Park kultúry a oddychu

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Main building of PKO in Bratislava

Park kultúry a oddychu abbreviated PKO (English: Park of Culture and Relaxation) and in the past commonly referred to as Pekáč was a complex of buildings in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia by the Danube riverbank, built from 1943 to 1948.[1] Until 2010, the complex was used for cultural events in the capital and it has been the place of countless concerts, popular TV shows, balls, high school proms (Slovak: stužková) and dance class graduations (Slovak: venček). In 2010 Park kultúry a oddychu became the focus of a public scandal concerning the signing of some contracts in secret by the then-Mayor of Bratislava Andrej Ďurkovský resulting in the public learning about the building being demolished in the future.[2][3]

The buildings contained many artworks both inside and from the outside. The entrance hall contained 28 stained glass windows by national artist Janko Alexy, the floor in the hall was made from unique colored marble from near Lučenec, the first floor above contained a monumental painting Dožinky by academic painter František Gajdoš. The outside of the main building was decorated with two statues by sculptor Tibor Bártfay, above them was a sgraffito decoration.

Park kultúry a oddychu also contained an astronomy section where regular astronomy lectures and nightsky observations were being held. This institution was a lone representative of its kind in the city, uniquely among European capitals, Bratislava lacked both an observatory and a planetarium.

PKO was demolished in the years 2015-2016.


Project for the buildings is by Pavol Andrik, Kamil A. Gross and Ján Štefanec. The buildings were originally built as administrative buildings for the Danube fair.


Because PKO was the main location in Bratislava for organizing dance class graduations ("venček") with social dance classes being widely attended during the first half of high school in Slovakia, as well quite popular for organizing school proms ("stužková") and high-school freshmen parties ("imatrikulácie"), many generations have an emotional bond with the PKO premises.

PKO was also the premier location for performing several types of music in Slovakia.

Future of the structure[edit]

An investor constructing a new planetarium, media library, square and the promenade with a pier on the site, in addition to flats and office spaces, which will be part of the River Park 2 project.[4]