A nondescript place it may seem, but the land is steeped in history and every street or castle has a story to tell. The places are straight out of a fairy-tale book, with castles, domes, cathedrals, haunting you even years after your visit!
Bratislava the capital of the Slovak Republic lies to the southwest of Slovakia, 140 meters above sea-level, thus making temperatures freeze. The city is typically set on the hills, with the Danube River at its foothills! Located just 60 kms from Vienna, makes it an enchanting place. It's a pity that many buildings were destroyed during World War II. If you wish to have a quiet, yet memorable holiday transporting you to a different century, Bratislava is a good option.
Music maestros like Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn have performed here, making it the City of Music! Musical operas and social events are concerted at the Reduta, a spacious building. The Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra is housed here! Do book for a show with your beloved and get transported to a colonial era!
The Old Town is a neighborhood steeped in history and culture. The narrow by-lanes, Noble's Palaces and Burgher's houses give a quaint European touch. The Leopold de Pauli Palace gains prominence as a place where Franz Liszt performed as a child. Within the square, is the Torture Display, where old methods of punishing offenders, are on display. This is akin to the one at Madam Tussauds at London.
However, the centre of attraction in the square is a fountain prominently placed, which rotates partly on New Year 's Eve, ringing in the New Year.
Grassalkovich Palace a one storey-building on Hodzovo Square, has at its centre, the Spanish hall, which bifurcates into two separate staircases. There are statues aligned at the staircases, signifying the four seasons- spring, summer, fall and winter. The French gardens are breathtakingly beautiful too.
A visit to the Bratislava Castle watching over the River Danube, is believed to date back to the Stone Age!! The castle stands majestic, over two countries Austria and Hungary. This could be one castle in history that was recreated in different styles. In the 15th century, the castle got a touch of Gothic style, when a fortress was built. The 16th century saw it being rebuilt in the Renaissance style, at the behest of King Ferdinand. At the advent of the 17th century, it was recreated in the baroque style! Today, the castle houses a museum showcasing period furniture and clocks and the music exhibition.
At the confluence of two rivers-the Danube and the Morava, is the impressive Devin Castle. The oldest settlements date back to 5000 BC! In 1809, Napolean's army destroyed it. The castle offers a panoramic view of the rivers and Austria. It remains closed after October, for winter.
The Primatial Palace is stunning with its roof bearing statues of several important figures in the history of Slovakia. Amongst these, is Cardinal's hat weighing 150 kgs! The statues and halls are reminiscent of wars and treaties.
The Gothic churches that dot Slovakia are many, but worth a mention is the 14th century St. Martin's Dome. The stained glass windows and elaborately carved chairs in the choir lend an old-world charm, which could entice you to say "I do", all over again! The church gained prominence, after Beethoven played the Missa Solemnis for the first time here!
Bratislava is a land of many surprises and St. Elizabeth's Church or the Blue Church made of blue and white icing is extraordinary, with ornate designs in white, against a bright blue background.
The 14 the century Michael's Gate is done in Gothic style. The view at the top, provides a bird's eye view of the whole of Bratislava! Enclosed, is a museum that exhibits war artilleries like swords and cannons. It's believed that, students who speak while walking below the tower will fail in examinations!
Take a peek into the Museum of Jewish Culture, a branch of Slovak National Museum, displaying chronicles of the Slovak Jews. A miniature of a synagogue and the Holocaust memorial room, along with two jugs of the 18th century are the main attractions.
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