BRATISLAVA CASTLE AND THE CASTLE HILL: (UN)CONNECTED FATES – Mapping the Social Discourse on the Preservation of the Bratislava Castle Ruins in the Context of the Castle Hill
After the fire in 1811, Bratislava Castle was left an architectural and urban relic, sharply contrasting to the dynamically growing city lying below it. This iconic object and its “plinth” – the combination of Castle Hill and the neighbourhood of Podhradie below – formed a unified whole, and were interpreted as such. Though the Castle was eventually saved through the restoration process that started after the midpoint of the 20th century, Podhradie remained neglected and finally succumbed to demolition. The conundrum of one of the most visually exposed heritage sites in Slovakia has always tended to reflect social dynamics in each given period. Nor was it any different even at the start of the 20th century, when there began to appear the first calls for its restoration. Over time, the discussion grew stronger, and the spectrum of contributions spread even wider. The aim of the present study is the comparison of processes and phenomena that served as catalysers for this discussion, with the primary focus on the position of the Castle and its base in the context of Bratislava in the first half of the 20th century.