Bratislava – Slovak capital and the heart of Europe
Updated : August 13, 2018 08:11 AM IST
Bratislava. It was a new name with which a new generation grew. But, typically it was not new as FC Slovan Bratislava already existed as a football team dominating European leagues. One can call it the heart of Europe or a divorce Czech, Slovakia and its capital Bratislava is one of the loveliest cities along the river Danube in Europe.
With the Velvet Revolution or Gentle revolution in 1989, subsequently with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1991, Slovakia peacefully moved out from Czechoslovakia with it long time leader Alexander Dubcek as elected speaker of the federal parliament on 28 December and Václav Havel the President of Czechoslovakia on 29 December 1989. Dubcek is highly remembered by many old and young Slovaks as a moderate Communist who was crushed by the Russians during the Prague Springs in 1968.
Today, despite the powerful Checz’s keeping the economic machinery in their hands, the Slovaks are happy with a determined sprit to run the country. Bratislava has a spirit of revolution and protests. This year, their prime minister Robert Fico was ousted by a huge demonstration at this same place where Velvet revolution took place. The reason was a murder of a scribe Ján Kuciak
and his partner by an Italian mafia syndication who is supposed to have links with the Fico. My guide at the old city, who is a twenty years old student from the technical university told me ‘we Slovaks don’t give up, if a person doesn’t suit us we get the government changed, our democracy is very strong and full proof. Our fathers threw communist dictators we will throw our corrupted leaders.’
The breakup took place when Europe was trying to unite the Eastern & the western blocks and shedding the Cold War woes. Although many Slovaks felt the future was in Prague but their heart bleed for a democratic independent set up.
Bata, Skoda and many other quindecinnial Checz companies operate from Bratislava. Going to Vienna takes half hour but to Prague it takes three hours. Slovakia with its capital has its own cuisine, culture and above all it’s a part of EU (It joined European Union in 2004). Today, the city is a history with its rich Slovak culture and heritage. The Danube flows along its heart and the Slovaks say we are the heart of Europe with the brain at Bratislava.
Czechoslovakia became Czech Republic and Slovakia a separate country without a single bloodshed but with a gentle revolution. An old Danuba state who went against the Austro-Hungarian empire during the WWI and WW2 saw Nazi taking the state then the Russians till they can say we are from Slovakia with capital Bratislava.