Bratislava’s exquisite healing garden goes on the mend

The neglected Koch Garden will become municipal property; city planning its complete revitalisation.

The Koch GardenThe Koch Garden (Source: Courtesy of National Trust)

The Koch Garden, the only one of its kind in Slovakia, has been inaccessible and lacking proper maintenance for years. Now it is headed towards a better future.

In late December, the Bratislava city council approved a land swap with the Interior Ministry, whose part is the garden at the Koch Sanatorium in the Old Town. The city plans to revitalise the garden and make it accessible again. At the moment, the garden is opened sporadically, as a highlight of the annual Weekend of Open Parks and Gardens event organised by the non-profit organisation National Trust.

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The organisation, which began organising volunteering maintenance work in the garden in 2008, hopes that the swap will grant the Koch Garden what it has been missing for years – a responsible and caring owner.

“Gardens consist of fast-changing dynamic elements that need regular maintenance by their owner,” Michaela Kubíková, director and co-founder of the National Trust, told The Slovak Spectator. “Since it was unclear who the owner was, the garden quickly dilapidated."

Irregular volunteer work cannot replace regular systematic maintenance, she added.

Unique sanatorium garden

The Koch Garden, sprawling across half a hectare, is an inseparable part of the Koch Sanatorium, which at the time of its establishment in the 1930s was considered the most modern sanatorium in interwar Czechoslovak Republic.

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