When visiting a city for the first time, it’s hard to know exactly what to expect … but something has drawn you there. It could be grand architecture, incredible museums, world class dining or amazing entertainment. Whatever the motivation, in the end, your impression of the city reflects the sum of its parts.
But major attractions aren’t the only things that form an impression. Whether it’s rooftop gargoyles, ornate gates, lush gardens or colorful graffiti; small details also weave into the fabric of a place. And taking the time to slow down and notice the small bits tells us about the culture and its history – which is exactly what we found in Slovakia’s small and welcoming capital Bratislava.
This unusual, golden dragon hangs over the door of a pharmacy in the charming old town. To our knowledge dragons have nothing to do with medicine, and everything to do with grabbing your attention with an attractive, eye-catching piece of art.
No matter where they are, derelict buildings are always an eyesore. But some art fan in Bratislava had enough pride of place to cover these broken windows with reproductions of Van Gogh’s famous works. And there’s no denying that it adds interest and softens the impact of an unattractive sight.
Weathervane artists have the challenge of transforming an article of pure function into something artistic and appealing. And this snake hitching an arrow-ride does the job nicely.
A matching pair of these grumpy Gollums were guarding the entrance to a stockbroker’s office. Hopefully, this broker’s stock-picking skills are as keen as his sense of humor.
A simple corbel will hold an overhang, but the architect for Bratislava’s Old Town Hall knows that an animal sculpture is much more likely to draw attention.
Every Catholic church is topped by a cross, but few can equal this beauty on the Church of St. Elizabeth. It’s an unusual combination of shapes that fits perfectly atop this Art Nouveau masterpiece.
There can be no city without buildings, but the small elements bring together the big parts that make the whole of a place like Bratislava.
When it comes to details, Aristotle said it best:
“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
James & Terri