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March 25, 2019

Slovakia: Bratislava, Urban Art

“Street art Corp. EGO / VANITY” from Bratislava’s street art festival

Bratislava has numerous impressive pieces of public art. In 2017, Bratislava was ranked as the third richest region of the European Union by GDP (on Purchasing Power Parity or PPP) per capita after only Hamburg and Luxembourg City. It is not a poor city, and the street art reflects the Bratislava’s relative affluence. Unlike poorer places, Marseille for example, most of the art on the streets we noticed was clearly planned and considered. Many of the pieces we spotted were grand in scale and required permission and advance logistical planning. The art in central Bratislava is less spontaneous and subversive than what can see in less affluent and less controlled areas of the world. It’s not graffiti art produced surreptitiously in the middle of the night. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but it is a distinctive difference. (more…)

Slovakia: Bratislava, the Castle and the River

Filed under: Architecture, Europe, Photography, Slovakia, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , — anotherheader @ 4:32 pm

Bratislava’s castle was in ruins before it was rebuilt between 1956 and 1964.

The Danube River and its castle are, along with the UFO Bridge, Bratislava’s most unmissable sights. I mean this literally. It would be hard to visit central Bratislava without catching a glimpse of the prominent river, bridge, and castle. Indeed, these three features seem to appear most commonly in the pictures I took during our stay in October of 2018. (more…)

March 24, 2019

Slovakia: Bratislava, Communist Era Buildings

Colorfully painted Communist-era apartment blocks across the river from Bratislava’s old town

Thirty years ago Bratislava Czechoslovakia was just on the Warsaw Pact side of the Iron Curtain. A few miles away from the city center, visible from its high building tops, is Austrian territory. Separating Austria and Czechoslovakia was a border barrier designed in part to keep those living in the Eastern Bloc from leaving. If you lived in Bratislava you could not in general migrate to nearby Vienna, 60-odd kilometers away. (more…)

March 22, 2019

Slovakia: Bratislava, the Blue Church

The Church of St. Elizabeth, or in Slovak, “Kostol svätej Alžbety”, otherwise known as the Little Blue Church.

In the eastern section of the old town in Bratislava is the Church of St. Elizabeth, or in Slovak: “Kostol svätej Alžbety”. It is a Hungarian Secessionist-style Catholic church. The church is commonly referred to as “The Little Blue Church”, reflecting of the color of its façade, mosaics, majolicas and blue-glazed roof. Initially the church functioned as the chapel for the neighboring high school or “gymnázium” that was constructed in the same architectural style. (more…)

March 21, 2019

Slovakia: Bratislava, the UFO Bridge

Bratislava’s Bridge of the Slovak National Uprising, commonly known as the UFO Bridge.

Bratislava’s Bridge of the Slovak National Uprising (“Most Slovenského národného povstania” in Slovak) crosses the Danube in the central city. This communist-era bridge is the world’s longest bridge with one pylon and one cable-stayed plane. Capping the only pylon is a saucer shaped restaurant and bar. The saucer is the iconic feature of the bridge and gives the structure its common name, the UFO Bridge. (more…)

Slovakia: Bratislava, A Dog with a View

Filed under: Dog, Europe, Photography, Slovakia, The List, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , , — anotherheader @ 3:08 pm

Soon after we arrived in Bratislava Gigi was at the window checking out the street scene.

Since she was a small pup Gigi has traveled together with us. Indeed the first weekend after she picked us to be her humans we took her to Healdsburg California for the weekend. There she discovered the joys of hotel elevators, stairs, and left over food service trays in the halls. Each was a big adventure. Each remains a pleasure today. (more…)

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