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Thanks to the title of European Capital of Culture 2013, Košice has become a real European center of culture and art. A unique multifunctional space for contemporary art has grown from the dilapidated building of the old indoor swimming pool on Rumanova Street. The reconstruction, worth almost 7.5 million euros, financed by the European Commission, opened its doors to visitors in July 2013 after a year of reconstruction.

Kunsthalle

Thanks to the title of European Capital of Culture 2013, Košice has become a real European center of culture and art. A unique multifunctional space for contemporary art has grown from the dilapidated building of the old indoor swimming pool on Rumanova Street. The reconstruction, worth almost 7.5 million euros, financed by the European Commission, opened its doors to visitors in July 2013 after a year of reconstruction.

The old indoor swimming pool is considered one of the most architecturally valuable buildings, built at the turn of the 50s and 60s of the last century in Košice. It was built in the years 1957 - 1962 according to the projects of the Košice architect Ladislav Greč. The artistic decoration of the interior is the work of the artist Herta Ondrušová-Viktorínová. The swimming pool was open until the end of the 70's. After the abolition of the Mlynský náhon drive and the reconstruction of the riverbed into a four-lane road, the groundwater dropped and subsequently static faults on the building occurred. The perimeter of the perimeter was damaged and the pool body leaked. After finding serious problems, the operation was canceled and only the exterior part worked. The covered part has been closed since 1992 and the building was not used until the summer of 2013 due to poor technical condition. The drainage of the riverbed and the rerouting of Mlynský náhon damaged several buildings in the area.

Although the city still dealt with the issue of the reconstruction of the city swimming pool worth CZK 15 million in 1988, nothing was invested in the dilapidated building. In addition to the 25 m pool, there were steam baths with wet and dry steam, smaller pools and baths, the so-called "cleansing baths". The indoor pool was the fourth built in Slovakia and was one of the most architecturally beautiful in Czechoslovakia in this period. At the time of its opening, the indoor swimming pool could no longer fully satisfy the needs of swimmers, water polo players, divers, non-swimmers training or the requirements of the general public. Therefore, a project was approved for the addition of an outdoor pool 50 × 21 meters and a children's pool 20 × 6 meters (today's Municipal Swimming Pool). The outer part has been renovated and since 1997 it has functioned as a summer swimming pool.

The building is one of the symbols of old Košice. Its architecture is unique, it has a great location in the city center and at the same time it is surrounded by the greenery of the City Park. After its reconstruction into the Kunsthalle / Art Hall, a new stage of existence began. It is still connected with the glorious past by its unique architecture, with the future by a modern way of use.

Before the reconstruction, there were several projects for the reconstruction of the swimming pool, the water world, spa or relaxation center were planned here. In the end, it remained a space for the presentation of artists. The technically rare building stands in the protection zone of the monument reservation. It did not change its original appearance much. It recalls the 1960s, when it was a modern building where people from Košice used to go swimming, which the unchanged architecture still reminds us of. Only the damaged single-storey wings on the west and east side were demolished and new ones were built. The roof structure has been preserved and the windows have been replaced, which respect the shape and division of the original fillings. The mosaic typical of the swimming pool and inseparable did not disappear from the interior. It was restored and moved to the first floor, where it recalls the years when the swimming pool was still fully functional. Only around did everything change for the worse and there was a danger that those times would never return. Fortunately, everything remained as it was, only without water. The pool in the central area of the hall today is filled with art. And so the world of water was connected with culture.

Kunsthalle / Košice Art Hall currently serves mainly for the presentation of contemporary visual art by domestic and foreign artists.

Updated on: 1.10.2021
Source: Kunsthalle

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Kunsthalle
Košice
Region: Košický
District: Košice I
Area: Abov
 48.72512859, 21.26086956

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