THE BRATISLAVA regional government has released plans to construct a bridge for cyclists and hikers that will connect Devínska Nová Ves with the popular Austrian tourist attraction Castle Schloss Hof. The head of Bratislava Region, Pavol Frešo, presented the plan, which calls for construction to be complete by the summer 2011. It will be co-financed by Slovakia, Austria, and the European Union.
“The building of the bridge will be a task of historical significance,” Frešo told the ČTK newswire. “Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, no bridge has been built to span the Morava River. We hope this bridge will promote local tourism including hiking and cycling tours.”
The bridge is part of a larger plan by Bratislava Region for an extensive cycling route from Karlova Ves through Devín and Sihoť and then on to Austria. Frešo made the agreement to connect Devínska Nová Ves and Schloss Hof with the chairman of the Lower-Austrian government Erwin Pröll in March. Construction is expected to begin this summer. Slovakia will supply €3.18 million and Lower Austria €2.57 million.
The footbridge will be four metres wide, 524 metres long and will serve emergency workers as well as tourists. The public will be invited to help choose a name for the footbridge.
According to Bratislava Region, during the Austro-Hungarian Empire there were as many as 24 bridges over the Morava but all were destroyed during communism.
Remnants of stone pillars indicate there was once a bridge at this particular site. Maria Theresa had allowed a bridge to be built there in 1771 but it was destroyed by the retreating German army at the end of World War II. The only existing bridge over the Morava River connecting Slovakia and Austria is around 50 kilometres away, between towns of Moravský Svätý Ján and Hohenau.
The new bridge will give Slovaks easier access to the natural beauties of the Danube floodplain forests, the Baroque castle at Schloss Hof, the Carnuntum archaeological park and the Kulturfabrik Hainburg.
17. May 2010 at 0:00 | Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská