In the main hall on the first floor of the Grasalkovich Palace, we watched the closed doors intently. Men in suits and women in dresses, matching protocol with the weather as best they could. We carried a bouquet from the meadows of Trenčín, woven by Baška from Kvetohrady flower gardens, and our plans - Bid books. To the sound of fanfare, the doors opened and President Zuzana Čaputová walked to meet us with a smile. It was a great moment, not only for everyone personally, but especially for Trenčín on its way to the European Capital of Culture 2026.
2. deputy Mayor of the city Trenčín Patrik Žák hands over a bouquet to the President Zuzana Čaputová, in the background the Mayor of Trenčín Richard Rybníček and the Trenčín 2026 team
The President invited the Mayor of Trenčín, Richard Rybníček, and the Trenčín 2026 team to congratulate Trenčín on winning the title of European Capital of Culture 2026. It was clear from her speech and the interview with her that she sees this as an event that will change the Trenčín region and is already representing the city, the region and Slovakia in Europe.
Speech of The President of the Slovak Republic Zuzana Čaputová
That's exactly what it is. The European Capital of Culture is a project that will improve the lives of the people of the city and the region. It involves not only the organisation of cultural events, but mainly improves the conditions for all those involved in culture and the creative industries. It also deals with building spaces for culture, training cultural professionals to be able to deliver projects at European level. It deals with public space, cultural heritage and environmental protection. It is a European project, so we are also working hard to link up with other European capitals of culture, artists and organisations and institutions from abroad.
The President was interested in the creative process during the writing of the project. We pointed out that hundreds of people worked on the project and that renowned experts and the public, people from Trenčín, Slovakia and all over the world, contributed their ideas to the project.
The President of the Slovak Republic Zuzana Čaputová in an interview with the Director of Trenčín 2026 Lucia Dubačová
When asked what will be the hallmark of the European Capital of Culture Trenčín 2026, we talked about two places in our city. The old railway bridge and its transformation into a lively place for community gatherings and cultural events, with a floating stage and transformed riverbanks that will invite people to spend time by the water. We also mentioned the unmissable building Posádkový klub (ODA), built in the Brutalist architectural style, and our plan to open it up to more public and diverse cultural events in partnership with the Ministry of Defence.
The President stressed the national importance of the project and expressed words of support for our work. She understands that our city's efforts to shine as the European Capital of Culture 2026 require rigorous preparation and support from the highest levels. We have invited her to Trenčín and we hope to be able to show her our city and its potential in person.
(Left to right) Artistic Director Lenka Kuricová, Production Manager Zuzana Kvasnicová, Program Coordinator Alexander Topilin, Outreach Manager Veronika Žák Súčanská, 2. deputy Mayor of the City Trenčín Patrik Žák, Marketing Manager Ľuboš Ľahký, Director Lucia Dubačová, Head of the Mayor's office Malvína Vaššová, President of the Slovak Republic Zuzana Čaputová, PR Manager Mirka Gúčiková, Mayor of Trenčín Trenčín Richard Rybníček, Executive Assistant Kristína Milová, Graphic Designer Martin Pyšný, Program Coordinator Veronika Juricová, Marketing Coordinator Natália Husárová, Program Coordinator Patrik Kubizna, International Relations Manager Terina Slezák Barčáková