The Castle Devin
November - March
Monday - Sunday: 10:00 am –4:00 pm, the tours take place only under favourable weather conditions
April - October
Tuesday- Sunday: 10: 00 am – 5:00 pm, the last tour begins at 4:30 pm
May - September
Tuesday - Friday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm, the last tour begins at 5:30 pm
Saturday- Sunday: 10:00 am - 7:00 pm, the last tour begins at 6:30 pm
Adults: € 3
Children, students, and retirees: € 1,50
Family tickets: € 6, with children to 14 years old
School groups (a school group of at least 10 people): € 1,30
The castle Devin is situated on a massive rock formation, guarding the strategically significant confluence of two rivers: the Danube and the Morava. Devin is also known as the place, on which were written some of significant milestones in the the history of the western Slavs and later of Slovak nation.
The surroundings of Devin was firstly inhabited during the prehistoric times. The whole region was from the second century A.D. for more than 200 years an inherent part of the Roman Empire and the location of Devin had strategic significance as one of fortifications creating the Roman border known as Limes Romanus. The rests of the Roman fortification systems was later used by the Slavonic tribes as the basis for their citadel. The chronicle from the German town Fulda deliver us its name: Dowina. The chronicle mentions Ludwig, the king of the East Francia, who surrounded the Moravian Duke Rastic in his citadel Dowina. The fall of the Great Moravia and the gradually integration of the whole region into the Hungarian kingdom meant for Devin a new episode in its long history. The name Devin appears again in historical sources of the 13th century, during the Bohemian – Hungarian War in the year 1271. Devin was several times occupied by the Austrian troops, but at the beginning of the 15th century was the castle purchased by Mikulas Garai, the later Hungarian paladin, who invested his large financial resources into the reconstruction of the castle. Devin was enlarged by the object called the central citadel. After the death of his son Ladislav Garai became Devin the property of Dukes of Svaty Jur and Pezinok who followed the fortification policy of Mikulas and Ladislav Garai. The next owner of Devin, the Bathory dynasty, that owned the castle from the year 1527, were two years later confronted with danger of invading Osman troops tried to occupy large territories of Central Europe. The constant attacks of Devin lead them to further efforts of increasing the Devin's defensive potential: several objects were reconstructed and the citadel was completed by several new ones. When the last descendant of Bathory dynasty died, the new proprietor of Devin became Jan Kaglevich. His rule made the inhabitants of the surrounding villages attack the castle, and the whole complex was conquered in May 1616. Four years later, Devin was again occupied, by the troops of the prince Gabriel Betlen, the leader of uprising against the Habsburg dynasty who ruled the Austrian Empire. The year 1635 and its new proprietor Pavol Palffy marked for Devin the beginning of a short period of prosperity that ended with another series of uprisings, led by Imre Thököly and later by Francis II. Rakoczi. The castle that survived many wars and uprisings was finally conquered by French troops led by Napoleon in the year 1809. In order to prevent their enemy from taking it over, the French troops decided to destroy it by explosives. The French succeeded in destroying the citadel, but did not destroy the spirit of Devin, dwelling within its walls for more than 2 000 years. One of the most significant events has become the meeting held on the 24th April and organized by the leader of the Slovak national revival Ľudovít Štúr. This event commemorates the plaque on one of the Devin's wall.
The castle Devin today:
The size of the original citadel situated on the top of the rock formation reminds the ruins of its walls and a small yard on its northern side. To the complex belong also a cave and a basement serving its inhabitants as cover during attacks on the citadel. To Devin belonged also a complex of bastions both on its northern and on its southern side. At the end of the cleft, nearby the southern bastion, is the rest of the wall with the entrance portal. This part of the fortification system guarded the outer perimeter of Devin. Preserved parts of the outer perimeter include fragments of the wall, the northern portal, and the bastion called Panenska or Mniska. The inner perimeter was accessible through a bridge above a wide cleft. To the central section of Devin belong ruins of a manor belonging to the Garai, later to the Bathory dynasty, ruins of an administrative building, and a 164-foot-deep well. The digging site on the courtyard uncovered the rests of a Roman settlement. The outer perimeter of Devin was fortified only on its western side. The western fortification consisted of a wall stretching from a bastion, one equipped with large guns, to the northern bastion with an entrance portal. Its main task was to guard the most important access route tothe castle. The rest of the outer perimeter created an older wall built during the period of the Great Moravia, completed later by two entrance portals. The access to Devin controlled a guardhouse uncovered during the archaeological examinations. Rests of a building, found also during the archaeological examinations served probably as the ammunition store. Another objects found are ruins of a castle dated to the Great Moravian period and ruins of a building and a chapel dated to the period between 11th and 13th century.
How to get there:
The easiest route how to get to the castle begins in the Bratislava district Devin, following the red blazed trail nearby the Church of the Virgin Mary. To get from Bratislava to Devin, you can travel also by bus line number 29 of the Public Transport Bus Service. For more information on the bus line click of the link http://imhd.zoznam.sk/ba/schedule-timetable/route-line/29.html. As an entrance portal into the castle serves the Moravska Gate. The tour inside Devin passes the well situated in the centre of the complex. If your passion is the landscape photography, the terrace above the moat would be your cup of tea! Why? Devin guards the point of confluence of the bright-coloured stream of the Danube with the dark-coloured stream of Morava. The tourist season on Devin includes the exhibitions of the fencing ensembles. Each visitor can take a lesson in the technique of archery or in the javelin throw. Devin is by means of a port on the Danube interconnected with Austria. Boarding a ship, you can travel further to Hainburg or back to Bratislava.