Even though the city of Bratislava has resolved to change the name of the Old Bridge following its thorough reconstruction, by which it has actually become the capital’s newest bridge, it may retain its original name after all. It has emerged from a comments process organised by the city council that the highest number of people want to preserve the ‘old’ name.
“They pointed out that this name is ingrained, and that even if it were changed, people from Bratislava would still refer to the bridge only by this name,” said deputy mayor Iveta Plšeková.
Of the 695 people who took part in the comments process, 235 advocated the old name. The second largest group (of 42 people) was made up of proponents of naming it after 19th-century national revivalist Ľudovít Štúr.
“A definite role was played here by the fact that we celebrated the 200th anniversary of Štúr’s birth last year,” said Plšeková.
Only one person fewer wanted the bridge to reacquire its very first name from the 19th century - after Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria.
Meanwhile, 40 people would like the name of the bridge to reflect its new colour - green, while 39 were in favour of naming it after Milan Rastislav Štefánik, one of the key figures in the setting up of Czechoslovakia in 1918.
There was no shortage of humorous proposals, either, including ‘the Ugly Bridge’, ‘the Useless Bridge’, ‘the Bridge of Paté Eating Warriors’ [people from Bratislava are sometimes called ‘paté eaters’ in other Slovak regions - ed. note], ‘the Looting Bridge’ and ‘the Ivo Nesrovnal Bridge (after the current Bratislava mayor).
A few years ago the highest number of votes in a public survey aimed at naming a new cycling bridge between the Bratislava borough of Devínska Nová Ves and the Austrian village of Engelhartstetten went to ‘the Chuck Norris Bridge’. However it was eventually named ‘the Freedom Bridge’ by the authorities. Nevertheless, Chuck Norris appears to have retained some his glamour in Bratislava, as six people have also put his name forward in the comments process concerning the Old Bridge.
A more comprehensive survey on the name of the current Old Bridge is still to come, however.
5. Feb 2016 at 11:38 | Compiled by Spectator staff