Námestie Slobody

Authorization processes
Completed projects

Námestie Slobody has undergone reconstruction after decades. The fountain was restored and a new surface was added – the so-called exterior terrazzo – or new trees. Thanks to the modification, this important public space has become more pleasant and gained a new function.

The reconstruction of Námestie Slobody is one of the largest renovations of public spaces in Bratislava. As part of the project, the space was renovated and the accessibility of the fountain and the habitability of the entire square were improved. The reconstruction was carried out to preserve as many original elements as possible without changing the character of this public space. The new appearance of the square was determined by an architectural competition from 2017, the winners of which were architects from studios 2021 and LABAK.

Water returned to the Družba fountain after 16 years

The renovation of the square was carried out in two phases. The first phase includes the reconstruction of the dominant feature of the square – the Družba fountain. The fountain has a diameter of 45 meters and is one of the largest fountains in Slovakia. The central sculpture in the shape of a blooming linden blossom weighs 12 tons and is made of stainless steel. The linden blossom symbolizes friendship and peace between nations.

The intention of the architects during the restoration of the fountain was to modify the fountain’s pools and make them more accessible so that people could use them during summer. The Linden blossom was cleaned as well, acquiring its original shine. The engine room was restored as well. Part of the original pumps has been preserved and will remain underground for future generations. The wiring of the fountain was also repaired.

The newly reconstructed fountain will be powered by modern technologies, which will make the fountain more economical and environmentally friendly. In the past, up to 2,000 cubic meters of water circulated in the fountain, now it will be 10 times less.


The fountain has been drained since 2007 due to poor technical conditions – pumps, wiring, and pool waterproofing were also damaged. The design of the new fountain was approved by the heirs of its copyright.

The square itself was also restored

As part of the second phase of the works, the square itself was reconstructed. The whole revitalization respects the original character of this public space and brings sensitive changes. Key tasks included landscaping around the fountain, planting new trees and flower beds, and systematically replacing lighting.

One of the priorities was the addition of a new feature. Námestie Slobody is better adapted to social and cultural events after the reconstruction, which is one of the key moments of the square’s change. Another priority was creating barrier-free access, for example, in the second row of residential flower beds, where it is easier for parents with strollers or people with disabilities to get to.

Unique exterior terrazzo was added

There was originally an approximately 25-meter-wide strip of pavement made of granite from various quarries across Czechoslovakia. Despite the quality of the material, the original pavement cracked after forty years and was not easy to repair or restore. 

The architects decided to preserve this quality material and use it in a new form. The cracked granite pavement lining the fountain’s pool was replaced by the so-called exterior terrazzo created by recycling the original damaged pavement as well as cast basalt tiles that paved the fountain itself. The material was crushed into smaller pieces and used as a filler in the top layer of the reinforced concrete slab.

Sanding created an attractive surface following the original material. At the same time, this saved around 500 tonnes of material that would otherwise have to be taken to landfill and replaced with new material. The original ray-shaped elements of chipped pavement typical for this square have been preserved.

More greenery and natural shade

The elevated areas in the first and second rows were transformed into residential green islands with regularly mowed areas and automatic irrigation. The square added 17 cherry blossoms and honey locusts, as well as seven grown pine trees, which already provide natural shade.

After the completion of the first stage of revitalization, Námestie Slobody is a more pleasant, beautiful, and truly lively place. It offers visitors a wide range of activities, a place to relax, pleasant refreshment, or an improved space for public events.

This project is part of the Bratislava Public Spaces Renewal Scheme – Vivid Spaces