We are developing the newest district of Petržalka in a truly unique area, revitalizing it with a deep respect for its historical significance. In the past, this area was divided by the Iron Curtain. Today, we are building a neighbourhood on the border with Austria that will unite and connect. This is why, in collaboration with the EDULAB non-profit organization, we have developed an educational program for schools and supported the installation of an educational sign that contextualizes the historical milestones of this location. The revitalized forest park has been designed as a destination for school field trips and for the general public.
History should never be forgotten. We need to preserve its message for future generations. Therefore, we aim to present the historical context at the core of our project to school children in an engaging manner, making Nesto appealing to them as well as to history enthusiasts. We initiated educational activities by partnering with EDULAB, one of the providers of the Ministry of Education’s ‘Innovative Learning’ program in Slovakia.
“Throughout history, many borders have divided this area. Initially, it was the Limes Romanus, marking the frontier of the Roman Empire. Later, during the First Republic, it was the border of the former Czechoslovakia, and more recently, it was divided by the Iron Curtain during the Cold War. Today, we are part of the Schengen Area, symbolizing a world without borders,” says Ján Machaj from the EDULAB non-profit organization. In collaboration with Nesto, they have prepared an interactive sign to illustrate this rich history. In the future, this sign will be a part of Nesto’s modern informational system.
History at your fingertips
The sign gives details on the various borders that have been here across four historical periods. It includes basic information and facts, a timeline, illustrations and photographs. Scanning the provided QR code gives students access to information via an interactive quiz. We aim to encourage teachers and students to step away from their desks and visit this site that has witnessed multiple borders throughout its history. They can engage in on-site learning, which students often find more enjoyable and appealing. “Nesto is a place where students can experience everything that modern history learning should include and where they can literally touch history,” explained Ján Machaj. This school year, Nesto welcomed its first student visitors to the site.
Complementing classroom activities, students deliver engaging presentations on an interdisciplinary topic at the sign, offering insights into the evolving concept of borders throughout history. The advantage lies in the opportunity to see buildings and artifacts directly connected to the topics we cover in our curriculum. By experiencing history first hand, they are more likely to retain what they have learned from textbooks and maps much more effectively. This place also evokes emotions in the children, which is a profound experience for them,” says Lucia Matúšková, a history teacher who visited Nesto with her students from the Novohradská School.
Nesto’s historical monuments and artifacts :
- WW1 military cemetery
- bunker from the First Czechoslovak Republic period
- section of the Iron Curtain
- border stone marking the now invisible Schengen border between Slovakia and Austria
Connecting history and the future
Once a no-man’s land, and an off-limits border zone, we are now creating a modern neighbourhood here, beginning a new chapter in the history and aesthetics of the area.In line with this, we have rejuvenated the neighbouring forest park and historical artifacts to provide on-site education for young people,” stated Michal Brúsil, Development Manager of the Nesto project.
The area is easily accessible to visitors by car, by bicycle along the new bike path, and by public transport — bus 80, which stops at Nesto.
We welcome school groups from primary and secondary schools and the wider community to Nesto to come and experience this unique form of interactive learning. Visitors can enjoy the serene forest park, now complete with sheltered seating, comfortable loungers, benches, and facilities for a BBQ or family picnic. Our vision for this area, a short distance from the historic heart of Bratislava, is clear: to create an attractive neighbourhood and new communities connected by history, rather than divided by it,” said Michal Brúsil, representing Nesto.