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A Slovakian Fairy Tale

rain 13 °C

Once upon a time their were two sister cities living close to each other on the banks of the beautiful Blue Danube. Their names are Bratislava and Vienna today, but when they were younger Bratislava was called Pressburg and she was an elegant city full of magnificent palaces and castles, where kings and queens lorded it over the surrounding lands. But two centuries ago the shine came off the royal crowns and the noblemen packed up their old homes and went off in search of grander digs – like the Hoffburg Palace in Vienna...
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And then came a horrible war and after the fighting was over an iron curtain came between them. Poor Bratislava became the ugly sister. Most of her grand buildings had been bombed by the Allies and then blown up by the Nazis and crushed by the Ukrainians and no one had the money to mend them. But along the river in Austria, her sister Vienna was having a gay old time. Her magnificent streets blossomed even in the rain...
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Her handsome statues and fountains were reborn...
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Her beautiful royal palaces of Schönbrunn and Hoffburg were restored to their former glory – and the court bakers served wonderful Apfelstrudel to their special guests. The grand coffeehouses of Vienna were once again the meeting places for great writers and thinkers...
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And the finest foods from all over the world were sold in the delicatessen of Julius Meinl...
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One colossal Italian panetone was especially fine (if a little pricey at 199 euros 300 dollars)...

Meanwhile, just an hour or so across the border in Slovakia, the poor citizens of Bratislava fought for freedom from the Soviet leash and struggled to rebuild their city.. This former palace looks splendid..
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But many of the old buildings look more like this...
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Vienna's ugly sister may one day be pretty again – but not today. Sorry, Bratislava, it's not your fault.

Posted by Hawkson 08:12 Archived in Slovakia

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Comments

Time and history march on. The buildings are still beautiful in their dilapidated state. Needless to say you bought the $300 panetone and are eating it as we speak.

by sue Fitzwilson

panetone travels well. please bring us some home.

by keith and helen

I googled it. Must be one awfully big panetone. The picture on the web doesn't look like $300 worth of cake unless it's been saturated with a high-priced vintage Kirsch.

by R and B

Sometimes there are good reasons why you can neither have your cake nor eat it. Sad contrast between the two cities. Maybe sales of competively priced panettone will bring in the money to spruce Bratislava up. Let's hope.

by Tom Whalley

Don't forget to pick up some of Mozarts balls.

by Janet

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