GOOD spring weather, but also the promise of special events at almost one hundred venues in the Slovak capital – all for free – attracted thousands of local and foreign visitors over the April 25-26 weekend. The motto of the event, entitled Days of Open Doors of the Local Administration, was Bratislava for All.
The longest queue this year was in the centre, in front of St. Jacob’s Chapel near the Old Marketplace. Many people also queued near the Primate’s Palace, where many parents with children waited for a vintage tram which took them for free around the whole city centre. St Michael’s Tower also attracted a lot of people. The City Library in Klariská Street organised, for the third year, an exchange of old discard books. It lured many readers on just the first day.
“It has always been a huge success,” Marta Marková, vice-director of the library told the TASR newswire. People can buy any book for 30 cents. Martin from Bratislava told TASR that he went regularly to the book exchanges to buy the books he remembered from his childhood .
Visitors to the Primate’s Palace over the weekend were able to walk through almost all its rooms. They could also see the mayor’s office and listen to music in the Hall of Mirrors or in the courtyard. The palace also showed its permanent exhibitions of famous tapestries and paintings by Dutch old masters. People interested in his work were able to question the mayor in person.
“They asked about everything possible, including practical things," Bratislava’s Mayor Andrej Ďurkovský said. “Some people asked me, for example, about problems with the [post-communist] restitution of property; but there was also a boy of 4 whose question took me by surprise.” The boy wanted to know what was the carrying capacity of the glass table in the mayor’s office.
Ďurkovský recommended that visitors see the new theatre and gallery of marionettes at Rudnay Square, but also the children’s works on the Main Square. Throughout the weekend, city museums, galleries, the zoo, and botanical garden opened their doors to the public; they included the Viticulture Museum, the Museum of Historical Arms in St Michael’s Tower, and exhibits in the Apponyi Palace. Visitors were also allowed free entrance to the ice rink in Dúbravka and the swimming pool near Kuchajda.