SOME sections of Bratislava Castle will soon – before the summer season – be opened to the public, two years after renovations began. The Yard of Honour in front of the castle, which had been in a forlorn state, and the inner courtyard (except for part where archaeological findings are being further prepared, and the Treasury) will open and summer visitors will probably also get to see the Ceremonial Staircase and some renovated interior halls.
The core part of the reconstruction plan is for the castle palace which has been in very poor condition. When reconstruction is completed, an exposition on the history of Bratislava Castle will be placed in the basement level and originals of findings from the Great Moravian period will be accessible to the public. The castle’s first floor will remain the site of state representation as well as a new exhibition space. On the second floor a castle picture gallery will be created and on the third floor a new national historical exhibition about Slovakia and Slovak folk culture will be installed. In the attic on the fourth floor, the Slovak National Museum will have depositories and a lapidary, an exhibition of stone artefacts, will be available under the Yard of Honour. One of the castle towers will have a publicly accessible lookout. The original underground corridor connecting the palace with the water reservoir should also become accessible to the public.
The castle will have a new piece of technology, a personal lift permitting barrier-free access to all parts of the palace, the SITA newswire wrote. In the northern part of the complex, a new Baroque garden will be constructed to replace the original garden destroyed by the great fire of 1811 that destroyed much of the castle and also some of the houses lying beneath it. Underneath the garden, plans foresee a one-storey parking garage for two hundred cars with an entry from Zámocká Street. The Orangery from the times of Maria Theresa will be rebuilt and a new garden pavilion that will serve as a site for smaller social and cultural events in the summer and as a winter-garden for thermopile plants is planned. The re-construction of the castle’s previous winter riding school in its historical form will be very costly. The courtyard will include a statue of Great Moravian King Svätopluk standing 7.8 metres high, including its pedestal. The bucking horse ridden by Svätopluk will be cast in bronze with a granite pedestal. A clay model of the statue was created at no cost by Ján Kulich. The cost of this statue will be €270,000.
The castle reconstruction, originally planned to amount to Sk3.8 billion (€126.1 million) is becoming more and more expensive. Of the €50 million allocated so far, €46.8 million has already been spent. The last significant renovation took place from 1956 to 1968.
19. Apr 2010 at 0:00 | Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská