There has been a public outcry against the planned garages to be built at Bratislava Castle as it will mean the destruction of one of the rarest archaeological findings in Central Europe. Previous objections of archaeologists and others were not heeded, however, with the disputed project already well underway.
Bratislava Castle falls under the administration of the Parliamentary Office, which is forging ahead with the plan to create some 222 underground parking places on an area that once housed an important Celtic – Roman settlement from the first century BC. Parliamentary Office recently even signed a contract for completion of the work with the company Vahostav.
The master contract for reconstruction work at the Castle, worth over EUR 21 million, was signed with Vahostav by the now unpopular former parliamentary speaker Pavol Paska, who resigned last month under public pressure of cronyism and corruption allegations. The part of the work concerning the garages will cost around EUR 10 million.
Archaeologists and activists are trying to protect the site, and launched a petition calling for preservation of archaeological sites and monuments below Bratislava Castle, and presented it to Paska’s successor, Peter Pellegrini. They are demanding that he take action to protect the site, as part of the Roman archaeological findings would be relocated and the area filled in for the sake of the parking spaces.
The site is home to the oldest brick structure found in Central Europe, outdoing nearby Carnuntum in Austria. Some Austrian experts have also expressed dismay at the decision to basically wipe out important historical findings. The experts and activists are calling for a special commission to be set up to assess how the plan to construct garages would not be in line with the cultural-historical interests of Slovakia. They want work to halt immediately.
Freshly elected Parliamentary speaker Pelligrini has no qualms with the plans, however, after visiting the site last week. An estimated 10% or so of the findings will be buried, including a 16.5-metre Roman wall, which is blocking the planned access to the car park.