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AROUND SLOVAKIA

On the Waves of the Danube exhibition uncovers history of Danube shipping

The current exhibition at the Transport Museum (Múzeum dopravy) of the Slovak Technical Museum in Bratislava presents 90 years of organised Czechoslovak and Slovak shipping on the European river Danube, through documents of shipping transport, photographs, and historical artefacts. The exhibition is the first of its kind in Slovakia and will last through the end of September.

The current exhibition at the Transport Museum (Múzeum dopravy) of the Slovak Technical Museum in Bratislava presents 90 years of organised Czechoslovak and Slovak shipping on the European river Danube, through documents of shipping transport, photographs, and historical artefacts. The exhibition is the first of its kind in Slovakia and will last through the end of September.

“This is the first time in history when water transport, particularly [commercial] shipping, has been the focus of an exhibit at the Bratislava Transport Museum,” the museum informed.

The history of shipping along Slovakia’s stretch of the Danube dates back to ancient times. It may predate the column of Marcus Aurelius in ancient Rome, an illustrated relief column from the 2nd century AD (which is thought to include depictions of scenes from the Danube close to the Slovak capital: The spiral picture relief tells the story of Marcus Aurelius’ Danubian or Marcomannic wars, waged by him from 166 AD to his death in 180 AD. The story begins with the army crossing the river Danube, probably at Carnuntum – which is close to the current Bratislava). “Heavy shipping along this major European transport artery secured contact with neighbouring as well as distant countries, but most importantly, it enabled the landlocked Great Hungary to have contact with maritime countries. Transport on the Danube was important from both an economic and military standpoint, and until today, it has not been fully examined or appreciated,” the museum wrote in a press release.

The exhibition features dozens of items culled from the archives and collections of numerous museums and institutions, including Slovak Shipping and Harbours, the Museum of Hungarian Culture in Slovakia, the Bratislava City Museum, and the Slovak National Gallery, as well as several private collectors. The museum has called on anyone who owns – or is aware of the existence of - documents or other artefacts pertaining to shipping on the Danube and other Slovak rivers, to contact the museum.

After Bratislava, the exhibition moves on to Košice and Komárno. More details can be found at www.muzeumdopravy.com.

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