Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia
Bratislava is the capital of the Slovak Republic. It is one of the smaller historical towns, but it is also the largest city in Slovakia and the youngest of European metropolises. In the past, it became famous for being an important coronation city. Eleven kings and eight royal wives were crowned in Bratislava, including the monarch Maria Theresa.
It dominates the centre of Bratislava. It belongs to one of the oldest historical monuments, its origin dates back to the 9th century. The silhouette of the Castle consists of four wings, each with a corner tower. For two centuries, crown jewels were preserved in the southwestern tower, also called the "Crown Tower". In 2008, the castle and its surroundings underwent an extensive reconstruction according to the form it had during the reign of Maria Theresa. It also included the restoration of non-preserved parts of the castle, including the northern garden and the pavilion.
St. Martin Cathedral
One of the most impressive landmarks of the historic centre of the capital, the Cathedral of St. Martin, can not go unnoticed by the visitors. Together with the Bratislava Castle, they form characteristic symbols of the city. Since 1563 it had served as the coronation site of the monarchs. For this reason, the replica of the Hungarian royal crown, which weighs about 300 kg, is placed on top of the cathedral tower. The last coronation took place on the 28th of September 1830. The interior of the cathedral can be visited throughout the year.
Old Town Hall
Like elsewhere in Europe, the Town Hall was the centre of the city and a reflection of its wealth. However, the Main square on which it is partly built was too small for the Town Hall to be situated in its central part. The city leadership therefore decided to purchase an existing building - the House of the Reeve Jakub from the 14th century. It served as the seat of municipal government from the 15th to the 17th century. Today, the Town Hall houses the Museum of History of the City, which emphasizes the presentation of the history of Bratislava residents.
It is one of the most beautiful classical buildings in Bratislava. In 1778, Archbishop Cardinal Jozef Batthyány had it built as his residence according to the architect Melchior Hefele´s design. In the Palace there is a permanent exhibition - Picture Gallery - with over 60 rare exhibits. There is also a collection of 17th century English tapestries from Mortlake, the royal weavery. It was found during the reconstruction in 1903 and is undoubtedly worth a visit. Today, the palace serves as the seat of the mayor of Bratislava.
From the original four entrance gates to the city the only one still standing is the majestic Michael's Gate. It was built in the 14th century and is 51 meters high. It is now home to the Museum of Weapons and provides the opportunity to climb its tower offering panoramic views 45 meters above the ground. On the right side of Michael´s Gate is the narrowest house in Bratislava, with a width of only 1.30 meters. The zero kilometer with the world sides is also unmistakable, showing the distance of world metropolises from Bratislava. It can be found right under the Michael's Gate. In the past, the area in front of the Gate served for public punishment of the guilty and also a so-called "cage of shame" was found there too.
Since 1996 it has been the seat of the President of the Slovak Republic. Before that, it underwent an extensive reconstruction according to the shape it had in the second half of the 18th century. Count of Croatian origin – Anton Grasalkovič had the palace built as his summer residence. At that time it was situated on the outskirts of the city. It is dominated by Rococo style and features a French-style garden that is open to the public. During the President's presence in the palace, a guard of honor is located in the front yard. As a rule, it is on working days from 8.00 am to 6 pm. The Changing of guards takes place on weekdays at 12.00 noon. The guards take turns every hour.
SNP Bridge – UFO
The SNP /Slovak National Uprising/ Bridge was first put into service 47 years ago. Up to now the construction, above which there is an unmistakable restaurant with a sightseeing tower, is unique in Slovakia. The SNP Bridge is the only one in Bratislava to hold on the ropes and has no pillar in the river stream. The UFO is also the only tower in the World Tower Federation that serves as the pylon of such construction. It is one of the most popular attractions mainly due to the fact that it is the combination of an iconic restaurant 100 meters high and a sightseeing tower, which can also be climed down all around its perimeter when the weather is good.
Historical building of the Slovak National Theater - “SND”
The history of the SND building on Hviezdoslav Square dates back to 1776. At that time, a town theater, which was built by Count and Royal governor Juraj Csáky, stood in its place. Today´s building, built in an eclectic style, first opened in 1886. At first various German and Hungarian ensembles performed on the boards of Bratislava Theater. Since 1920 it has been the seat of the Slovak National Theater, especially the opera ensemble. The most prestigious events take place in the theater every year, one of them is the Opera Ball.
The Slavín Memorial is declared a national cultural monument and is also a reverent place where 6,845 Soviet soldiers, killed in the liberation of Bratislava and its surroundings in April 1945, are buried. The monument also includes a large park whose central part is a ceremonial hall. At its top is a monumental granite pylon that extends to 39.5 meters. It depicts a soldier who raises a flag over a liberated country. The cemetery itself consists of six mass and 278 individual graves. The monument was unveiled in 1960 and it belongs to one of the distinctive symbols of the city.
Man at Work statue – “Čumil”
The legendary statue of a man peeking out of the canal is located at the intersection of Laurinská, Panská and Rybárska brána streets. The bronze statue was placed there as soon as it was created by the academic painter Viktor Hulík in 1997. Today it belongs to one of the most photographed statues in Bratislava. According to the legend, “Čumil” will bring happiness to the one who touches his hat.
Schöne Náci statue
The statue next to the café on the Main Square is a memory of a kind man, Ignác Lamár, who became an essential part of Bratislava streets. He lived between 1897- 1967. Every day he dressed in an elegant tail-coat, practicing a dandy walk, giving obliging compliments while walking down the streets of Bratislava. He greeted the passer-by ladies in three languages while giving each a flower. A life-size statue of this good-natured man was made by the sculptor Juraj Meliš and placed in the heart of the old town.