Afternoon Walk - Grassalkovich Palace
|My jealousy has no boundaries...|
When the sun is shining and it's 30 degrees outside it feels like a crime to sit inside (unless you're working). So, I often go for a walk on Saturdays around Bratislava. As a capital it's quite a small city, but somehow I manage to find new places and things here every time.
Like this time I found the artsy park behind the presidential palace. It's a garden surrounded with high stone walls and which is kept in a meticulous form. The grass there is cut in a very English way: smooth and precise. Flower arrangements are everywhere and there are fountains and statues varying in style everywhere.
The garden is absolutely perfect for picnics or for a little break on a tourist tour. The Grassalkovich Palace, which these days is used as the President's office, rather than accommodation, was built originally in 1760 for a Hungarian aristocrat who was a close friend of the Empress Maria Theresa. The Empress herself visited the Palace several times for concerts and parties. Apparently the interior of the Palace is worth seeing and there is a rather splendid staircase but as far as I'm aware, the public isn't allowed into the building. Another way to make money for the officials to wrap in their own pockets that they are completely ignorant of...
The park is, for some reason, quite hidden and it's rather hard to stumble upon by accident. As I mentioned it is surrounded by walls with only one or two gates in rather unlikely places (in a narrow space between two palace-like houses on Stefánikova street) that you easily just pass by. I was looking for this park couple weeks back and even though I knew where it was I managed to walk by without noticing it. In my opinion it's a good thing, though, that it's so hard to find. It means that there are much less people than in other parks and absolutely no drunks. So if you want to be outside but in peace, the Grassalkovich park is the place for you.
On Sunday I went there again with a book and some food. Ah, the relaxation in the middle of a capital, such a treat!