were in Slovakia, but they became agitated when they did not recognize the name, but calmed down . when told it was formerly part of Czechsolovakia. They have been moved to Adamov, a camp for refugees.



Lost medieval castle is found

Bojnice, a small town of 5,000 in central Slovakia, has a castle that comes right out of a fairy tale. For archaeologists, a new fairy tale began in 1996 when they accidentally discovered an older, medieval castle under the current one. This older find corresponds to the first known written records about the castle that go back to 1113, when it was described as a Gothic fortress.
The Bojnice Castle of today was bought by the Pálfy family in the 17th century and was rebuilt several times, the latest reconstruction occurring in 1888-1912 by Ján Pálfy. But until now, no one knew where the oldest structure was situated.
Excavators slogging through mud, mold and mustiness on the castle's fourth level first located the prized ruins. "We found stairs, floors, a part of the walls, a portal, a prevet (the predecessor to the toilet) and some letters on the walls," said Ján Bapco, the castle's director. "[Though] we discovered it last year, we didn't announce anything until we were sure about it."



Accident claims two lives at VSŽ

Two workers died on the spot and two were transported to hospital with serious injuries when molten steel at a temperature of 1,600 degrees Celsius spilled on top of them on January 20 at the giant steel mill VSŽ in Košice, the country's second largest city.
The Markíza TV station reported the workrers died when some 1.5 tons of steel spilled from a 250 ton container that was hooked on a crane right above the storage house where the four men were working. The molten steel burned a hole in the roof as it came splashing down and then dowsed the laborers and also set the place on fire. The two injured workers were transported to a special burns hopsital in Košice. One of them succumbed and died on January 26.

Top stories

Gilden: Take the negative and make a positive from it Photo

The works of New York native, photographer Bruce Gilden, who has worked for five decades in the streets of the biggest cities, are on exhibit in the Kunsthalle (House of Arts) in Bratislava.

Bruce Gilden: Feast of San Gennero, Little Italy, 1984.

The ongoing struggle for a free and democratic Slovakia

The people of Slovakia deserve the credit for the remarkable progress that this country has made over the past twenty-five years, US ambassador writes.

Illustrative stock photo

Foreigners: Top 10 events in Bratislava Video

Tips for the top 10 events in the capital between November 24 and December 3, plus regular services in different languages, training, temporary exhibitions and highlights of the year.

Christmas Markets Bratislava

Robert Fico has lost the electoral magic he once had Plus

But his party can still bounce back if they do the things that make parties resilient.

Robert Fico claims that Smer won the regional elections because it is the party with the most chairs in regional councils.