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Old September 23rd, 2009, 06:53 PM   #1
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Bratislava - a city with many sides


Population: 429 000 (617 000)
Year visited: 2009 (August). 1 day
Native name: Bratislava (formerly Pressburg)
Language: Slovakian
Founded: 907
Region: Bratislava
Area: 429 km˛
Tallest building: Tower 115 (115m, 28 floors)
Tallest structure: Kamzik Tower (200m)

Bratislava, Slovakia's capital and largest city, is a diverse city. The Old Town is very beautiful with renovated small historic buildings, churches and narrow lanes. A castle, Hrad, is situated on the hill just next to the old town. The rest of central Bratislava, is a mix of rundown residential areas, wide boulevards and modern office towers in glass and steel. As soon as you come to the outskirts, there are mostly districts with so called commie blocks, so even if the city center is nice a majority of the population lives in large grey blocks of flat. That is the remnants of Czechoslovakian communist times. The city is changing very fast however. Huge deveopments, including many skyscrapers are planned or under construction in the the central area and a lot has already been constructed. The River Danube is flowing right next to the city center, unfortunately hidden behind fences, so you have to get to one of the striking modern bridges to see the river. The metro system consists of trams, electric buses, diesel buses and a subway is planned.


I was visiting Vienna in 2009. Because of the proximity to Bratislava from Vienna, and because I have heard it is a beautiful city, I took the train and visited Bratislava for one day,just like many other tourists it turned out. It only takes about 50 minutes from central Vienna. Bratislava's western borders are situated just at the border to Austria. The Hungarian border is also very close to the city. I liked Bratislava, the old town and the castle was beautiful, and I also found the new town interesting with its tall buildings and the proximity to Danube.

What made my stay a bit uncomfortable was that it very hot the day I visited and there were almost no stores in the city center. It was also strange that the people working around the train station didn't know where the main road or the old town was, despite it was only 100m from the station and I showed them the map. But I had a great stay, most people were very friendly. And it was hard to walk in the new town, since there are so much development going on and the part is more built for cars than pedestrian, unlike the old town with its many nice pedestrians streets.
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Old September 23rd, 2009, 06:56 PM   #2
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Interesting info about Bratislava; i will wait for the photos...
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Old September 23rd, 2009, 06:58 PM   #3
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The historical old town of Bratislava, is the city center and by far the nicest part of the city. Small houses, squares, paved streets and lanes very beautiful buildings. Most of the exteriors are in a very good condition, in contrary to the newer in the outskirts. A lot of tourists can be seen in this area, and most restaurants and shops are filled with Australians, Austrians and Germans. Stare Mesto also houses many governmental institutions.

Trinitarian Church is a baroque church built by the Hungarians. The exterior was finished in 1727. It is situated at Hurbanovo namestie, just at the gate to the Old Town.

Obchodna Ulica at the square Hurbanovo namestie, just where the Old Town begins.

The gate to the Old Town.

The gate is the beginning of the exclusive Michalska Ulica.

Michaels' Gate is the second gate to the old town. It has been preserved since the medieval fortifications.

Michael's Gate, Michalska; Brána, dates back to the end of the 13th century.

Michael's Gate was one of the stops at the kings coronation process, when Bratislava belonged to the kingdom of Hungary.

Lost? On the paved ground beneath the gate, you can find the direction of your hometown.

Michálska Ulica towards Michael's Gate. One of the most expensive streets in central Europe with shops as Gucci, Tiffany's, Prada and Louis Vuitton.


Bastova Gate.

The top of the gothic church of St Clare can be seen.

Frantiskanska Ulica.

Hlavne námesti (Main Square) with The Old Town Hall (Stará Radnica) and Roland fountain that is featuring a statue of the Hungarian king Maximilian.

Hlavné námesti.

Closeup of The Old Town Hall (Stará Radnica). A baroque tower with gothic elements.

Details of the tower of the Old Town Hall.

The gate to the Old Town Hall. It was used as town hall from the 15th to the 19th century. Today it hosts Bratislava City Museum.

An old green beer bus at Hlavné námesti.

One of Bratislava's strangely placed statues at Hlavné námesti. This one is called the French army soldier.

Hlavné námesti, the heart of Bratislava, with the Roland fountain and the backside of the leaning statue.

Palác Uhorskej and another grandiose jugend (?) buildings at Hlavne námesti.

Tourists are everywhere on the paved streets of Bratislava.

The Paparazzi statue watches the visitors of the Paparazzi restaurant.

Primates Palace, today's City Hall. Note how the pink woman fits in with the building. This is a pink neoclassical palace from 1781 at Primaciálne namestie (Primates Square).The palace and its Hall of mirrors is of significant historical importance, the most important is the signing of the fourth peace of Pressburg in 1805.

Primaciálne namestie with the backside of the old town hall to the left.

A passage leading from Primates Square to Main Square.

Trolley buses at Frantiskanske namestie.

Frantiskanske namestie.

Frantiskanske namestie towards Hlavne námesti.

A medieval look towards Hrad.

A nice street towards Hrad, Bratislava Castle.

Erdody Palace. Its qZoya Gallery contains an extensive collection of Slovak and Czech art.

There are many artists, museums and art galleries in the old town.

St Martin's Cathedral (Kostol Sv.Martina). The tallest church in Bratislava, 85m tall. It was previously the coronation church of Hungary.

St Martin's is one of two Gothic minsters in Slovakia. The Gothic tower was struck by lightning in 1760, replaced by a baroque tower, that was destroyed by fire and then replaced by a gothic one again!

St Martin's Cathedral was for long part of the medieval city fortifications, of which a part has been preserved.

A very nice Gothic building, that has fallen into neglect. In some way I like that it hasn't been renovated.

View towards Hrad Castle with a large add on one of the old houses.

The typical trams of Bratislava.

A modern Mercedes store seems somewhat inappropriate on this location.

Hviezdoslavovo námestie (Hviezdoslav Square). The square has existed in over 100 years, but was reconstruted in the end of the last millennium. This is the square were George W Bush and Vladimir Putin met when visiting Slovakia in 2005.

The statue of Hviezdoslav, who the square was named after. The square is acutally more like a long alley than a square.

Rybarska brana.

Radisson SAS Carlton is the most exlusive hotel in Bratislava. It is situated at Hviezdoslav Square.

The Slovak Philharmonic concert hall a and a Bratislava tram at Hviezdoslav Square. The baroque concert hall was constructed in 1773.

The Slovak National Theater - old section at Hviezdoslav Square. A brand new building has been built a couple of blocks away, but both buildings are being used. This building was built in 1886 in the country of Austria-Hungary.

The national theater seen from the nearby McDonald's at Hviezdoslav Square. This part of looks more like a real square.

Next will part be about the newer parts of Central Bratislava…
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Old September 24th, 2009, 12:07 AM   #4
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Very interesting thread. You saw a bit different Slovakia than I know. I've been to Slovakia countless times, but only in north and estern part. For me Slovakia was always quite poor and very sleepy country, both in villages and in bigger cities. I was wondering then - why this country is considered to be so rich? Now I see that it's thanks to Bratislava, which look incredibly good
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Old September 24th, 2009, 04:27 AM   #5
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Beautiful photos!
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Old September 27th, 2009, 02:31 AM   #6
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Wonderful Bratislava
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Old September 27th, 2009, 08:56 AM   #7
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Fantastic shots there, especially the ones of the Primates Palace and National Theatre - lovely buildings. Those statue figures are also a fun addition.
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Old September 27th, 2009, 07:30 PM   #8
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Beautiful and unknown city!
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