Fire-damaged facade of Roland’s Palace is almost completely restored

Roland Café will not return.

The Art Noveau Roland's Palace is one of the most beautiful buildings flanking the Main Square in Bratislava  The Art Noveau Roland's Palace is one of the most beautiful buildings flanking the Main Square in Bratislava (Source: SME-Marko Erd)

Roland’s Palace, one of the most beautiful buildings on the Main Square in Bratislava, which was damaged at the end of November 2018 by fire, should finally regain its original look during the second quarter of 2021.

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“We are completing reconstruction of the façade which was damaged by fire,” said Silvia Nosková Illášová, spokesperson for the Kooperativa insurance company, as cited by the TASR newswire, adding that they are also working on the reconstruction of the interior of the Art Nouveau building, its roof and the courtyards.

The upper plaster part of the façade, including its stucco ornaments, has already undergone a complete restoration. The stone panelling studded with brass nuts was remounted onto the façade and the windows of the café on the ground floor have been replaced. The building will also get back the so-called Esslinger blinds, which will restore its original look.

The insurance company does not plan to change the way in which the palace has been used in the past.

“We plan commercial offices for the administrative part of the building and the café premises will continue to serve as a gastronomic unit,” Nosková Illášová specified for the Sme daily in August 2020.

But the Roland café will not return to the palace. Its replacement will be overseen by the Mondieu chain of bistros, based on information obtained by the Plus Jeden Deň tabloid. There is also a plan to use both courtyards, especially the main one which is accessible from Panská Street.

The fire

The fire broke out in the Main Square on the afternoon of November 28, 2018, in one of the stalls at the Christmas market and spread to the adjacent building. Later it was discovered that the stall was illegal.

History of the building

The former bank, Uhorská Eskontná a Zmenárenská Banka constructed the building, designed by Budapest architect Aladár in the Art Nouveau style, as its representative seat in 1911. On the ground floor there was a banking hall with a high ceiling, while on other floors were offices and apartments.

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The building is now known as Roland’s Palace, named after the famous Roland café on its ground floor that was established in the former bank hall the 1970s. The café was named after the fountain in front of the building which dates back to 1572. It features a sculpture of Maximillian II von Habsburg but is nevertheless called the Roland Fountain after the famous knight.

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