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Capital opens doors to public

THE 10TH annual Bratislava pre všetkých / Bratislava for Everyone event will take place on the weekend of April 18-21 in the Slovak capital. Each year, the city uses the event to launch the summer tourist season, while also offering special programmes and entry without admission fees to selected venues, with some opening on this special occasion only.

Bratislava for Everyone, 2007 (Source: Sme - Miroslava Cibulková)

THE 10TH annual Bratislava pre všetkých / Bratislava for Everyone event will take place on the weekend of April 18-21 in the Slovak capital. Each year, the city uses the event to launch the summer tourist season, while also offering special programmes and entry without admission fees to selected venues, with some opening on this special occasion only.

In 2013, the focal idea is the 20th anniversary of Bratislava as the capital of an independent Slovakia – but also 450 years since the first royal coronation in the city, when Maximilian II was crowned and Bratislava – then called Prešporok, Pressburg or Pozsony in the three languages spoken locally – became the capital of the Great-Hungarian Kingdom. “In the Primatial Palace, we will exhibit a replica of the Hungarian royal crown and coronation jewels and vestments,” Mayor Milan Ftáčnik told the TASR newswire.

The weekend will start on the morning of Thursday with a second-hand book exchange in the courtyard of the City Library, followed by the opening of exhibitions about the historical city centre in the City Museum (in the Old Town Hall building) and the Primatial Palace.

The core events take place on Saturday and Sunday, with the “unsealing” of the city gates (or rather the only preserved one, Michal-ská) to mark the opening the tourist season. The guild of traditional martial arts and crafts will participate, reviving the spirit of former times, and mounted warriors will ride to the Primatial Palace. The mayor’s office there will be open to the public during the whole weekend, with Ftáčnik greeting visitors in person on Saturday.

Saturday evening will see a celebration of Bratislava being granted city rights and the Old Market Hall will host a St George’s folk party. Other sites and activities include free cruises on the Danube, free rides aboard the Prešporáčik tourist ‘train’, free rides on the chair-lift from Železná Studienka to Kamzík, free entrance to the zoo, guided tours around the city centre (including a tour in English on Sunday, at 14:00), and entry to the otherwise closed St James’s Chapel and Sihoť, a water source on an island in the River Danube. Some sports facilities will also open their doors to the public, among them an ice-rink, a swimming pool and the new gym at Pasienky.

Mayor Ftáčnik said that he hoped for at least the same participation level as last year, when more than 100,000 people visited the events and sites. More information can be found at visit.bratislava.sk/en/.

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