The Danube embankment in Petržalka will change its look

The theatre, water tower and parking lot on the other side of the Danube to be reconstructed.

On-going works on the parking lot near the Toll House. On-going works on the parking lot near the Toll House. (Source: Jana Liptáková)

The Tyršovo embankment near the Old Bridge in Petržalka borough is one of the most valuable localities in Bratislava.

Just a few steps from the very centre of the capital, it offers a magnificent view of the Castle and the historical city centre, as well as opportunities for sports and leisure. Nevertheless, its potential has not been fully utilised as a large section is used as an unofficial parking lot and a camping site.

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“Although the city’s efforts to cultivate the Tyršovo embankment cannot be denied, there are still many untapped opportunities,” said Renáta Pekaníková, one of many locals used to parking their car on the Petržalka embankment to go for sports to the nearby Sad Janka Kráľa, the oldest public park in Central Europe, cycling along the Danube or just enjoying Tyršák city beach.

The city plans an extensive revitalisation of the venue based on an architectural tender. In the meantime, the city has been carrying out small procedures to improve the area. One of them is repair work at the parking lot for about 150 cars near the so-called Toll House, now serving as a pub. The parking lot used to be partially flooded throughout the year.

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Work on the parking lot began on May 10, with a total of approximately 3,528 square metres of the paved area under reparation. The city is replacing damaged asphalt and building new curbs.

The plan is to complete the repairs by June 13, unless the weather or other complications postpone completion, noted Bratislava’s spokesperson Katarína Rajčanová.

“We are currently dealing with the possible further operation of this parking lot,” Rajčanová told The Slovak Spectator. She promised that the city would inform the public in time.

“The parking function should be preserved along with Cyklokuchyňa, a venue for bike lovers, and the Pod Mostom buffet, will continue to operate.”

Area around memorial for victims of extremism gets facelift

Another planned improvement is the revitalisation of the area around the memorial for victims of extremism.

The area is located near where student Daniel Tupý was murdered in 2005. The monument, a statue of an angel with a broken wing, was designed by architect Pavol Brna and created by sculptor Pavol Dubina from bronze and a stainless steel base. Today, the monument is surrounded by a ragged asphalt area and often surrounded by parked cars.

“We want to return to the memorial its reverent character and create a dignified venue,” said Rajčanová.

The city plans to reduce parking and replace the paving around the memorial with green areas. Instead of impermeable surfaces, large areas of lawn, new trees, new pedestrian paths, lighting and furniture will be added.

The public tender presupposes a contract in the amount of €444,133 without VAT, which involves the planting of new greenery and the building of public lighting or an irrigation system. The revitalisation project will be financed from the city budget, while the city will apply for reimbursement from European Union funds. The city did not specify when this project will be implemented.

Theatre and water tower reconstructed

The historical Aréna Theatre, one of the oldest in the city and which stands on the embankment, will undergo extensive reconstruction. The Bratislava Self-Governing Region plans to start work that will last for two years.

The last reconstruction of the theatre took place in the mid 1990s. However, a technical and operational background was not built, which has negatively affected the further development of the theatre.

The theatre should gain new technology during the reconstruction and modernisation.

The so-called water tower from the 1820s standing on the theatre premises should be reconstructed as well. Like the theatre, the water tower is a protected national monument. The tower used to supply the theatre with water when there were no water mains.

Revitalisation of the embankment

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The city has been working on the revitalisation of the Petržalka embankment opposite the historic city centre for several years.

After the city council resumed administration of Sad Janka Kráľa from the Petržalka borough in 2019, it initiated the first of three renewal phases in 2020.

The revitalisation of one of the most valuable green oases in the capital will include the revitalisation of the neighbouring Tyršovo embankment. The city’s plan is to create a more cultured and safer environment for residents and visitors of Bratislava.

“We want to create a comprehensive space in this area for recreation in a natural park environment, sports activities and, in some form, cultural and social events,” said Rajčanová.

In cooperation with the Bratislava Metropolitan Institute (MIB), the city is preparing an urban-landscape-architectural design tender for the future comprehensive development of the Sad Janka Kráľa and Tyršovo embankment.

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The MIB considers this locality to be a valuable area with a number of protected national monuments, while fulfilling a strategic function during floods.

“Given this context, we can imagine that the large paved area of parking lots could be used differently,” Marcela Glevická, MIB’s communications manager, told The Slovak Spectator.

The MIB is carrying out several analyses to identify urban, architectural and historical values of this venue. The institute is also asking ordinary people about the usage of this place within the so-called participatory process.

“The aim of this process is to find out which population groups use the area most often and then examine their needs, opinions or preferences for further development,” said Glevická. “Based on this information, we will be able to formulate a detailed architectural assignment, taking into account the needs of the widest possible group of residents and stakeholders.”

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