Historical Connection

Thanks to a good geographical position of the Slovak-Austrian border-zone, trade was flourishing here very early. The first trade route of such kind was Jantárová cesta (around 900 BC) which connected southern Europe with the Baltic Sea. Podunajská cesta (another merchant route) connected the areas near the Black Sea with central Europe
Apart from long-used means of transport for long distances, there used to be also a local means of transport in the Zahorie region. This connected the Slovak frontier villages with the neighbouring Austrian ones, lying on the other bank of the Morava. These could communicate thanks to boats, later ferries and bridges. The basic stimulus for the origin of ferry service was the necessity to secure economic contact of both river banks.
One of the very oldest transport connections was the one between the villages of Moravský Svätý Ján and Hohenau. Proofs about it date back to 8th century, when merchants used it to transfer goods. A wooden bridge was built there in 19th century and it served for transporting wine, potatoes, hay, ceramics, geese, cattle and other goods. However, slaves and workers from sugar-mill, saw-mill and textile factory in Hohenau found it indispensable, too. After it had been burnt down during the Prussian wars and rebuilt, a long time had passed before it became a pontoon bridge.
The first record about ferry transport trace back to 1646. The ferry crossed the Morava from Veľké Leváre to Drösing and back.
Another important bridge was between Záhorská Ves and Angern. From 16th century until 1711, transport from Austria to Záhorská Ves and further to Malacky was possible through a wooden bridge, sustained by Angern. After several changes there is still a ferry that runs between the two villages.
Probably one of the most frequent interchange occurred between Stupava and Marchegg: the inhabitants usually transferred fruits and vegetables from one to the other bank of the river. A ferry had operated until 1918. It was used by pilgrims heading to Marianka from Austria and by Slovak people commuting to work in Austria.
An interesting item of transport was bee-hives from Záhorie region. The ferry stopped operating in 1918 but the transfer continued from 1919 again, with boats.
The only connection that was preserved even after 1945 was the bridge between Bratislava and Marchegg built in 1848. A bridge standing on 25 stone arches represented in those times the biggest railway construction. It was destroyed during the Prussian wars, like many other bridges. After the peace agreement, it was substituted by another bridge, with iron construction. However, transport on it was restricted after 1918.
The connection between the villages Devinska Nova Ves and Schlosshof had an interesting function and history. In 1771, the empress Maria Theresa had a wooden bridge built near Schlosshof. In 1809 it was torn down by ice blocks. Earl Pállfy had it rebuilt four years later. Even this bridge was damaged during the Prussian wars and renewed again after the peace treaty. Since 1880 when it was again damaged by ice blocks, there are only boats and ferries crossing the river.
A mutual connection of the two countries in the Morava zone was strengthened by interchange of experience and knowledge especially regarding craftsmanship, culture, education, religion (through pilgrimage) and gastronomy. This also resulted in mutual influence on languages and vocabulary (from as far as 14th century).
During the long period of so-called iron curtain, the Morava river became an impassable frontier. Deep roots of neighbourly relationships formed during the centuries, however, ensured that after the fall of iron curtain the contacts are revived and new ones originate.

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