Parks and gardens will reveal their secrets despite COVID-19

The popular annual event takes place on an untraditional autumn date.

Dozens of parks and gardens will open across Slovakia during the weekend. Dozens of parks and gardens will open across Slovakia during the weekend. (Source: Courtesy of VOPZ)

While some European countries have scrapped the popular June event of open parks and gardens, in Slovakia it has been postponed to an untraditional autumn date. As many as 60 parks and gardens will reveal their secrets, under strict anti-COVID-19 measures, across Slovakia between October 9 and 11.

Lost in Bratislava? Impossible with this City Guide!Lost in Bratislava? Impossible with this City Guide! (Source: Spectacular Slovakia)

“The climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic have been placing greater emphasis on the health, sanitarian and recreational function of parks and gardens with their positive influence on the physical as well as mental health of people,” Michaela Kubíková, director of the non-governmental organisation National Trust and the main organiser of the event in Slovakia, told The Slovak Spectator. “It is these values ​​that can help us overcome this difficult period.”

With the help of other enthusiasts, Kubíková organised the first Weekend of Open Parks and Gardens in 2007 as a one-off event to highlight the beauty of parks and gardens, their value, and the need for protection. The event, inspired by similar ones in the UK and the Netherlands, was so successful that they decided to turn it into an annual event.

This year it is taking place for the 12th time, with the transmission of knowledge as its central theme.

Impact of the coronavirus

Apart from the changed date, organisers of the popular event have adjusted its programme due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. The number of open venues is lower, while some of them will be presented online. Both indoor and outdoor events during which it would have been difficult to maintain distance e.g. puppet theatre performances, were cancelled.

“We’ve taken this edition in the spirit of pleasant walks through parks and gardens,” said Kubíková.

Organisers are calling on visitors to respect valid anti-coronavirus measures, i.e. enter individual venues with face masks, disinfect their hands, keep distances and be patient while waiting in queues to enter such popular venues as the garden in Koch Sanatorium, for example.

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