One of Bratislava's oldest parks will regain its historical look

Decades of missing maintenance have left a mark on Rusovce park.

The manor house in Russovce with remains of terraces adjacent to its southern wing.The manor house in Russovce with remains of terraces adjacent to its southern wing. (Source: Jana Liptáková)

The park surrounding the Rusovce manor house is one of the best-preserved monuments to the art of gardening in Slovakia. Yet, until recently, it did not look like that at all.

The park, located in Rusovce, now a municipal part of Bratislava, has not received any systematic maintenance since 1945, and it looks that way. Today, it seems that better times for the park are about to come.

Arborists have worked for almost a year to bring the park back to how it used to look under its last private owners, the Lónay family. They owned the manor house, including the park, from 1906 to 1945.

“The goal is to return this area a natural-landscape character,” said Tamara Reháčková, landscape architect and author of the park restoration project. Together with Tomáš Harmady from A.I.I. Technické Služby company, which performed arboricultural work in the park over the last year, she gave a guided tour around the park in mid-October during the Weekend of Open Parks and Gardens.

The plan the restoration follows is to keep the basic concept: alternating shaded areas with trees with loose grass, adding beds of perennials and many decorative bulb flowers in the shaded areas to bring colour to the park. Terraces and the water tower will be renewed and the park will gain new benches and lighting.

Pondering every branch

The idea was to make as few drastic interventions, like felling trees, as possible during the arboricultural works. But due to neglected care, 480 trees no longer met the safety criteria and posed a risk to visitors and thus were cut down.

Another thousand trees, or almost 80 percent of all trees in the park, were pruned by arborists in accordance with the close-to-nature care trend.

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