This rococo summer palace was built in 1760 for the chairman of the Hungarian Royal Chamber and advisor to Empress Maria Theresa, Count Anton Grassalkovich. The sumptuous house was a sought-after venue for aristocratic society events. The palace is now the official residence of the President of the Slovak Republic.
Behind the Presidential Palace (Grassalkovich Palace) on Hodžovo Square is a handsome park (originally the gardens of the palace) with old trees and lawns. It was originally created as a French formal garden and still offers a quiet space away from the bustle of the city. It contains a statue of the Empress Maria Theresa on horseback, the Fountain of Youth by prominent Slovak sculptor Tibor Bártfay and avant-garde statues by contemporary artists. Dogs and bicycles are not allowed so it is a safe place to let kids run loose (there is also a small playground). Access to the park is via Štefánikova or Banskobystrická Streets and is open from dawn dusk, all year round.
(1st & 3rd photo © Tomáš Šereda / www.ttstudio.sk, 2nd photo credit: Facebook)