This is how Krásna Hôrka, a castle in Eastern Slovakia, was known to the world for nearly 7 centuries:
The castle (whose literal name is "beautiful little hill") has survived conflicts between Turks and the Austrian empire and many other events. However, if something survives for 670 years, it doesn't mean that it's here forever.
If the detailed reports are accurate, gypsy kids were burning grass around the castle today. (Later stories were about two boys, 10 and 11 years old, who were smoking cigarettes.) This shouldn't be done. Why? Because the result may look like this:
See photographs from the fire.
The fire was just the huge. The roof is completely gone. This may happen to precious things if we don't protect them – and sometimes even if we do. Fortunately, most (90 percent) of the collections etc. were saved. It is ironic that a fancy reconstruction was completed very recently, in April 2011.
Click the picture for a gallery of pictures of the castle after the fire...
This monstrous fire may have been a template for what expects Slovakia – a "shiny" future. In the parliamentary elections today, the socialist party called "Smer" (Direction) led by Robert Fico may even conquer a majority in the Parliament, after it receives 45% of votes and several small parties below 5% won't make it to the Parliament.
Mr Fico has previously declared that the defeat of communism wasn't an important event in his life or the history of his country. It was an ordinary coup that didn't affect his life in a visible way. This privileged guy from a working-class family was "too busy at work to notice" (as a member of the communist party with a degree in law, he worked at a communist party's legal think tank). This is just an example that says something about his politics. Of course that as a modern Jánošík (Slovak Robin Hood), he wants to tax the rich and spread the stolen money to the poor who will give him many votes again.
I don't know whether the expected victory of Mr Fico or the fire at Krásna Hôrka is a worse news for Slovakia today...
Despite the scary defeat by the socialists, the right-wing parties mostly celebrate, except for SDKU. KDH, the Christian Democratic Movement, celebrates that they became the strongest right-wing party while many other right-wing parties celebrate that they made it to the Parliament at all. It's kind a sick reaction, suggesting that they're detached from the reality.
There are silver linings of the elections. The Slovak National Party, SNS, is out of the Parliament for the first time. That's also true for the communist party called 99% (name inspired by the Occupy Movement) which has received the "remaining" 1% :-) and won't join the Parliament. The binational Hungarian-Slovak Most-Bridge-Hid got into but SMK, a Hungarian coalition, is out, too.