Bratislava, April 21 (TASR) – The symbolic unsealing and opening of the Bratislava city gates on Saturday officially kicked off the summer tourist season in Slovakia’s capital shortly ahead of the feast of Saint George, one of the city’s most popular saints in the past, albeit not an official patron.
Bratislava Mayor Ivo Nesrovnal, who headed the event, noted that people in Bratislava have been electing their mayors and city councillors since the 13th century on the Saint George’s Day [April 24, as opposed to the saint’s feast in the general calendar on April 23, as this date has traditionally been allocated to Saint Adalbert in the Kingdom of Hungary, which also comprised Slovakia for a millennium – ed. note].
“In early December 1291, exactly 727 years ago, the [Hungarian] king Andrew III bestowed the prerogatives of a free royal city to Bratislava to help it in recovering from a series of wars between the Czechs and Austrians. The Pressburgers [Pressburg was one of Bratislava’s old names – ed. note] have been electing their mayors since these times,” Nesrovnal told TASR.
Bratislava authority’s top figures are available for chat with members of the general public in the Primate Palace in the downtown during the Bratislava City Days (April 20-21), while some other locations ordinarily closed to the public have also been made accessible.
“City museums, galleries, ZOO and other city bodies have their doors open, too,” added Nesrovnal.