The ceremonies started started on October 13 at 11:00 in Bratislava, accompanied by salutes and followed by the requiem mass in the St. Martin’s Cathedral, which is also open to the public. A state mourning has been announced, lasting from 8:00 to 17:00.
The ceremony started at the Bratislava Castle; some tourist guides did not know it will be closed for the ceremony and disappointed tourists left the castle during the morning. Around the Presidential Palace where the ceremony will continue there are still no limitations as of 11:00.
Former top Slovak politicians (ex-prime minister Mikuláš Dzurinda, ex-speaker of parliament Pavol Hrušovský, ex-PMs Jozef Moravčík and Iveta Radičová, ex-presidents Rudolf Schuster and Ivan Gašparovič) as well as the incumbent ones (Economy Minister Peter Žiga, Agriculture Minister Gabriela Matečná, Finance Minister Peter Kažimír, and Justice Minister Lucia Žitňanská) came to offer condolences at the Knights’ Hall after 11:00. Afterwards, the current Parliamentary Speaker Andrej Danko and PM Robert Fico arrived.
Foreign politicians also arrived, like the whole Polish delegation, as have Slovak personalities of public, social and scientific as well as cultural life. The last to offer condolences was, according to the protocol, incumbent President Andrej Kiska with his wife.
The Czech delegation was late and President Miloš Zeman and ex-president Václav Klaus were only able to pay tribute to Kováč in front of the castle.
After 12:00, the coffin was brought to the Presidential Palace on a gun carriage. The mourning procession proceeded from the castle all the way to the palace, with military ensemble and presidential guard of honour leading, followed by the gun carriage, guests and soldiers with armoured vehicles. Their path was lined by soldiers and police officers, each ten meters long.
At Palisády, people were taking photos and making videos. Around 12:30, in front of the Presidential Palace people were standing and wait for the procession. In the palace’s courtyard, the procession was headed by the ex-president’s sons and half-brother. Before 13:00, the anthem resounded and soldiers saluted. At the Tyršovo Embankment of the Danube, salvos resound, while the crowd at the palace applauded.
Afterwards, the car moved to St. Martin’s Cathedral where the requiem mass is to take place. Still later, the procession will proceed to the Ondrejský Cemetery where Kováč will be buried among outstanding personalities of Slovak history.
On October 14, Greek-Catholic believers will pray for the ex-president and a requiem mass will be served in the John The Baptist’s Cathedral in Prešov by Prešov Archbishop-Metropolitan Ján Babjak.
13. Oct 2016 at 13:58 | Compiled by Spectator staff