Bratislava’s regional self-government will provide €12,000 to support the project known as Stratené mesto (Lost City) which will construct a replica of a synagogue on the site where the original building stood at Bratislava’s historic Rybné námestie (Fish Square) with the goal to revive, virtually, a part of Slovak capital that was destroyed in the past, complete with its ancient name of Podhradie (Settlement Round the Castle).
Pavol Frešo, president of the Bratislava Self-Governing Region, told the TASR newswire that it is important to commemorate important buildings within the boundaries of Bratislava, like the demolished synagogue, that were an essential part of city life in the past.
The project was initiated by the Israeli Chamber of Commerce in Slovakia with the hope to show – particularly for younger people – at least a virtual image of how that part of the city looked before it was torn down in the 1960s. The regional government will attempt to solicit donations from other sources so that it is not the only source of funds for the project. Bratislava Mayor Milan Ftáčnik said that he also supports the project, the SITA newswire wrote.
The project, officially called “Stratené mesto: Bratislava Pozsony Pressburg”, seeks to motivate Bratislavans to look at their past and commemorate certain traditions that were practically erased over the course of the 20th century. Bratislava has been using its current name only since the early 20th century; before then was called by its Hungarian name, Pozsony, or by its German name, Pressburg, as both these languages were spoken in Bratislava and the city had multicultural traditions because of its proximity to the Austrian and Hungarian borders.
Another idea presented as part of the project is to feature key events and locales in the interior of a tram that has initially been dubbed "The Tram of Historical Memory” that will travel over a route with the symbolic name “The Ring of Historical Memory”.
At the midpoint of the ring the virtual silhouette of the synagogue will appear in the form of a coulisse in Rybné námestie, where the original 25-metre-tall synagogue, completed in 1893, was situated.