Our site will be undergoing maintenance from 6 a.m. - 6 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 20. During this time, Bookshop, checkout, and other features will be unavailable. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Cookies must be enabled to use this website.
Book Image Not Available Book Image Not Available
Book details
  • Genre:TRAVEL
  • SubGenre:Europe / General
  • Language:English
  • Pages:277
  • eBook ISBN:9781483528458

Bratislava Active

by Martin Sloboda

Book Image Not Available Book Image Not Available
MS AGENCY publishes some of the most successful guidebooks in Slovakia. An unparalleled variety of languages, texts written by professional guides and historians, high quality digital photography and an attractive design at a reasonable price – all make for a great guidebook that will either inspire you to plan your first trip or, when you are already there, make your stay in Bratislava & Slovakia an unforgettable and rewarding experience.
Whoever in the past decided that there would be a town in this place laid down the foundation for its later prosperity. Except when trade and development have been impeded by wars, regimes and borders, Bratislava has always been a flourishing and prosperous town which has made the most of its strategic position on the Danube and at the intersections of important European trade routes. In the Mediaeval period and later in the 18th century, Bratislava was a significant economic centre and later also a cultural and political centre of Central Europe. It was thanks to its location that Bratislava in the 16th century became the capital and coronation town of the Hungarian Kingdom and the place where its crown jewels were kept. For one thing, it was remote from the invading Turks, but on the other hand it was conveniently close to imperial Vienna, from where the whole of the Austro-Hungarian Empire was to be governed for the following almost 500 years. Vienna and Bratislava were very closely connected economically, culturally and politically, for a long time. In the 18th century the Castle was rebuilt and served as a summer residence for Queen Maria Theresa who visited the town frequently due to its proximity to Vienna. Another reason for her frequent visits was the fact that her favourite daughter Maria Christine lived here for almost 20 years. What had in the past been a long-term advantage, suddenly in the middle of the 20th century came to constitute a major disadvantage and Bratislava was obliged to pay heavily for its unique position. After the communists came to power in 1948, an Iron Curtain, visible from the city centre, was drawn which brutally divided what had been a single economic and cultural region. Following the fall of commusim in 1989, Bratislava could at last develop as a free town and re-establish close relations with Vienna. Now, paradoxically, it was Vienna which held the excluded region back from its more rapid growth. Although much was resolved once Slovakia became a member of the European Union in 2004, the final impediment to the rapid development of the cross-border Euro-region was removed as late as 2007 when a motorway on the Austrian side came into operation and Slovakia became part of the Schengen group.
About the author
Martin Sloboda (born in 1974 in Bratislava, Slovakia) is a Bratislava-based author, guide, photographer, lecturer, travel consultant and event coordinator. He focuses on promoting Bratislava and Slovakia as an attractive tourist destination. Background Sloboda was born into an old Bratislava family, where speaking German, Hungarian and Slovak was part of every-day life. Thanks to his grandparents’ and parents’ guidance, he developed, at an early age, his passion for Central Europe’s rich history in general and for Bratislava’s in particular. Education In 1999 Sloboda obtained MA from British and American Studies, and German Studies, specialization Translation & Interpreting, at the Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia. Simultaneously, he took further courses at schools in Germany (Universität Würzburg, Universität Tübingen), England (International Language Academy, Cambridge), France (Ecole Azurlingua, Nice), Italy (Istituto Linguistico Bertrand Russell, Padova) and Australia (Australian College of English, Sydney). Martin Sloboda and his products. With foreign ministers of Slovakia and Austria. Accompanying US Ambassador in Slovakia. Making of a film about Bratislava with ARD team. Career While student, Sloboda obtained the city of Bratislava’s official license and started working for travel agencies in Bratislava as a tour guide. Before long he had become independent and had made his way from guiding tourist groups to corporate clients and eventually accompanying top-level state visits. Following his graduation, Sloboda established MS Agency in 2000 specializing in high quality Guided Tours. He has been continually expanding the team by carefully selecting guides with personality, language skills and charisma in order to deliver highest quality service. Among his clients are some of the worlds most luxurious tour operators. Simultaneously, he added Publishing to his business. He combined his passion for history, touring and photography and started publishing successful guidebooks and postcards. In 2004 he added Event Planning, which has since developed into an important part of the business. The Stock Photography business has been steadily gaining importance hand in hand with the rising interest for Slovakia in the world. Ever since his images of Slovakia have been published in renowned international magazines and newspapers. Sloboda’s other activities include Travel Consultancy for foreign travel writers covering Bratislava and Slovakia, TV stations working on documentaries about Slovakia, radio stations, newspapers and magazines. He gives regular Lectures on Slovakia on board luxury American cruise ships as well as for special interest groups. Thus, annually thousands of influential North Americans learn about the country and become Slovakia's "ambassadors" abroad. One of his most emotionally rewarding activities is Genealogy. He assists North American Slovaks in searching for their roots, rediscovering their ancestral land, locating living relatives and finally bringing families back together after more than a century. In 2007, during European Union's 50th Anniversary in Berlin, Sloboda was selected into the European Union Panorama of " 27 True Europeans" representing Slovakia among 27 member states. Personal Life Sloboda lives in Bratislava, Slovakia with his wife and two children. As an active Rotarian he helps to raise funds for handicapped children in Slovakia. He acts as an "ambassador" of Slovakia and continues to do what he believes he was born for.