The capital of Slovakia is Bratislava, a city of nearly 420,000 inhabitants located in the south-west of the country, very near the border with Austria and Hungary, extended along the Danube. With the influx of investment funds followed all ‘EU membership, the sound of construction work in various districts indicates that the city is constantly growing. In the city the air is euphoric, the inhabitants leave the streets at all hours of the day animating squares and streets of downtown. Nobody can know what further transformations will go against Bratislava in the coming years, but for now most of the old town is walkable. And ‘undoubtedly impressive walk for hours through the intricate streets pedestrian, stop for a coffee in one of the premises that will meet along the road, visiting churches and museums and not see the shadow of a car.
It hard to believe that the capital of Slovakia has not been part of this country for a long time. Bratislava to exist officially began in 1919, while in the previous 700 years of history was known as Pressburg (in Austria ) and Bratislava (in Hungary) and could count on a population with strong international attitudes. The spot where now stands the center is inhabited by at least 4,000 years in the second century AD, the Romans settled there, which was followed in the fifth century, the first Slavs. In the tenth century it was the turn of the Magyars, who remained there until the outbreak of WWI. Just after the war, with the Slovak name Bratislava, the city became part of the new Czechoslovakia.
In March 1939, when Slovakia became a farce Government annexed to Nazi Germany, Bratislava became the dress rehearsal to take the title of capital of a nation. In the ’70s, the city experienced a lapse of rampant modernization, with the Novy most bridge, the “New Bridge”, built after demolishing the remains of the old Jewish quarter, while the huge apartment buildings began to replace the Petrzalka villages on the south bank of the Danube. With the creation in 1993 of the Slovak Republic, Bratislava has returned to its role as capital and the old town has been able to make up the look.
The first thing to put in mind is that Bratislava should be visited as a whole, not just to a particular monument much more attractive than others. Their legs, also considering the extension of the pedestrian, are therefore the best means of transport to fully enjoy the beauties of Stare Mesto, the “old town”, and the area surrounding the castle. It is this area between Hlavne Nam and the Danube river, is perhaps the richest of attractions.
Located in the western part of the old town, Bratislava Castle dominates the hill above the Danube River with its towering ramparts. The structure, which vaguely resembles a four-poster bed, was the seat of royal Hungary during the Turkish occupation of Budapest and was largely destroyed by fire in 1811. Many of the parts that you see today are in fact reconstructions dating back to the ’50s. In the fort complex are the History Museum, whose visit is included in the climb to the top of korunnà Veza, the “tower of the crown”, and the Museum of Music. Also interesting is the Devin Castle, reachable by boat or by bus because the place nine kilometers away from the center. This complex, whose earliest buildings date back to Roman times, is characterized by the presence of traces of different historical periods with different functions. There is a prison of the fifteenth century, a port of the sixteenth century, the foundations of a church of the ninth century, a sixteenth century palace and a fortress of the thirteenth century, beautifully restored. Often in the castle events and cultural festivals are held.
The number of older homes that winds along the hillside of the Bratislava Castle in Zidovska is all that remains of the former Jewish quarter. Among these houses in a poor state of preservation that stands out in view of the house more “subtle” in Central Europe, within which lies the small Clock Museum, which, together with the Museum of Jewish Culture and the tomb of Rabbi Chatam Sofer, One of the major attractions of the district. Staromestka passing under the highway and continuing into the pedestrian area of Old Town, you will run into a small monument in memory of the Holocaust, near which stands the Cathedral of San Martino, built in Gothic style around the fourteenth century. On the spire, instead of the cross, there is a golden crown, a symbol that reminds us within 11 monarchs have been crowned Habsburg-Hungarian.
Continuing the walk, you reach the shores of the Danube, flanked by long avenues, shady and pleasant. In the center, always along the river, is the Slovak National Gallery, which houses the largest art collection in the country. The narrow, tree-lined Hviezdoslavovo nam follows the path of a ditch, now covered, leading to the square and guarded by the neo-Baroque Slovak National Theatre, the main town house for opera and ballet, completed in 1886. South of Hviezdoslavovo nam, along Mostova, Reduta Palace is a notable example of Neo-Baroque architecture, completed in 1914 and used as a ballroom. On the bridge of the Danube will be impressed, for better or for worse) by the large water tower, which with its shape reminiscent of a Russian domination. On its top is a panoramic restaurant, which offers an excellent view over the old town and castle.
In the historical center of Old Town, are some beautiful baroque palaces built when the Hungarians moved their capital here. In addition to the buildings should be noted Hlavne nam, the square once the center and main market, still able to attract the attention of tourists because of the stalls of handicrafts during the Easter and Christmas markets. The Roland Fountain, built in 1572 in the middle of the square, is another source of pride for Hlavne nam. On one side of the square stands the old town hall, which houses the Museo Civico. Other town attractions include: the Primate’s Palace, one of the finest neoclassical buildings of Slovakia , surmounted by a bishop’s hat made of cast iron weighing 150 kg, the tower of Michael, the only city gate still standing, the Milan Dobes Museum, a small contemporary art museum that houses many international exhibitions, the Municipal Gallery of Bratislava, which has two large exhibition spaces, and the Palffy Palace, an eighteenth century building built on the site of an old structure of the thirteenth century .
Top events in Bratislava and recurrences are attributable to artistic and cultural celebrations. Among these: the Summer Cultural Festival, which offers a wide range of operas and plays in the streets and venues of the city from June to September and Bratislava Jazz Days, three-day swing in the month of September, the Bratislava Music Festival, an event dedicated to classical music which is held annually from late September to mid October, and the Christmas market, which usually begins on November 26 in Hlavne nam, with stalls selling handicrafts and food products that fill the square.
The climate is continental, distinctly divided into four seasons. The coldest month is January, during which the average temperatures range from -3 to 2 degrees, while the warmest is July, when the average stood at 14 and 26 degrees respectively for the minimum and maximum. One feature is rather annoying at times the wind that often blows in summer than in winter. Rainfall is not too abundant and amounted to around 500/600 mm of rain per year, with June, July and August that stand out as the wettest months.
Airport Bratislava Airport is the MR Stefanika, a port located seven kilometers north-east of the center. To move around the country are very comfortable buses, whose main station, also called Mlynske Nivy, is located 1.5 km east of the old city. Given the proximity to Vienna, a second possibility is to fly over the capital of Austria. The main railway station, Hlavná stanica, is located approximately one kilometer north of downtown, and is crossed every day by numerous national trains, but also headed to the nearby Prague. To get around the city buses and taxis types are more than enough to choose from depending on available funds, bearing in mind that the size of the center are small and that their legs are still the best means of transport.
Originally posted 2012-08-02 11:03:58.