Starý most (English: Old Bridge) is the oldest still-standing bridge over the river Danube in Bratislava, Slovakia. The 460 meter long bridge includes a wooden pathway for pedestrians, a two-lane road and railway track, connecting unspoiled historic Bratislava with Petržalka. The bridge was closed for all traffic since May 15th, 2010 but now only automobiles are banned.
Formerly, the bridge was called Most Červenej armády, i.e. Red Army Bridge,Štefánikov most,Ferenc József híd and Franz Josef brücke.History
Aside from short-lived wooden bridges before the 19th century, which were often damaged or destroyed by floods and frost, the first bridge in Bratislava was a pontoon bridge, which was built in 1825, standing somewhere around Koronázási domb tér or Krönungshügel platz (today's Ľudovít Štúr square). It lasted until 1891, when a new steel bridge called Franz Josephs Brücke (Franz Joseph Bridge), was opened, which was part of the railroad track Bratislava-Szombathely. It was built by Gábor Baross' order. During the first Czechoslovak republic (1918 - 1938) it was called Štefánikov most (Štefánik Bridge). During World War II the steel part of the bridge was destroyed, but the stone pillars survived. After the freeing of Bratislava by Soviet troops in 1945, the Red Army and German prisoners-of-war rebuilt the bridge. Although it was meant only as a temporary solution, it still stands today due to the lack of funds.Auto-Free Future
A closure for road traffic (except public transport) started on January 1, 2009. A closure for public transport, walkers and cyclists started on May 15, 2010 but a wooden lane was built for runners and cyclists. A complete reconstruction of the bridge is planned for the future. The bridge is then to be used solely for the planned high-speed tram track to Petržalka. The bridge used to serve Vienna by tram. The old toll house now serves beer. Many boats run under the bridge. An art gallery exists at the foot of the bridge. The Lido swimming pool, forest and parkland are at the other end of the bridge.