Bratislava

I have to recognize that many people doesn’t know where Slovakia is.  It’s only 60 kilometers from Vienna, 60 kilometers from the border with the Czech Republic and just a half hour drive from Hungary. Not a bad location at all. This is the best base to stay  if you want visit  all 3 cities. Wiena is only  1h by car, Prague only 3 h, Budapest 2h and finaly slovak highest mountains Vysoke Tatry 3h.

I’m from Slovakia small beautiful town called Trnava which is just a 40km from Bratislava.  I always wondered why tourist comes to Bratislava if there is nothing comparing with fairytail Prague and magestic Wiena. After all my friend who visit Bratislava gives me reasons:

  • It’s the kind of city that always feels like a town, with a relaxed atmosphere and a lack of things such as heavy city noise, maniacal traffic or crowded streets.
  • Bratislava is almost entirely walkable and discoverable on foot you dont need take bus or taxi to discover it ( Bratislava has no metro)
  • good food , cheap and excellent beer

I tought …mmmm is time to discover it. I’m living abroad since 1997 so was not dificult to by turist in this city for me.

Bratislava have come from an Old Slavic name  it sounded symbolic – it seemed to combine the words for Brat”brother (hood)” and “Slav, glory, fame.”

Brat- i- slava (Brother-and-glory)

Bratislava is also the only capital city in the world which borders two independent countries, it city limits stretch all the way to the borders with Austria to the west and Hungary to the south.

I  have to admit that Bratislava castle is one of the most unusual castles I’ve ever seen. From far Bratislava Castle looks like an inverted table upside down.

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The castle is now primarily a museum and can be accessed from three impressive gates: The Sigmund gate, Vienna gate and the Nicholas gate. The view itself to be worth the hike up the hill!

Vienna gate by night .

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Bratislava castle by night 

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St. Micheal’s gate this impressive gateway is one of city emblems the only remaining entrance way of the old medieval fortifications of the city and also is one of the oldest structures in Bratislava. The tower now hosts the Museum of weapons

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The Building of Slovak radio is shaped like an inverted pyramid. The building was included in a list of the 30 ugliest buildings in the world. But I find it intristing no so ugly. Was constructed in the style of socialist architecture during the era of communist Czechoslovakia.

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Bratislava itself only got it’s present name 90 years ago having been known as “Pressburg” to the Germans and Pozsony to the Hungarians, but it’s true history dates back to the Celts , Roman settlers and of course the Slavs, the area has in fact been inhabited since around 500BC which makes it much older than the likes of Prague and Budapest!

Presidential Palace this elegant rococo palace from 1760 is the residence of the President of the Slovak Republic and called by many as Slovak White House. I find it very elegant building. The palace was used for many balls and parties of the Habsburg royal court and it became a center of Baroque musical life. Joseph Haydn performed some of his works here.

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Most SNP is an abbreviation of the Slovak tongue twister Most Slovenského národného povstaniawhich in English would be translated as Bridge of the Slovak National Uprising. The bridge has earlier been known as Nový Most, in English the New Bridge. A more common name used by many a foreigner is the UFO Bridge.The tower, making the bridge unique in Europe, is around 95 meters high. It sad that during construction a big portion of the old town was demolished to make way for the road leading to the bridge. This included most of the old Jewish quarters, including the old synagogue.

There is a restaurant at the top – the view is lovely and the cocktails are heavenly up there!

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One of the most popular places for taking pictures is the bronze statue of Napoleon leaning against a bench on the Main square in the Old Town. The statue commemorates the stay of French soldiers back in 1805 . The French victory was confirmed in the agreement known as the Peace of Pressburg ( Bratislava)

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Statue of Náci (real name Ignác Lamár) was a man who became an essential part of the atmosphere of Bratislava’s streets and cafés for almost 40 years. Inhabitants of Bratislava knew him as a polite, quiet and poor man, always nicely dressed in a tailcoat and hat. He used to walk around the Old Town greeting women with the words “I kiss your hand” in German, Hungarian and Slovak and presenting them with flowers.

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Memorial of old synagogue that was demolished to make way for the road leading to the new SNP ” UFO “bridge.

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On the street that passes through the Michael’s gate is the so-called “zero kilometre” plate, listing the distances of 29 world capitals from Bratislava.

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Historical building of the Slovak National Theatre was built in a neo-renaissance style and opened to the public in 1886. It is located on Hviezdoslav Square, where US President George W. Bush gave a public speech in 2005.

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There is much more for discover in Bratislava. So see you soon there !!!

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