Attractions in Bratislava
Most of the attractions in Bratislava are within the historic Old Town within walking distance of some of them are easily reachable by public transportation.
St Martins Cathedral
St. Martin's Cathedral, the biggest, oldest and finest church in Bratislava was built in the gothic style. It was consecrated and officially opened in 1452, but it had taken nearly two centuries from ground-breaking (1221) to complete this Gothic cathedral. During the time when Bratislava (Pozsony) was the capital of the Kingdom of Hungary, a series of Hungarian Kings and Queens, including Maria Theresa, were crowned here. On the top of the tower there is a large Hungarian crown (replica of the distinctive Crown of St Stephen) from the 19th century. Over the portal that used to be the cathedral's main entrance, there is a Gothic relief depicting the Holly Trinity.
Bratislava Castle is the town's most prominent landmark on the hill, overlooking the Danube. In the 9th century it was a Great Moravian fortress. In the 10th century, it was rebuilt and became the Hungarian King's residence and a border post. It has been rebuilt every century, accordingly to almost every possible style. The flooring has dates back to the reign of Sigmund of Luxemburg (during the first half of the 15th century). During the reign of Maria Theresa, it became an imperial palace. After a fire in 1811, the castle began to go to ruin. Reconstructions began in 1954 but it was unused until 1968.
Parts of the castle are open to the public, and contain exhibitions of the Slovak National Museum. It is open all of year: Tuesday - Sunday: 10:00 - 22:00 (closed on Mondays). Address: Bratislava Castle, Bratislava. Telephone: 00421-2/54411444
St. Michael's Tower
St. Michael's Tower is the only one of the Watch Tower Gates that is still standing. This is the gateway into the old town from the North. There is a very interesting exposition about Arms and Municipal Fortifications on sixth floor of the tower. If you go up to the very top of the tower you will have an outstanding view of Bratislava, and an excellent photo opportunity of the castle. It is open all of year: Wednesday - Monday: 10:00 - 17:00 (closed on Tuesday). Address: Michalska 22, Bratislava
Grassalkovich Palace was built for the Chairman of the Hungarian Royal Council. It's one-story building with a central Spanish hall branching up into two staircases. The statues depict the four seasons. Behind the castle, there are beautiful French gardens.
The National Theatre
The theatre was built in 1886 in the Neorenaissance by Viennese architects F. Fellner and H. Helmer. The main facade and the balconies are decorated by allegorical statues. In 1888, a fountain with a bronze eagle was constructed in front of the theatre. Today the building is home to the National Opera and Ballet.
The castle Devín
Unbelievably close to Bratislava's Old Town (ten minutes by car, of twenty by bus), but marvellously secluded from the city is the Castle Devin. It was a border fortification and the outpost guarding trading routes at the confluence of the Danube and Morava rivers. In the 9th century, it became a Slavic fortress (in 864 it was named the fortress of Sir Rastislav). A Gothic castle was built there in the Middle Ages ( Hungarian Kingdom) and later rebuilt in the Renaissance. In 1809 it was destroyed by Napoleon's army. Since that time it has been a ruin.
This beautiful palace has seen a unique share of Kings and Queens over the years. In 1805 Napoleon signed here the Pressburg Peace Treaty. The palace houses today parts of the Municipal Museum. It has an excellent collection of English Tapestries, which were found hidden in the palace. The chapel within the Palace can still be hired for weddings.
Novy Most deserves a mention too. The unusual design may or may not be an eyesore, but what's worse is, that the highway leading on from the bridge, ripped up a part of the old town when it was built. You can take a lift to the top of the bridge and by drinking a coffee you can enjoy the unbelievable panoramic view of the city. It is open all the year: Monday - Sunday: 10:00 - 22:00. Address: Novy Most, Bratislava. Telephone: 00421-2/62317746