Culture connects people and forms part of their identity. The common cultural roots of the neighboring countries Slovakia and Austria are evident in their artisanry and traditions. Maintaining this cultural heritage and preserving these common traditions is one way the two neighbors can draw closer again after years of separation.

Did you know that the Austrian composer Franz Lehár was born in the Slovak city of Komárno? Or that Ludwig van Beethoven composed his Moonlight Sonata in Dolná Krupa, where he often stayed in the castle of the Brunswick family? Composers and musicians frequently travelled to all parts of the Austro-Hungarian Empire to find inspiration and perform their musical works in concert halls and noble houses. In the project Accentus Musicalis, teachers and researchers of music cooperate to resurrect this great past by enabling students to practice playing Early Music authentically. Would you like to take a journey back in time?

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Preserving musical traditions is also an objective of the cooperation between the communities of Hainburg and Šamorín. To this end, the joint Symphonic Orchestra of the music schools of Hainburg and Šamorín was created. Click here and take a listen - Audio/Video.

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Another tradition that connects Slovakia and Austria is pottery. Many people have a ‘classic’ piece of pottery at home – or at least at their parents’ or grandparents’ – often originating in the neighboring country. In the course of the project Tra-Ker “Traditions made of clay; ways to perceive the ceramic heritage” the Austrian museum of Folk Life and Folk Art in Vienna and the Museum Ľudovít Štúr in Modra attend to these traditions as well as to contemporary artists, such as the Stoob ceramics school and its pupils, or the renown Slovak artist Ignác Bizmayer (*1922). The Museum in Modra, which was specially designed for this purpose, displays numerous exhibits and provides interesting facts about the art of pottery.

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The cultural exchange between Austria and Slovakia was happening quite naturally, as long as there were no borders. Follow the footsteps of people who lived in the border region centuries ago and learn more about our ancestors with the project Cross Border Archives.

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