Bratislavsky Souk

Submitted by jr on Mon, 08/30/2010 - 00:00

In the Arab world a souk is a market or bazar, which is usually a vital part of everyday city life. In Bratislava's boom-bubble, 'Souk a.s.' is the name of a company, which is just about to make the last vital open air marketplace in vicinity to its city center disappear.

In many cities of the Middle East, souks are still constituting the major commercial and social lifelines, and in much of the so called 'West', one can currently witness a revival of 'farmers markets' and the likes. However, official Bratislava doesn't show much appreciation for the market (trhovisko) at Žilinská Street. Over the course of the last years there has been many discussions about closing down the market , but now this fate seems inevitable. It has been announced that the plot will soon be cleared for the erection of yet another 'polyfunctional complex', contributing to Bratislava's vitality with the functions of parking, commerce - including a supermarket as compensation for the market - and yet more capsules for glossy consumerist role models.

So you'd better hurry up to dive into the unique milieu of southern Slovak veggie growers, reminding you that peppers can well have a rich-crunchy taste, and strenuous grannies selling their homemade elderberry juices. The market is just a haven for those Bratislavians, who have not yet been pocketed by the ubiquitous hypermarket culture, the ones who prefer to act local by grabbing a bit of delicious non-pasteurized Bryndza cheese, or by indulging in the infamous tramp evenings in 'Drevena Dedina' (wooden village - sic!), a dream of a pub-cottage adjoining the market .

We started a little sound mapping project about the site of Žilinská market, collecting atmospheres, oral (hi)stories and memories, perhaps.

Check it out on

Update 06-11-2011: The 'queen of root vegetable' from Zahorie region had good news: The vendors at the market got the rental agreements for their stalls prolonged for another year. The phantom named economic crisis seems to be on our side.

Update 10-12-2012: According to latest information, the vendors and visitors of Zilinska will be able to frequent the market yet for at least another year.

Update 25-08-2013: Even though four stalls have recently been removed to make space for parking, the harvesting season is in full bloom. Well, it seems as if there wasn't any cause for concerns about the market's existence.

Update 16-05-2014: The first peas are on the market - any doubts?

Update 15-03-2015: Yes, it's still around, and after some uncertainties at the beginning of the year, yet again the market vendors got their contracts renewed till December.

From 08-2010, work in progress