Public toilets in Bratislava

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A direction sign pointing to public toilets in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia

Public toilets or public "WC" (Slovak: verejné WC) in Bratislava are managed by the local government,[1] which pays for the water.[2] Bratislava is known for having a very limited number of public restrooms[3][2] and their appearance has changed little since the fall of communism. Unlike restrooms in modern shopping malls, gas stations, restaurants, pubs, etc., traditional public toilets are still operated by a washroom attendant. As a rule of thumb, public toilets in Bratislava are paid.

As of 2011, urinating or defecating in public in Slovakia is punishable by a fine of €33.[4] The mistrust of public toilets, including at night when they are lit, is such that many prefer the toilets in fast food restaurants.[1] Many restaurants and pubs lock their toilets and issue keys only upon demand by their customers.[5] In spite of queues reminiscent of the days of socialism, there are no plans to build additional public restrooms in Bratislava.[6][1] The tourist industry is not happy with the situation[1] and according to Bratislava city guides and representatives of the travel agencies the lack of public toilets in the city is one of the hurdles in tourism development in the city.[7]

History[edit]

Under communism, the tradition of public toilets formed, which influences the city to this day.[1] Public toilets were separated by sex, entrances being guarded by notoriously ill-tempered restroom ladies (Slovak: hajzelbaba).[1][5] The client would disclose whether he needed to urinate or defecate, and he would be charged accordingly, the latter costing more. Finally, the client was issued his limited share of toilet paper, sometimes with an embarrassing negotiation regarding the need for more.[1]

The following public toilets were cancelled in the past in Bratislava: Suché mýto, Hurbanovo Námestie and metal toilets on Vajanského Nábrežie (cancelled decades ago[2]). In 2011, the Borough of Old Town decided to close half of its public toilets, claiming to use the money saved in this way for maintaining green areas and cleaning. Referring to a survey done during the week of 22 February to 27 February 2011, Tomáš Halán, spokesperson of the Old Town borough, stated that there was a case in the survey in which "one visitor cost 22 euro".[4][8]

Partial list of public toilets in Bratislava[edit]

The following is a partial list of public toilets in Bratislava.[2]

Image Location Open? Ownership Notes
Bratislava Safarikovo Namestie Public Toilets LQ.jpg
Šafárikovo Námestie (Old Town) Open The borough of Old Town According to some sources it was supposed to stop operating on 1 April 2011.[8] Open daily 8:00 - 19:00 hours
Bratislava Reduta Public Toilets LQ.jpg
Námestie Eugena Suchoňa / Palackého Street (Old Town), in front of Reduta Open The borough of Old Town The most visited public toilets in Old Town, reconstruction was scheduled in 2011.[citation needed] Open daily 8:00 - 19:00 hours
Bratislava Kapucinska Street Public Toilets LQ.jpg
Kapucínska Street / Staromestská Street (Old Town) Closed The borough of Old Town According to the media closed since 1 April 2011[8]
Bratislava Kamenne Namestie Public Toilet LQ.jpg
Kamenné Námestie / Námestie SNP (Old Town) Closed The borough of Old Town Slovak media refer to these public restrooms as being on Námestie SNP. Closed for years because of groundwater leakage[citation needed]
Bratislava Kollarovo Namestie Toilets LQ.jpg
Kollárovo Námestie (Old Town) Closed The borough of Old Town Opening hours used to be 8:00 - 19:00, closed since 1 April 2011[8]
Bratislava 29 Augusta Public Toilets LQ.jpg

29. Augusta Street (Old Town) [8]

Closed The borough of Old Town Opening hours used to be 8:00 - 19:00, closed since 1 April 2011[8]
Bratislava Americke Namestie Public Toilets LQ.jpg

Americké Námestie (American Square) (Old Town)[2]

Closed The borough of Old Town Opening hours used to be 8:00 - 19:00, closed since 1 March 2011[8]
Bratislava Medic Garden Public Toilets LQ.jpg

Medic Garden (Old Town)

