“I love the way textiles so often tell a story, conveying a history of the maker…”

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Stairs (of course) up to the castle. We took the long way around.

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Part of our visit to Bratislava included a climb up to the fortress overlooking the city, Bratislava Castle. As you can see from the pictures yesterday and today, the views from the castle are spectacular – down to the Danube River and out across the city. Given the strategic importance of this spot, it’s been used for thousands of years by Celts and Romans and then the Slavs and Hungarians. This defensive position withstood invasions from both the Mongols and the Ottoman Turks. Construction on the castle we see today was begun in the 10th century and continued through the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Empress Maria Theresa in particular made improvements to the royal apartments in the 18th century – the white and gold sections of the palace were her contributions.

Bratislava Castle - interior
Bratislava Castle – interior
Bratislava Castle - interior
Bratislava Castle – interior
Bratislava Castle - interior
Bratislava Castle – interior
Bratislava Castle - interior
Bratislava Castle – interior
Emblem on the gates to the castle
Emblem on the gates to the castle
After 1536 when the Ottoman Turks annexed Hungary, Bratislava remained part of the Habsburg empire and became the capital of Royal Hungary, as the remainder of Hungary not under Ottoman rule was called. The castle was used by the Habsburgs as their main residence in Bratislava (then called Pressburg). During this period, Bratislava Castle housed the Hungarian crown jewels, which can now be seen in Budapest at the Parliament building.
Statue of Svätopluk in front of the castle
Statue of Svätopluk in front of the castle

There were several exhibits inside the castle the day we were there – some related to the history of Bratislava and the castle itself, one on the early settlements of Great Moravia, ruins of former settlements underneath the existing castle, and my favorite: a textile exhibit. My mother is a gifted seamstress and craftswoman and always has something to hand on which she’s working. Several of these exhibits reminded me of her or of learning to sew with my Grandma or CC. The colors, textures and use of materials were refreshing and interesting, especially against the backdrop of the historic castle spaces.

Castle courtyard
Castle courtyard

Tomorrow’s post will include more pictures of Bratislava Old Town at night.

Title quote: Kit Kemp, Kit Kemp A Living Space
One of the decorations on the gate into the catle
One of the decorations on the gate into the castle
Gates into Bratislava Castle
Gates into Bratislava Castle
Tourist train to the castle - we didn't take it, but it looks so elegant and cute.
Tourist train to the castle – we didn’t take it, but it looks so elegant and cute.
An example of the exterior from the medieval period
An example of the exterior from the medieval period
Bratislava Castle
Bratislava Castle
View from the door of the castle
View from the door of the castle
Islands by Šperková Blanka
Islands by Šperková Blanka
Islands by Šperková Blanka
Islands by Šperková Blanka
Waterfall by Helga Cmelka
Waterfall by Helga Cmelka
Thinking Steps by Costa Luciana Gianello
Thinking Steps by Costa Luciana Gianello
Three shoe designs by Suhandan Ozay Demirkan
Three shoe designs by Suhandan Ozay Demirkan
Yesterday's Must Haves  tapestry by Christine Sawyer
Yesterday’s Must Haves tapestry by Christine Sawyer
The first room of the textile exhibit, Textile Art of Today
The first room of the textile exhibit, Textile Art of Today
One of the pieces in the textile exhibit
One of the pieces in the textile exhibit
Detail of one of the textile pieces
Detail of one of the textile pieces

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