admin The history of Bratislava spans more than two millennia. From 1291 a free royal town, for 300 years it was honoured as the coronation town of the “Hungarian” kings. Bratislava enjoys a number of “firsts” over other towns in Slovakia – Academia Istropolitana, the first University of the Humanities, was founded here by King Mathew I Corvinus (1465); it has the oldest town hall (15th century); the Rococo Apponyi Palace houses collections of the oldest city museum (1868); the oldest park in Central Europe, today’s Janko Kráľ’s orchard on the right bank of the Danube, was opened in 1776. The beauty of historical Bratislava is complemented by its magnificent aristocratic palaces and burgher houses – Mirbach’s and Pálffy’s Palaces with displays of the Bratislava City Gallery, the Primate’s Palace – the residence of Bratislava’s mayor, and cultural institutions – the Slovak National Theatre historical building (1886) and Reduta housing the Slovak Philharmonic.
The Gothic St. Martin’s Cathedral, Franciscan Church, the Church of the Clare Nuns and the Art Nouveau Blue Church are among its precious sacred buildings. Other places of interest in the city are the Red Crayfish Pharmacy (16th century), the Rococo House of the Good Shepherd with its exhibition of historical clocks. Bratislava’s attractions are its three historical squares linked by old romantic streets. Their delightful cafés, wine bars with a chance to sample the local wines or restaurants with national and world cuisine provide refreshment after an exhausting day spent touring. The city’s surroundings are also attractive with Devín castle, the Danube banks and the forest park on the south-facing slopes of the Small Carpathians – these all enhance the charm of Bratislava, which fully deserves its epithet as the “Beauty on the Danube”.
Bratislava, the metropolis of Slovakia, is one of Europe’s youngest capitals. It is the political, business, cultural and educational centre of Slovakia, with 431,061 inhabitants and is filled with young people, thanks to its eleven universities. Its streets are crowded with tourists and businessmen alike, it is a prosperous venue close to two other capitals, Vienna and Budapest, which are also to be found on the Danube.
Bratislava, renowned as a city of culture, keeps this status to the present day, as is borne out by the presence of 20 museums, 80 galleries, theatres headed by the Opera of the Slovak National Theatre which attracts music enthusiasts from all over the world. Its musical tradition associated with Mozart, Beethoven, and Liszt continues in its prestigious international festivals – Bratislava Music Festival, Bratislava Jazz Days and Cultural Summer in the streets of the city. Bratislava is currently experiencing a building boom. The face of the city is being enhanced with new prominent features of modern architecture, luxury
residential centres, shopping and entertainment centres. Bratislava centre really comes to life in the evenings. Its cafés, bars, restaurants, summer pavement cafés, casinos and disco-bars are crowded with young people from different countries speaking a variety of languages.
- The majestic silhouette of Bratislava castle towering 85 metres above the Danube is visible over a great distance. It was nicknamed the “inverted table” due to its four massive towers. The remains of a stone built 9th century basilica as part of a fort from the Great Moravian Empire era have been found on the eastern terrace of the castle.
- The monumental Gothic triple-naved St. Martin’s Cathedral in which ten kings, one queen (Maria Theresa) and eightroyal consorts were crowned prior to 1830. Several splendid artistic works in the Baroque style have been preserved in its interior.
- The Primate’s Palace is a gem of Classicist architecture. In its Mirror Hall, the so-called Treaty of Pressburg was signed in 1805 which endorsed the victory of Napoleon’s army at the battle of Austerlitz. Currently, one can admire a complete set of six English tapestries from the 17th century on its premises.
- The Rococo Grassalkovich Palace, with its large garden in the French classical style open to the public, is currently the seat of the President of the SR. The square in front has as its centre-piece a modern fountain called Earth – the planet of peace (1982).
- The pedestrian zone in Bratislava leads under Michael’s Gate, the only surviving gate of the medieval town fortifications. Its tower provides a magnificent view of the historical centre.
- The annual coronation festival recalls the town’s glorious past. The ceremonial procession follows “the coronation route”, which is marked with 178 brass crowns inset into the pavement in the historical centre.
- Bratislava’s visitors like to pose next to picturesque statues in the city
- The Danube banks are linked by several bridges. The singlepylon Bridge SNP with no pillar in the river bed is an unusual structure. Its attraction is the UFO-shaped restaurant on the top of the pylon, with a wonderful aerial view over the city.
- The new bridge connecting Bratislava (Devínska Nová Ves) with Lower Austrian castle of Schlosshof makes cultural sights and recreational spots easily accessible even for biking fans. (www.schlosshof.at)
- A popular place where Bratislavans like to go for a trip is the Sandberg sandstone area, a world-renowned paleontological site where 300 types of fossils have been found. They are the remains of creatures which lived in the shallow seas covering this territory 14 – 16 million years ago.
- Zlaté piesky – suburban recreation area for relaxation, with hotel and campsite.
- White-water sports area in Čunovo offers high-adrenalin entertainment –slalom and rafting. The Hochschorner brothers, three times Olympic gold-medallists, practised in these wild rapids. The sports area forms part of the Gabčíkovo water scheme.
- The special architecture of Danubiana, one of the most recent museums of modern art, built on a unique peninsula in the Danube, one of the greatest of European rivers, just 15 km from Bratislava centre, attracts the attention of visitors.
- An inventive architectural solution– a building in a shape of a boat “floating” on Dunajská street.
Districts of Bratislava:
Bratislava I - Staré Mesto
Bratislava II - Ružinov, Vrakuňa. Podunajské Biskupice
Bratislava III - Nové Mesto, Rača, Vajnory
Bratislava IV - Karlova Ves, Devín, Dúbravka, Lamač, Záhorská Bystrica, Devínska Nová Ves
Bratislava V - Petržalka, Jarovce, Rusovce, Čunovo
Bratislava City Card offers discounts to all visitors of the Slovak capital and enables everyone to experience the best of what Bratislava has to offer. A detailed list of discount providers along with information on individual discounts can be found in the enclosed PDF-brochure below.
MAIN CARD BENEFITS
Free unlimited travel on the public transport network in the zones 100+101 (trams, trolleybuses, bus lines 20 – 799, night lines N21 – N99 and train routes S)
Free hour-long walking city tour in Slovak, English, German, Spanish, Italian and French
Free trilingual guide for the card holders
Special offer for families with children
Children up to 15 years of age are entitled to join the guided walking tour for free when accompanied by their parents – holders of the Bratislava City Card.
Other benefits for children visiting the city
Children up to 6 years of age travel on the public transport for free and are also offered free of discounted admission to all museums, galleries and attractions.
Children aged 6 and over are entitled to discounted travel on public transport and discounted admission to all museums and galleries and to most attractions.
More information www.visitbratislava.com