Discover the charm of Bratislava

Jul 20 2023.

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Impromptu trips are always the best and that is what really fuels me as a travel aficionado. On a recent visit to Vienna we did just that and hopped on a train to Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. Within an hour of departing Vienna we were in Bratislava.

A former communist country, Bratislava has retained much of its old world charm. If you get to Bratislava early morning there are may roadside cafes where you can have breakfast in an al fresco setting. After that the first stop you need to head to is St Michael’s Gate in the Old Town. This quaint
town is full of character and typical of a town square. There are many tourists shops and bars lining either side of the road as you make your way to St Michael’s Gate. St. Michael’s Gate is the main entrance to the Old Town and was built in the early 14th century. The gate was named after the Archangel Michael, who is considered a protector of Bratislava. It consists of a square tower above the gate with its green copper roof, with a walkway on the ground floor. The Town Museum has a series of weapons on display there. St. Michael’s Gate is the only surviving city gate from medieval Bratislava,
making it one of the city’s oldest buildings.

The next stop is the Old Town Hall which is a set of buildings in the main square in Bratislava. Dating back to the 15th century, the structures represent the city’s long history. The building isthe oldest city hall in Slovakia and one of its oldest remaining stone structures, although it has been reconstructed several times since its original construction, with the tower built approximately in 1370.

With its pinkish hue The Primate’s Palace dates back to 1778. A classicist building, the palace houses portraits of Hungarian rulers which are exhibited in the picture gallery. Unfortunately the day we toured Bratislava, the Bratislava City Musuem was closed. Housed in the Old Town Hall which was founded in 1868 this is the place to visit if you are a history buff and would like to lean more about local history. There are exhibits such as antique weapons, armour, paintings and old dungeons.

If castles are your thing, then head to Bratislava Castle which dominates the skyline with its four towers and colossal walls. Built on top of a hill directly above the Danube river it is an imposing structure that
casts its shadow on the Slovakian capital. With the passage of time the castle has changed. In the 15th
century it had a Gothic style. However in the 16th century King Ferdinand ordered the castle to be rebuilt in the Renaissance style and finally in the 17th century it was rebuilt in the Baroque style. During World War II the castle suffered much damage but was rebuilt.

During your meandering, you will also see several statues and you can’t say that you have been to Bratislava if you have not found yourself staring at the many statues dotted around the place. My favourite statue was along the promenade which leads to the old town. By Hviezdoslavovo square
stands a unique statue of a lady with a deer beside her. Another unmissable site is the St Martins
Church which is Bratislava’s three knave gothic church built on the site of a previous Romanesque church. The large interiors feature a grand internal divided portal with a preserved tympanum and a relief of the Holy Trinity. It has four chapels: the canons’ chapel; the Gothic chapel of Sophia of Bavaria,
widow of the Czech King Wenceslas IV; the chapel of St Anne; and the baroque chapel of St John the Merciful. The portal of the southern antechamber represents the oldest example of Renaissance
architecture in Slovakia.



Tina Edward Gunawardhana

Tina Edward Gunawardhana is a journalist specialising in travel, fashion, lifestyle, cuisine and personalities. She is also the Deputy Editor for Hi!! Magazine. An intrepid traveller, she likes to show readers the world through her eyes and experiences. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram - tinajourno [email protected]


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