Will Bratislava become home to Velvet Revolution Square?

It is proposed that part of SNP Square, where mass rallies against the communist regime took place 30 years ago, should be named after the Velvet Revolution.

Part of SNP Square in front of the Old Market Hall (Stará Tržnica).Part of SNP Square in front of the Old Market Hall (Stará Tržnica). (Source: Sme)

Bratislava city council is considering renaming part of SNP Square, Velvet Revolution Square. SNP Square was the place where mass rallies were held in late 1989 and early 1990 against the communist regime. The city council is justifying this idea by arguing that the reminder of the 30th anniversary of the events that led to the fall of the totalitarian regime should be permanent. The TASR newswire cites Bratislava Mayor Matúš Vallo writing on the social networks:

“The 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution is approaching and we believe that this anniversary should be remembered in a way that has permanence in our city,” writes Vallo. “Most of the options and suggestions concerned naming one of Bratislava’s squares, Velvet Revolution Square.”

Vallo is proposing to call the space in front of the Old Market Hall (Stará Tržnica) Velvet Revolution Square.

Related articleHistory of revolution Read more 

The city has already turned to Zuzana Aufrichtová, mayor of Bratislava’s Old Town borough where the square is located, and asked her to submit such a proposal. Firstly, councillors of the Old Town have to approve the change to the name of the square. Only then can Bratislava city council submit this proposal to the respective commissions and its councillors for approval.

“Just as the recently renamed area in front of the Slovak National Museum, which is now called T. G. Masaryk Square, the events of November ‘89 deserve the allocation of a public space that reminds people of the struggle for the freedom and democracy with which we live today,” said Vallo.

Related articleSlovakia now has a square named after Masaryk Read more 

There are four commemorative plaques recalling the events from November 1989. Two of the existing plaques, at the building of Comenius University at Šafárikovo Square and the building of the Agriculture Ministry on Dobrovičova Street, commemorate the student protests which took place on November 16, 1989, a foreshadowing of the following revolutionary events. Another plaque, also linked to November 16, hangs on the building of the Umelka gallery at Dostojevského Rad Street. Only one plaque is directly linked to the November 17 events. It hangs on the façade of the Hospital of Merciful Brothers on SNP Square, where mass demonstrations took place.

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