“Čím viac tým lepšie.”

The most welcoming train station in Europe.
The most welcoming train station in Europe.

Pozsony, Pressburg, Bratislava… a city of many names. NM, TN, MD, two of MD’s college friends and I spent a sunny Sunday exploring Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. It is only about 80 km from Vienna across the Danube River. It’s a very walkable city – we took a train and were able to see the Bratislava castle and the Old Town without taking public transportation.  Bratislava has the distinction as the only national capital that borders two independent countries: Hungary and Austria.

Grassalkovich Palace, the Presidential Palace
Grassalkovich Palace, the Presidential Palace

The city has only been known as Bratislava since 1919; before that time, it was known as Pressburg, its German name or Pozsony, its Hungarian variant.

One of many sculptures in the park behind the Presidential Palace
One of many sculptures in the park behind the Presidential Palace
One of many sculptures in the park behind the Presidential Palace
One of many sculptures in the park behind the Presidential Palace

The area now known as Slovakia was settled by the Romans from the first century AD until the fall of Rome, then the Slavs in the 5th and 6th centuries. It was part of Great Moravia, the first Slavonic major state to exist in central Europe in the years following the fall of Rome. The Bratislava Castle had an interesting exhibit on Great Moravia – there is a lot that we still don’t know about the settlements, but what we do know is pretty interesting. The artifacts on display included jewelry and other fine art from the Moravian peoples and examples of what homes would have looked like.

View of the Castle
View of the Castle

During the 10th century, Bratislava was annexed to the Kingdom of Hungary.  The Ottoman Turks took over the surrounding area in the 16th century though did not conquer Bratislava itself, and it later became part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the 18th century. Bratislava was a popular place for Hungarian kings and queens to be crowned, including Maria Theresa who reigned for 40 years. She was evidently especially fond of Bratislava and did much to make it a grand European capital.

View of the castle at night
View of the castle at night
Decorative manhole cover because why not?
Decorative manhole cover because why not?

Bratislava remained part of the Austro-Hungarian empire until the end of World War I when it combined with the Czechs to form Czechoslovakia. Czechoslovakia was occupied by the Nazis during World War II and then was part of the Soviet Bloc until the fall of Communism in 1989. Slovakia and the Czech Republic peacefully separated in 1993 after what became known as the Velvet Revolution in 1989 (end of Communism in Czechoslovakia) and the Velvet Divorce in 1993 (separation of Czech Republic and Slovakia).

One of the squares in Old Town
One of the squares in Old Town

Check back tomorrow for more pictures of Bratislava Castle.

Title quote: “The more the better” in Slovak, appropriate for our large crew of folks wandering around Bratislava

An interesting blending of the old and new in Bratislava
An interesting blending of the old and new in Bratislava
One of many gorgeous streets in Bratislava. And stairs, of course.
One of many gorgeous streets in Bratislava. And stairs, of course.

 

Beautiful church near Old Town
Beautiful church near Old Town
Slovak Holocaust Memorial, commemorating the 105,000 Holocaust victims from Slovakia
Slovak Holocaust Memorial, commemorating the 105,000 Holocaust victims from Slovakia
Bratislava
Bratislava
View of the Danube from the Castle hill
View of the Danube from the Castle hill

3 thoughts on ““Čím viac tým lepšie.”

  1. Hello! I´m from Slovakia, I read your blog and regarding to your webpage I found out you have recently visited Slovakia. I will be pleasured when you will answer me few questions about Slovakia. I´m doing a little experiment, then shared on my own blog as The Taste of Slovakia Project. I will not show your personal informations, only the country you are from, to let people see how foreign tourists apperceive this country.

    1. Why did you visit Slovakia?
    2. What did you like most about Slovakia?
    3. What was the best meal you tried in Slovakia?
    4. Did you have any bad experience in Slovakia? If yes, how?
    5. Evaluate services for tourists (hotels, restaurants, public toilets…) in Slovakia.
    6. Would you recommend visitation of Slovakia to your friends?
    Thank you for your time 🙂
    Best regards,
    Simona
    Nice photos, by the way :))

    Like

    1. 1. I visited Slovakia because it’s close to Vienna, where I’m living at the moment.
      2. I liked visiting the historic sites in Bratislava most: Bratislava Castle and Old Town.
      3. I only had one meal in Slovakia, but it was a delicious beef-horseradish dish.
      4. No bad experiences at all.
      5. No issues with any of the services.
      6. I would recommend Slovakia to my friends. I had a great visit and wish I could have stayed longer.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s