Weekend: Slovak artist made it to Hollywood

Bratislava is collecting Christmas trees, Hriňová invites people to swim in the freezing water. Here is the latest travel/culture roundup.

The almost 200-year-old statue of St Ján Nepomucký, which was stolen 30 years ago by an unknown perpetrator from a pedestal near the old linden trees at the end of Horný Badín in the Krupina district, was replaced with a replica at the end of 2021. The almost 200-year-old statue of St Ján Nepomucký, which was stolen 30 years ago by an unknown perpetrator from a pedestal near the old linden trees at the end of Horný Badín in the Krupina district, was replaced with a replica at the end of 2021. (Source: Jozef Poliak for TASR)

We are writing about Hriňová's outdoor pool, postcards that will be sent to space, and a Slovak sculptor who left for America and never came back.


Swimming in freezing water

Swimming pools in Slovakia remain closed, but an outdoor pool in Hriňová, central Slovakia, is open even during the cold winter months, welcoming visitors twice a week.

It is open every Wednesday and Sunday between 17:00 to 18:00.

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“The previous ice swims took place in a pleasant atmosphere, attended by people of all ages,” Lukáš Horník, the head of sports facilities department at Hriňová Town Hall, told the TASR newswire.

Around 20 people regularly come to swim in the pool. The water temperature varies between 1°C to 4°C, depending on the weather. Some Slovaks prefer wild-water swimming in nature in the winter, however.

The reconstructed outdoor pools in Hriňová reopened for the first time after 22 years last summer. People can use the swimming pool and pools for children and relaxation.

“Outdoor changing rooms are at people’s disposal, as well as hot tea to help warm the body,” Horník concluded.

Other travel ideas

  • Caves: Four caves – the Demänovská Cave of Freedom, Belianska Cave, Bystrianska Cave and Brestovská Cave have reopened to those with proof of vaccination or recovery from Covid. Visitors have to wear an FFP2 respirator.
  • Statues: Revúca, located in the region of Gemer, is on track to become Slovakia’s town of fairy tales.
  • Gallows: A gallows replica has been installed in Liptovský Mikuláš to commemorate Juraj Jánošík, the Slovak national hero, who was sent to the gallows in the town in 1713.
  • Skiing: Updated information about ski resorts can be found here. Over 70 ski resorts are currently open in Slovakia.
  • Monastery: A group of enthusiasts has been restoring an abandoned Franciscan monastery in the centre of Rožňava for a couple of years.
  • Golf: Penati Golf Resort is ranked among the Top 100 golf courses in continental Europe.


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Slovak who left for Hollywood

For Jewish sculptor Dezider Ignác Lányi, a native of Bánovce nad Bebravou, Europe became too small at a later stage in his life. So he decided to move to America’s west coast.

“Lányi was a versatile sculptor who created a variety of works – from small animal sculptures, through tombstones and monuments, to portraits of prominent personalities,” said museum specialist Diana Kmeťová Miškovičová from the Slovak National Museum-Bojnice Museum. Among his creations were animal sculptures for the Lipótváros casino, now the cultural centre Donaupalast, in Budapest, and a bust of Edward, the Duke of Windsor.

Born on January 23, 1879, the award-winning artist studied and exhibited all over Europe, including Budapest and Vienna, before relocating overseas. He moved to Los Angeles, and later to Hollywood, in 1936, where he passed away in 1951.

“During his American life, he created acclaimed naturalistic-expressive caricatures and portrait sculptures of authors, actors and members of the film industry,” the expert added. Art venues such as the California Art Club and Friday Morning Club liked them so much that they decided to support the sculptor and put his work on display.

More culture news

  • Some of the best Slovak writers penned 25 miniature texts for the Central European Forum. Read the texts here.
  • A Median SK survey has found that Rádio Expres, Rádio Slovensko and Fun rádio are the most-listened-to radio stations in Slovakia. On average, a Slovak listener listens to a radio station for 105 minutes a day. The survey, involving 3,127 respondents, took place between mid-August 2021 to mid-December 2021.
  • Cultural events are taking place under new rules.


Postcards in space

People in Slovakia have a chance to send their postcards out into the universe for the first time, the Slovak Space Office and the Space Generation Advisory Council said.

The Postcards to Space project is organised by Club for the Future, a US foundation established by Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin. It aims to inspire young people to pursue careers in STEM.

“Write or draw your vision on a postcard for what you think the future of life in space will look like—or any other message you would like to send to space,” Club for the Future writes on its website. The foundation also poses a question: Why do you think Earth needs space?

People in Slovakia should register online and send their postcards by February 6 to the following address: Vesmírna pošta, Fakulta elektrotechniky a informatiky STU, Ilkovičova 3, 812 19 Bratislava. Detailed mailing instructions are available here. Postcard templates are available here (ENG) and here (SVK).

Slovak organisations will then post them to America. All postcards will be placed in the New Shepard, Blue Origin’s rocket, that will launch into space from a desert in West Texas. A capsule with postcards will return to Earth after floating in space, 100 kilometres above the planet, and be sent back to people with the “Flown to Space” stamp.

Other developments from this week:


Bratislava’s exquisite healing garden

The Koch Garden, the only one of its kind in Slovakia, has been inaccessible and has lacked 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, which owns 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.

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.

Christmas: Bratislava has set up more than 500 spots around the city where people can leave their Christmas trees until February 11. A map is available here.


Tatras are treacherous in the winter

Slovak mountain rescuers spent most of the past weekend searching for three missing Poles under the Kotlový Štít peak. Unfortunately, all three were found dead.

In an interview, the chief of the Mountain Rescue Service, Miroslav Živčák, talks about the rescue intervention concerning the Polish hikers.

He goes on to warn people that it is necessary, even on marked hiking trails such as the one leading to the Zamkovského Chata mountain hut, to have the proper equipment and go hiking with walking sticks and crampons.

One more weekend read

That is for now. Have a lovely weekend! - Peter

Do you have any tips? You can reach Peter at peter.dlhopolec@spectator.sk

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