While the weather was still sunny in October, our intern team consisting of five people went on a day trip to Bratislava, Slovakia to meet The Old Market Hall Alliance team and explore The Old Market Hall of Bratislava (Stara Tržnica).
Though the market had been closed for five years since 2013, The Old Market Hall Alliance, with the support of local city council and Creative Europe project, have managed to breathe new life into it.
Now, in addition to its oldest function of being a food market, it has lots of 21st century life activities to offer for the enjoyment of both locals, as well as guests of the city.
The public building stands in the heart of Bratislava old town since 1910 and has served many purposes since then. It has been a market space, a warehouse, as well as studios for the Slovak National Television. The building is owned by the city of Bratislava, and taken care by a civic association The Alliance Old Market Hall (Aliancia Stará Tržnica) since 2013, that has turned it into a marketplace as well as a cultural event venue.
Veronica Hliničanová– a member of Old Market hall alliance team, guided our interns through the various locations, where different businesses of the market hall building reside. The main hall, which was empty on the day of the visit hosts food markets every Saturday, occasional flea markets, as well as larger events, like concerts, discussions, conferences and even fashion shows, among others.
Next to it, an indoor plant oasis is in full bloom – every Saturday locals can give their plants, that they can’t take care of anymore in the caring hands of the market hall team. There is a plan to turn this place into a library, where people will be able not only to fulfill their cells with knowledge, but actual first-hand oxygen made from these plants.
No 21st century community building can be imagined without a cozy coffee shop, so, of course, Stara Tržnica has one of their own as well. Not only you can get great coffee at Lab Cafe, but attend workshops, team building and other events, but also – by becoming a member of the co-working office, use the various digital fabrication workshop tools, like printers, laser cutting machines or even sewing machines and cameras.
Old Market hall also houses a soda water manufacture, Foodstock Asian style cousine bistro, Shenk brewery and Výčap u Ernöho beer place, up! city electronic car, scooter and bicycle rental, Švihaj Šuhaj courier services, as well as newly opened Viecha malých vinárov wine shop & bar.
Apart from filling the building with a program, the Alliance also actively worked on its improvements. And thanks to up! city, the square in front of the Old Market Hall had been renovated as well. Previously a not-so-friendly area is now a lovely, clean square in front of the market hall, with nice seating, as well as things like chess tables, available all year long.
Hopefully some of the learnings can be applied to our beloved Rakoczi Market Hall.
Text: Agnese Cikule