Bratislava, Slovakia

Finding A Hidden Gem Along The Blue Danube

Bratislava, Slovakia

Bratislava, Slovakia
The Danube River, Bratislava Slovakia

Johann Strauss’s “The Blue Danube” may conjure up the vision of a beautiful waltz in Vienna, another hidden gem lies along the Danube River in Slovakia. While the Danube is not actually blue and Vienna is 80km west, there is good reason to add Bratislava, Slovakia to your itinerary, which is exactly what we did.

From Prague, we took an early morning RegioJet train to Bratislava.  We decided to book a Business Class cabin (€31.80 roundtrip) which is the perfect way to enjoy the 4.5 hour morning ride in the comfort of adjustable leather seats with headrests and our own table. There is a power socket for each seat as well as free Wi-Fi. Since each compartment seats only four people we easily enjoyed the selection of Italian Illy coffee, espresso, lungs, latte macchiato, cappuccino as well as Ahmad Tea or fresh mint tea – all served complimentary!

Situated on the border of five countries – Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Austria and Ukraine – Slovakia has become a popular tourist destination.

For many years, the Czech Republic and Slovakia were combined as Czechoslovakia, a part of the Soviet Union’s Eastern Bloc. However, in 1989 the two countries ended the communist rule during the Velvet Revolution and peacefully dissolved Czechoslovakia. Slovakia became an independent state officially called the Slovak Republic with Bratislava as its capital.

Today, Slovakia is a member of the European Union, the Eurozone, the Schengen Area and NATO.

Bratislava Castle

Bratislava Castle in Bratislava, Slovakia
The Bratislava Castle overlooking Bratislava, Slovakia

Overlooking the City of Bratislava and situated high above the Danube River, the Bratislava Castle was built in the 9th century and was the site for the crowning of eleven kings and eight queens. Today, this landmark is a popular attraction for its spectacular views of the city below as well as its exhibitions from the various Slovak National Museums.

Bratislava Old Town Square

Bratislava, Slovakia
View of the Bratislava Main Square and Old Town Hall in Bratislava, Slovakia

Bratislava’s Main Square dates back to the 13th century. Today, it is the site of festivals, concerts and the annual Christmas Market. In the center of the Square is the Maximilian Fountain surrounded by the Old Town Hall that houses the Bratislava City Museum featuring the interior and original furnishings from the municipal court.

Slovak National Theatre

The Slovak National Theatre in Bratislava, Slovakia
The Slovak National Theatre

The Slovak National Theatre is housed in two separate buildings, the oldest of which is pictured above. Opened in 1886, the Neo-Renaissance structure features a unique 2,532 light chandelier.

St. Michael’s Gate

St. Michael's Gate in Bratislava, Slovakia
St. Michaels’s Gate

The 51m high tower of St. Michael’s Gate is the last preserved gate of the Bratislava medieval city fortification. The Gate’s foundation was laid some 700 years ago and once served as an entry into the city. The statue of St. Michael and the Dragon sits on top of the Tower. Surrounded by shops and restaurants, the Tower features the Museum of Weapons and City Fortification, an exhibition from the Bratislava City Museum.

The Church of Elizabeth (Blue Church)

The Church of St. Elizabeth (Blue Church)
Blue Church Sanctuary

Opened in 1908, The Church of St. Elizabeth, commonly known as Blue Church, is a Hungarian Secessionist Catholic Church consecrated to Elisabeth of Hungary. The art nouveau building is a popular tourist attraction for its sky blue facade and mosaics.

Sculptures & Statues

Walking around Bratislava, you will encounter numerous sculptures and statues – some historical and some quite whimsical!

Statue of Saint John Nepomuk
Statue of King Svatopluk in front of the Bratislava Castle
Cumil The Sewer Worker Bronze Sculpture

UFO Bridge (Most SNP)

Most SNP/UFO Bridge

Spanning the River Danube, the 431 meter Slovak National Uprising Bridge (often referred to as Most SNP or the UFO Bridge) was the first asymmetrical suspension bridge constructed in the world.

On top of the bridge some 95 meters above and looking like a spacecraft, is the Observation Deck and restaurant. From the Observation Deck, you have a breathtaking panoramic view of the city below and surrounding countryside.

We hope this article inspires you to visit Bratislava and the beautiful country of Slovakia!

 

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Published by Capturing The Art Of Living

Capturing The Art Of Living® is both a travel site and photographic celebration of life from around the world, managed by a pair of international filmmakers who love to travel extensively and, just as important, love to share our experiences with the hope of encouraging others to learn more about our world. We invite you to subscribe to our Blog and enjoy original photography, read about our travel experiences and find recommendations for awesome places to visit, what to see, where to stay and eat.

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