The Presidential Palace

The Grassalkovich Palace (in Slovak Grasalkovičov palác) or thePresidential Palace (Prezidentský palác) is a palace in Bratislava and the seat of the President of Slovakia. It is situated next to the Summer Archbishop’s Palace.

The building is a Rococo/late Baroque summer palace with a French garden. It was built in 1760 for Count Antal Grassalkovich, a Hungarian noble of Croatian origin serving as the head of the Hungarian Chamber (a sort of ministry of economy and finance for the Kingdom of Hungary), by architect Anton Mayerhofer. It features many beautiful rooms and an impressive staircase.

The building became a center of Baroque musical life in Bratislava. Joseph Haydn premiered some of his works here. Count Grassalkovich also had his orchestra and his “colleague”, Prince Esterházy, used to “lend” him his favorite conductor, Haydn. Grassalkovich was Maria Theresa’s vassal, so the palace was used for various balls and parties of the Habsburg royal court. For example, it was Haydn who conducted the orchestra when Maria Theresa’s daughter married Albert of Sachsen-Teschen, then governor of the Kingdom of Hungary (see Bratislava Castle). Ľudovít Štúr is said to have declared his love to Adela Ostrolúcka for the first time during a ball organized by archduke Stephen Francis Victor (Buda 14 September 1817 – Menton 19 February 1867), son of the Palatine, Joseph. The last owners of the palace before the end of Austria-Hungary were archduke Frederick of Teschen with his wife Isabella of Croy-Dülmen.

During the 1939–1945 period, the palace was the seat of the president of the First Slovak Republic (i.e. of Jozef Tiso). During the Communist era, it was first (after 1945) the seat of the Council of Commissioners (also styled Corps of Plenipotentiaries), which was a quasi-government of Slovakia within Czechoslovakia. In 1950, the building was turned into the “Klement Gottwald House of Pioneers and Youth” (Dom pionierov a mládeže Klementa Gottwalda), which was an activity center for Bratislava’s schoolchidren, all of whom were so-called pioneers at that time. The schoolchildren caused extensive damage to the palace, and the a necessary restoration only became possible following the transition from Communism in late 1989 with the Velvet Revolution.

After its reconstruction in the early 1990s, on September 30 1996 the palace became the residence of Slovakia’s President. Its once-large gardens are now a public park, complete with a statue of Bratislava-born composer Jan Nepomuk Hummel.

 

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New Website Launched

July 27, 2014July 27, 2014
Newswebsite Honorary Consul General Mr. Godwin E. Bencini today announced that the Honorary Consulate for the Slovak Republic in Malta has launched its new website. This website is aimed at brining together the Slovak community in Malta, inform them of the Honorary Consulate's work and act as a bridge between Slovakia and Malta. Mr. Bencini encourages all Slovaks, both in Malta and abroad, to engage with this website, share their views and participate in the consulate's affairs.