Open The borough of Old Town Partially reconstructed in 2007, later vandalised. Open daily 8:00 - 19:00 hours[citation needed]
Bratislava Ursulinska Street Public Toilets LQ.jpg
Uršulínska Street, building of the Bratislava City Magistrate (Old Town) Open Bratislava city Magistrate Built in 2008, allows access for the handicapped.[9] The building is on Primate's Square. Open daily 9:00 - 21:00 hours.
Bratislava Trnavske Myto Underpass Public Toilets LQ.jpg
Pedestrian underpass Trnavské mýto Closed Bratislava city Magistrate Partially devastated[citation needed]
Hodžovo námestie 2.jpg
Pedestrian underpass Hodžovo námestie[10] (Old Town) Open Bratislava city Magistrate Reconstructed in 2008, accessible to the handicapped with effort.[citation needed] Open Mon-Fri 8:00 - 18:00, Sat 8:00 - 12:00 hours
Building in Bratislava 11.JPG
Nová Tržnica building on Trnavské mýto (New Town) Open The borough of New Town 4 public toilets, open Mon-Fri 6:00 - 18:00 Sat 06:00 - 14:00
Bratislava Karloveska Street Public Toilet LQ.jpg
Karloveská Street (Karlova Ves) Closed The borough of Karlova Ves Devastated, closed for some 15 years[citation needed]
Bratislava Novy Most Public Toilets LQ.jpg
Bus station underneath Nový Most (New Bridge)[10] Open Open daily 06:00 - 23:00 hours
Bratislava River Park Public Toilets LQ.jpg
Near River Park I at the Danube riverbank[7] Open Open daily 10:00 - 18:00 hours in the winter and 10:00 - 20:00 in the summer, entry fee is 50 cents

Public toilets in mass transport systems in Bratislava[edit]

Public toilets in the underground of the Bratislava main railway station feature besides the typical washroom attendant also an automated ramp, unique in the city

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Cloaca". Petit Press. July 11, 2008. Retrieved January 30, 2012. "...the legendary hajzelbaby. They were mostly gruff old lady..." 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Public toilets in the city are still dwindling, government knows that there is a shortage". Bratislava newspaper (Nivel Plus Ltd. (Všetky práva vyhradené)). August 31, 2006. Retrieved January 30, 2012. "...the existing toilets are well used and the city pays their water consumption..." 
  3. ^ "The deficit in public toilets: the sound Bratislava nas.ali and resolve it your way!". Ringier Axel Springer. August 31, 2006. Retrieved January 30, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Krafka, Jaro (July 5, 2011). "Public toilets are pretty expensive, a visit to the city comes to € 22". Markiza TV. Retrieved January 30, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Reuters (6 February 2002). "Google translate. European capital and public toilets". Retrieved 2012-02-05. "In recent years, however, began to restaurant owners to lock the toilet more often..." 
  6. ^ "Public Toilets Should be Improved". Petit Press. August 31, 2006. Retrieved January 30, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "Na nábreží pribudli verejné toalety, v centre je ich však málo (New public toilets built at the riverbank, but they still lack in the city center)". Bratislavské Noviny. 26 March 2012. Retrieved 30 April 2012. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Department of communication with the public (6 May 2011). "info_11_060.pdf" (in Slovak). Google translate. info_11_060.pdf: Staré Mesto borough of Bratislava. Retrieved 2012-02-09. "Under the Act. 211 of the Freedom of Information request you to provide analysis of whereby part of the city decided on the conclusion of the four toilets in Old Town." 
  9. ^ "Municipality to build new public toilets". City of Bratislava. July 4, 2008. Retrieved January 30, 2012. 
  10. ^ a b Lucy Mallows; Lucinda Mallows (2006). Bratislava: The Bradt City Guide. Bradt Travel Guides. p. 106. ISBN 978-1-84162-142-5. Retrieved 2012-02-03. "The subway under Hodzovo namestie, the bus and railway stations all have public toilets...The public convenience at the back of the bus station under Novy most (New Bridge)..." 

Further reading[edit]