BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (Jul. 17)
Unlike Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, Bratislava, the capital of neighboring Slovakia, is still off the beaten track for most tourists.
Innovations over the past year or so, however, have made Bratislava a more attractive place for Jewish visitors.
Key among these innovations was the opening a year ago of the Chez David, a kosher restaurant and hotel in a fully refurbished building owned by the Jewish community.
The building is on a quiet street not far from the Jewish community’s offices.
Chez David offers eight plain but comfortable double rooms.
Each room comes with telephone and satellite television, and one suite has its own cooking facilities.
A small, modern mikvah is expected to begin operation in the basement of the building soon.
The hotel staff will handle travel, sightseeing and other arrangements for guests.
The hotel hopes to provide access to the underground tomb of the early 19th-century rabbi and scholar, the Chatam Sofer.
The Chatam Sofer, whose given name was Moses Sofer, was one of the towering figures of Orthodox Jewish life in Central Europe.
Chez David is located near Bratislava’s new Jewish Museum, which opened a year ago.
The museum, though small, is one of the best examples of a Jewish museum in East-Central Europe.
It is designed not only to display precious Jewish ritual objects and other Judaica, but also to teach visitors about Jewish life and traditions in this country.