Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia. It was once part of the Habsburg empire, and later became part of Czechoslovakia during the Soviet era. I decided to take a day trip there when I was transiting home for the holidays through Vienna. Bratislava is just an hour long trip by train from Vienna. The weather slowed me down drastically, but I did get a chance to experience a bit of the city.
1: This is Bratislava Castle. The castle was bombarded into ruins by Napolean in 1811. These ruins are depicted in paintings and photographs from this time frame. It remained in a sad state until 1953 when restoration began. Notice the green grass at the base of the castle?
2: Statue of King Svatopluk I of Moravia, who reined in the 9th century. At its peak, the Moravian Empire occupied a large swath of Eastern Europe.
3: A view of the Danube from the castle. Still no snow! Being converted to a museum, I spent a couple hours inside the castle looking at exhibits.
4: In the midst of exploring the museum, I noticed snowflakes coming down. Upon walking outside, this was the result. Unfortunately I was only wearing a hoodie and running shows and not prepared for snow. It made for a gingerly walk back down the hill.
5: A birds eye view of a downtown Christmas market, with the castle hill set in the background.
6: The Christmas market was very similar to those in Vienna. They sold a type of hot mead (honey wine) called Medovina, which did wonders for keeping me warm. You could also buy a number of various local Christmas handicrafts and gifts.
7: The Slovak National Theater built in 1885.
8: Statue of the martyr Saint John of Nepomuk, with Michael’s Gate in the background. Saint John was killed by being tortured and thrown into a river and drowned on order of King Wenceslas IV of Bohemia in 1393. His statue is a feature of bridges all over Europe.
9: Michael’s Gate was built in the 1300s, and is one of the oldest buildings in Bratislava.
10. This statue titled “Man at Work”, depicts a man crawling out of a manhole. It is a popular tourist spot for photos.