A SUCCESSFUL PARADE THROUGH THE TOWN
Despite a light drizzle, the traditional parade of the delegations along the main streets of the town of Prešov took place according to plan on the afternoon of Monday December 8th, leaving from the Linea hotel, where the delegations were based.
A colourful procession, with flags waving in the wind and preceded by the ‘Dychovy Orchester Bastovanka’ brass band, thus set off into the town centre, with a police escort, to visit three different places of worship, in accordance with the programme.
First stop was the Orthodox church, where they were welcomed by the pope, Dr Jan Husar; their welcome was made yet more cordial by a choir of seminarists singing magnificent hymns.
The space lent itself well to a long-overdue family photo on the steps of the church, in an atmosphere of joyous disorder.
The second destination was the Protestant church, the parade being led by a horse-drawn carriage carrying the VIPs, namely AEHT President Ana Paula Pais, AEHT General Secretary Nadine Schintgen, School Director Jozef Senko and his deputy Marek Sotak. Beneath the sometimes astonished gaze of the onlookers now that night had fallen. In the Protestant church, an equally warm welcome from the priest, the Reverend Bakafar.
Close by, the third place of worship was the Co-Cathedral of St Nicholas, which was elevated to this status by Pope Benedict XVI in 2008, and which, in terms of its dimensions is the largest in Slovakia. A guide, Maria Vernarska, gave a very detailed presentation of the building. The visitors much appreciated an adagio played on the organ and a sung rendition of Ave Maria.
It was almost 18.00 when the participants dispersed, but not before they had passed through the Christmas market where there floated on the air, as in any Christmas market worthy of the title, an unmistakable perfume of Glühwein and cinnamon.