News digest: Refurbishment of historical industrial building acknowledged

Covid has helped sex shops to grow, why we know only little about Bratislava-born Nobel prize winner and whether Slovakia has started to die out.

(Source: / Hej,ty)

Good evening. Here is the Friday, December 9 edition of Today in Slovakia – the main news of the day in less than five minutes.

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For weekend events and news on travel and culture in Slovakia, see the latest edition of our Spectacular Slovakia newsletter.

Jurkovič heating plant in Bratislava receives global architecture award

The reconstruction of the former Jurkovič heating plant in Bratislava, a national cultural monument, has been recognised at a global architecture competition in Bilbao, Spain, receiving the top award in the category of industrial buildings as part of the Architecture MasterPrize Award 2022.

The restoration beat out more than 1,000 other projects from 65 countries, the first project from Slovakia to do so.

“This is proof that we also have buildings of international significance in Slovakia,” said architect Martin Paško from the DF Creative Group architectural Studio, who was behind the refurbishment of the historical industrial building.

Today's feature story

Bratislava Christmas markets serve old-time drink you have probably never tasted before

Locals and visitors to Bratislava can experience advent as we knew it before the pandemic in the capital.

Bratislava's Christmas markets are back, offering traditional cigánska [a slice of bread with pork, onion and mustard], lokše [thin potato pancakes], accompanied by mulled wine, as well as specialties from the times Bratislava was called Pressburg.

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“I tried wärmlich as this is something I hadn't ever drunk. I’d just heard and read about it so far,” said Viera Jurkovičová, her plastic cup filled with a beverage resembling mulled red wine and a cap of whipped cream. “It's quite strong, but tasty.”

Related article Bratislava Christmas markets serve old-time drink you have probably never tasted before Read more 

More stories on

  • HISTORY: Eugene Cernan was a crew member of the Apollo 17 mission. He had Slovak roots and he didn't forgot them.
  • WINE: Passionae currant wine maker Augustín Mrázik wants to return the production of this Devín delicacy to historical cellars.
  • RELIGION: Read about a renewed Advent tradition in an archive article about Rorate masses celebrated in candlelight and with live church music.

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Anniversary of the week

Philipp Eduard Anton von Lenard, a native of Bratislava, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics on December 10, 1905 for his work on cathode rays and the discovery of many of their properties. He excelled as a scientist, but compromised himself due to his anti-Semitic attacks. In Nazi Germany he worked on a so-called programme of pure German physics.

Other news

  • While sectors across the Slovak economy are struggling, one sector is steadily growing despite bad times: the sale of erotic gadgets. This sector has been growing steadily in Slovakia since the beginning of the pandemic, said Ivo Mrena, country lead at Shoptet for Slovakia to the Hospodárske Noviny economic daily. Year-on-year turnover increased by 84 percent in August and by 53 percent in September. The average price of one order is also growing, up from €53 in 2021 to current €58.
  • Siemens Healthineers is moving the production of ultrasonic devices from Asia to Košice in eastern Slovakia. As the only plant of Siemens Healthineers in Europe, it will not only manufacture ultrasonic devices but also develop them.
  • The Bratislava City Archive will open its doors to the public on Saturday, December 10, to exhibit archive Christmas documents, like a list of Christmas wishes of children in the 19th century, New Year’s wishes, unknown posters with winter and Christmas themes, historical photos of snow-covered Bratislava or capturing winter sports, especially from the 20th century.
  • Slovakia may have already begun to die out as the working-age population has been declining since 2011. The country is troubled by a low number of children. Although the total fertility rate began to recover after its low point in 2001, it never again exceeded the value of 1.7 children per woman. “This means that the number of the country’s population will decrease in the long term without massive immigration. It is quite possible that the local population has already reached its maximum,” analysts with VÚB Banka write in their analysis.

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Picture of the day

For the first time in history, the municipal waste collection and disposal company OLO has dispatched Christmas garbage truck. Until December 22 it will gradually visit all 17 boroughs of Bratislava. It will not collect waste but distribute joy among people.

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