WAY OUT THERE
Situated in the centre of Bratislava, Stará tržnica, meaning ‘Old Market Hall’, is a historical building dating from 1910. For a long time it was unused, but a group of activists in Bratislava was able to take care of it and it quickly became a favourite spot for lovers of good food, design and history. During its more than 100-year history, it has served many purposes – a market hall, a television studio, a shopping mall with food and small shops. Since 2012, the Aliancia Stará tržnica civic association has been taking care of the building, transforming it into a multipurpose urban centre. The venue is also the home of a food market that takes place every Saturday from 10am (8am in July and August) until 3pm, while the many different cultural events take over the market for the rest of the week.
MEET IN STYLE
The Stará tržnica venue was recently taken over by a group of professionals who formed themselves as a civic organisation and decided on the revitalisation of the building, turning it into the biggest and most relevant meeting space and cultural centre in the Old Town of Bratislava that is now offering a variety of events, markets and public services.
They host many different kinds of events, including discussions, exhibitions, community events, congresses, conferences, design markets and concerts, to name some of them.
Stará tržnica hosted plenty of conferences, such as Reactive Conf, which is one of the biggest success stories, since is the world’s second largest event for reactive developers. This year, it will be held for 3rd time in a row in Bratislava, attracting more than 800 developers and more than 300 students for all over the globe.
The maximum capacity for a congress is approximately 800 people, depending on the venue set-up. For standing-only events, the maximum capacity can be over 2,000 attendees.
The amazing historical building struggled for decades in finding a sustainable, working concept, yet recently it has become a staple of the city’s bustling shopping and arts scene, with its rich line-up ranging from regular food or design markets to large concerts, festivals and charity events. Tržnica is open for events only, although you can always grab a nice cup of coffee in its charitable Dobré & Dobré café, served to you by homeless people getting a chance to work. Alongside the professional bartenders, the staff with a background of living rough are now working with the chance to serve guests, and in wearing no nametags with job titles guests won’t be able to tell which these are, so those with sad stories won’t worry about any stigma – this is good practice CSR in action.
If you want to experience this unique space properly, take the chance to visit the wildly popular Saturday market gatherings, famous not only for its fresh fruit and vegetables, but also for its heaps of hard-to-find organic products and cheese, wine and honey from local farmers. Most of the products here are being sold directly by their producers (who are also mostly located in the Bratislava region) and there is also a selection of the best of the rest of the world.
Stará tržnica is located in the very heart of Bratislava Old Town. It would be hard to miss it, but for a sense of orientation Bratislava castle is about 15 minutes’ walk away.