0141 A Corrupt Past: The Case of Bratislava Castle

  • Ján Bakoš (Author)
    Bratislava Institute of Art History, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava

Identifiers (Article)


The paper explores the history of the restoration of Bratislava Castle, the typical symbol of Slovakia's capital. It concentrates on the extensive reconstruction of the castle carried out in the late 1950s and 1960s under the former Czechoslovak communist regime. The story of Bratislava Castle is peculiar not so much because of the way in which the past was violated and history used for the transient goals of political leaders, but because of the way in which the castle was nationalised through a historicising reconstruction. The final utilitarian act of all the previous ideological manipulations of the castle was the erection of a new building within the castle walls. It was built after the Velvet Revolution in 1989 to serve the needs of the new independent Slovak parliament. Nationalistic illusionism had again joined forces with utilitarianism, this time to produce an architectural language known as commercial Baroque.