Bratislava City Gallery ­– Allowance organisation of the City of Bratislava, capital of the Slovak Republic

TAPESTRIES FROM ENGLAND  | Galéria mesta Bratislavy | Allowance organisation of the City of Bratislava, capital of the Slovak Republic


Explore the archive of exhibitions


Between 1979 and 1993, there was the Gallery of a Child at the City Gallery of Bratislava. 



Primaciálny palác
Permanent Exhibition

The Primate´s Palace, considered to be the most beautiful Classicist buildings in Bratislava, was designed by Hungarian architect Melchior Hefele for the Archbishop of Esztergom and Primate of Hungary, Cardinal Jozef Batthyany in 1778. The palace and the famous Hall of Mirrors witnessed many major historic events, such as the signature of the Treaty of Pressburg between Austria and France in 1805 or the opening session of the Hungarian Parliament that had its seat in the building of today´s University Library.

In August 1903, the palace was bought by the city. During the reconstruction, the series of six tapestries was found folded behind wallpaper in the vestibule of the Hall of Mirrors. The tapestries represent an old Greek myth about Hero and Leander. Legend has it that Hero was a priestess of the goddess Aphrodite in the town of Sestos. At the festival she met Leander, a handsome youth from the nearby town of Abydos, located across a narrow strip of water called the Hellespont. However, because she was a priestess of Aphrodite, Hero had to remain a virgin and was forbidden to marry. The two lovers decided to see each other secretly. Each night Hero would leave a lamp burning in a window of the tower in which she lived, and Leander would swim across the Hellespont, using the light to guide his way. But one stormy night, the waves tossed Leander in the sea and the breezes blew out Hero´s light, and Leander lost his way, and was drowned. The next morning, when Hero saw his lifeless body washed up on the shore, she threw herself from the tower in grief and died as well.

The tapestries were woven in the 1630s in the royal weaving workshop at Mortlake near London, run by the Dutch, Phillip de Maecht. They were designed by Franz Cleyn and reflect the influence of Flemish and partially also Italian mannerist painting. In addition to English tapestries, the State Rooms of the Primate´s Palace show Dutch and Flemish genre paintings from the 17th century and Italian paintings from the 16th and 17th centuries, all from the collections of the City Gallery of Bratislava.

The building of the Primate´s Palace has been administered by the City Council of Bratislava.

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Other exhibitions/actions

Pálffy Palace / Exhibition
Curators: Jana Kapelová a Nina Vidovencová
27. 5. 2021 - 29. 8. 2021
Mirbach Palace / Accompanying action
19. 5. 2021 - 15. 7. 2021
Mirbach Palace / Exhibition
1. 5. 2021 - 31. 12. 2021
Pálffy Palace / Exhibition
Curators: Daniela Čarná, Vladislav Malast
23. 3. 2021 - 11. 7. 2021

Františkánke nám. 11, 815 35 Bratislava

Open daily except Mondays
11am - 6 pm

Panská 19, Bratislava

Open daily except Mondays
11am - 6 pm

Pohľad z hradu Starhemberg
Author: Moritz Saint Genois
The photographs of works of art, promoting the exhibitions held at the City Gallery of Bratislava, published on the website, are subject to copyright protection under the Copyright Act. The City Gallery of Bratislava is not a copyright holder; it is the artist, or his/her heirs. The work of art becomes free more than 70 years after author´s death. The photographs of works of art published on the website can only be used with the prior written consent of the artist, his/her heir, or institution representing artist´s rights, otherwise it shall be regarded as copyright infringement.