Topolcianky, July 29 (TASR) – The former summer residence of the presidents of the Czechoslovak Republic, Topolcianky Castle, hosted Slovak and Czech Presidents Andrej Kiska and Milos Zeman, respectively, on Sunday.
The two presidents travelled to the town of Topolcianky (Nitra region) on a special steam train. The train included a vintage Aza 80 carriage that was made for the first Czechoslovak President Tomas Garrique Masaryk in 1930. “I want to thank the Czech president for an opportunity to travel jointly on a part of the ride from T.G. Masaryk’s birthplace [Hodonin] to Topolcianky, which he [Masaryk] visited for the first time 95 years ago,” said Kiska.
According to Zeman, the two presidents will meet four more times. “We’ll meet at a summit of the Visegrad Four (Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary) presidents at Strbske Pleso (Presov region), at Prague Castle’s Vladislavska Hall and in Martin, under the condition that [far-right LSNS party leader] Marian Kotleba won’t be there,” said Zeman. Their final meeting will take place at Lany Castle next spring, when Kiska will pay a farewell visit to the Czech Republic towards the end of his term in office.
During their visit to Topolcianky, the two presidents laid flowers at T.G. Masaryk’s statue and signed commemorative papers to mark the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Czechoslovak Republic. “If this hadn’t happened at that time, Slovakia wouldn’t have existed in the form we currently know it. One hundred years ago, the founders of the Czechoslovak state, Masaryk and Milan Rastislav Stefanik, accomplished their efforts so that we could have our own state, our territory, our statehood. We can only thank them for what they did at that time, as it wasn’t easy,” said Kiska.
Topolcianky Castle is a national cultural monument. It served as a summer residence for presidents of the Czechoslovak Republic between 1923 and 1951. Masaryk was a frequent guest at the castle, where he received several diplomatic visits and cabinet members, including the prime minister.