Grassalkovich Palace

Bratislava, Slovakia

The Grassalkovich Palace is the residence of the president of Slovakia. The building is a Rococo/late Baroque summer palace with a French garden. It was built in 1760 for Count Antal Grassalkovich, a Hungarian noble serving as the head of the Hungarian Chamber (a sort of ministry of economy and finance for the Kingdom of Hungary), by architect Anton Mayerhofer. It features many beautiful rooms and an impressive staircase. The chapel is decorated with frescoes by Joseph von Pichler.

The building became a center of Baroque musical life in Pozsony/Pressburg. Joseph Haydn premiered some of his works here. Count Grassalkovich also had his orchestra and his 'colleague', Prince Esterházy, used to 'lend' him his favorite conductor, Haydn. Grassalkovich was Maria Theresa's vassal, so the palace was used for various balls and parties of the Habsburg royal court. For example, it was Haydn who conducted the orchestra when Maria Theresa's daughter married Albert of Sachsen-Teschen, then governor of the Kingdom of Hungary (see Bratislava Castle). Ľudovít Štúr is said to have declared his love to Adela Ostrolúcka for the first time during a ball organized by archduke Stephen Francis Victor (Buda 14 September 1817 – Menton 19 February 1867), son of the Palatine, Joseph. The last owners of the palace before the end of Austria-Hungary were archduke Frederick of Teschen with his wife Isabella of Croy-Dülmen.

From 1919 the palace was occupied by the Territorial Military Command.

During the 1939–1945 period, the palace was adapted by Emil Belluš and became the seat of the president of the First Slovak Republic (i.e. of Jozef Tiso). During the Communist era, it was first (after 1945) the seat of the Council of Commissioners (also styled Corps of Plenipotentiaries), which was a quasi-government of Slovakia within Czechoslovakia. In 1950, the building was turned into the 'Klement Gottwald House of Pioneers and Youth' (Dom pionierov a mládeže Klementa Gottwalda), which was an activity center for Bratislava's schoolchildren, all of whom were so-called pioneers at that time. The schoolchildren caused extensive damage to the palace, and the necessary restoration only became possible following the transition from Communism in late 1989 with the Velvet Revolution.

After its reconstruction in the early 1990s, on 30 September 1996 the palace became the residence of Slovakia's president. Its once-large gardens are now a public park, complete with a statue of Bratislava-born composer Jan Nepomuk Hummel.

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Details

Founded: 1760
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Slovakia

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Caitlin Broadhurst (14 days ago)
Nice palace to look at the outside of. Lots of diplomats coming and going when we visited and a lot of police presence. But a nice place to visit on your wander around Bratislava.
Dinuka De Silva (2 months ago)
Located in capital of Bratislava and within the old town. There is a fountain located at this place and foreigners often get pictures there and the view looks great. It is also easily reachable from the main station. Just a walk would do.
Michael Ghatas (3 months ago)
The most impressing thing to get in this country is, how safe and chilling the city is, To have such an diplomatic Building in the middle of the city with no single Security or Guards. One other very positive Impression, in spite being the Capital city, it is very quite on the streets, we have heard may be just twice an Ambulance-Sirens….For the first time of my whole life, driving in a Capital city is not so stressful as many others. One could feel here only well and safe.
Jacqueline Stephen (4 months ago)
Definitely try to see this at night from the outside when it is all lit up. It is near to the train station and easy to walk to as you make your way to the town center.
Andrea Nori (8 months ago)
I truly believe this is one of the most beautiful buildings you can find in Bratislava. It is truly spectacular both at daylight but also at evening/night! Even if it is not situated in the full city centre, I absolutely recommend of going here to take at least one pic here! Unfortunately, the gardens are closed due to some restoration works
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