Bratislava, Slovakia – The Czech and Slovak heads of state inaugurated a new Czech cultural and business center in Bratislava on Saturday.
Czech House inaugurated in Bratislava
Slovak President Zuzana Caputova and Czech counterpart Milos Zeman on Saturday took part to the official inauguration and ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Czech House in Bratislava.
The Czech House (Český dům) will include a cultural institute, as well as offices of the CzechTrade, Czech Tourism and CzechInvest agencies, in a bid to boost cultural and economic ties between the two countries. A few years ago, a Slovak House was also established in Prague’s city center.
“One of my dreams was to open a Czech house in Bratislava”, Czech President Zeman said during the event. “It took five years […] but we eventually found friendly souls that helped us”. President Caputova also stressed that, despite both countries going there separate ways in 1993, the Czech Republic and Slovakia remain extremely close partners, and that the Czech House will further strengthen this friendship.
According to the Czech News Agency, President Zeman had been lobbying, unsuccessfully, to open a Czech ‘hospoda‘ (bar/restaurant) in the building.
This is the third such institution to open in the world, after Czech Houses were also inaugurated in Moscow and Jerusalem.
Czech Republic and Slovakia celebrate 30th anniversary of Velvet Revolution
Before the inauguration, Zuzana Caputova and Milos Zeman took part to a laying of wreaths in front of a commemorative plaque by Comenius University, where student demonstrations first erupted on November 16, 1989, paving the way for the Velvet Revolution that toppled the Communist regime in former Czechoslovakia.
Both countries celebrated on Sunday the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution with a wide range of marches, events and celebrations.
An exhibition on the fall of communism in then-Czechoslovakia is currently underway on the premises of the newly-inaugurated Czech House in the Slovak capital.