Bratislava: Many People Want ‘Old Bridge’ to Retain Its Name

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    The Old Bridge in Bratislava while still in reconstruction (stock photo by TASR).

    Bratislava, February 4 (TASR) – Even though the city of Bratislava has resolved to change the name of the Old Bridge following its thorough reconstruction, by which it’s actually become the capital’s newest bridge, it might retain its original name after all, TASR learnt on Thursday.

    It’s emerged from a comments process organised by the city council that the highest number of people want to preserve the ‘old’ name.

    “They pointed out that this name is ingrained, and even if it were changed, people from Bratislava would call the bridge only by this name,” said deputy mayor Iveta Plsekova.

    Of the 695 people who took part in the comments process, 235 advocated the old name. The second largest group (of 42 people) was made up of proponents of naming it after 19th-century national revivalist Ludovit Stur.

    “A certain role was certainly played here by the fact that we celebrated the 200th anniversary of Stur’s birth last year,” said Plsekova.

    Only one person fewer wanted the bridge to reacquire its very first name from the 19th century – after Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria.

    Meanwhile, 40 people would like the name of the bridge to reflect its new colour – green, while 39 were in favour of naming it after Milan Rastislav Stefanik, one of the key figures in the setting up of Czechoslovakia in 1918.

    There was no shortage of humorous proposals, either, including ‘the Ugly Bridge’, ‘the Useless Bridge’, ‘the Bridge of Paté Eater Warriors’ [people from Bratislava are sometimes called ‘paté eaters’ in other Slovak regions – ed. note], ‘the Looting Bridge’ and ‘the Ivo Nesrovnal Bridge’ (after the current Bratislava mayor).

    The most votes in a public survey aimed at naming a new cycling bridge between the Bratislava borough of Devinska Nova Ves and the Austrian village of Engelhartstetten a few years ago went to ‘the Chuck Norris Bridge’. It was named ‘the Freedom Bridge’ by the authorities in the end, however. Nevertheless, Chuck Norris appears to have retained some his glamour in Bratislava, as six people have also put his name forward in the comments process concerning the Old Bridge.

    A more comprehensive survey on the name of the current Old Bridge is still to come, however.