Bratislava City Contrasts
Contrast is exciting, and Bratislava is no different in this sense; a city where the new complements the old, and a cosmopolitan spirit walks side by side with provinciality.
The stark contrast of the picturesque architecture and narrow streets of the Old Town and the less exciting concrete housing schemes remind us of the rises and falls of Bratislava during its long history. Bratislava blossomed and boomed over centuries, but also mushroomed and became ragged during half a century of socialism. Nowadays the city is far from dormant, as it is experiencing an era of great change and in a short space of time many parts of the city will become almost unrecognisable. For some this represents fixing the injustices of the former regime and the much deserved conversion of the city into a beautiful European metropolis, while for others this era represents the uncontrollable progress of capitalism. Whatever the case, you can witness architectonic contrasts with every step in the city - sometimes pleasing, sometimes surprising, but always interesting.
The mighty River Danube flanked by lowlands and forest-covered hills combine to create a beautiful contrasting location for a city where nature is never far away. Behind the concrete you can find the richness of meadow forests, behind the factories there is the blue water of the Danube and from the city centre it is only a few kilometres away to the beautiful forests of the Male Karpaty Mountains. The buzz of the city is often replaced by the tranquillity of nature, which is extremely pleasant.
Bratislava, one of the youngest European capitals, where the recent provinciality is being increasingly blown away by a cosmopolitan wind, coming mostly from the west. Despite the vibrant mix of language groups in the city’s streets, it is still true that a chance meeting with some acquaintance is nothing unusual. This contrast gives the city a relaxed friendly atmosphere, brought to life by the enjoyment of people from various countries meeting each other. Make sure you don’t miss out on this palette of contrasts in the "Little big City".
/ Branislav Chrenka
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