Bringing the Danube ferry wharf back to life

The Propeler building will serve as an information point for tourists and a café

PropelerPropeler (Source: TASR)

Older Bratislavans remember Sunday walks along the Danube River, observing the water level registered by an ink pen at the water gauging station and taking a ferry to the opposite river bank. Today the gauging station is digital and the ferry wharf, which ceased to serve its original function more than 15 years ago, is getting ready for a new life. The Bratislava borough of Old Town is turning the tiny construction colloquially known as “Propeler” into an information centre combined with a café.

“Propeler will not just be a café; we want to hold discussions and exhibition openings here,” the Old Town’s Mayor Zuzana Aufrichtová said in early June. “We want to return the positive atmosphere to this place.”

The refurbished site should open to the public no later than the beginning of July. Until then, they will complete the renovation of the building under auspices of Bratislava’s Regional Monuments Board.

The building, a protected national cultural monument, has so far gotten new door frames and electric wiring. The steel window frames were painted with a blue colour used in factories to maintain the functionalistic style in which the building was designed.

The borough will run Propeler through its 100 percent joint-stock company Technické Služby. At the end of the summer season, it will assess whether this model has gained the expected effect. Profitability, however, is not what the borough primarily seeks.

“If this place will be a benefit for the borough, we can continue to run it under this mode,” said Aufrichtová. “If it turns out that it is better to find an external administrator, we will launch a tender.”

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