Bratislava Old Town

The Old Town includes the historic centre and adjoining neighbourhoods that used to be the centre's immediate outskirts in the Middle Ages.

St. Michael's Tower is one of essential symbols of Bratislava. Only the gate on St. Michael's Tower has been preserved out of the original four gates that were gateways for entering the fortified medieval city. Currently an exhibition of weaponry and city fortifications of the Bratislava City Museum is on display in the tower. A zero kilometre, which counts the distance of selected cities in the world from Bratislava, is located under the tower. A view of the entire rest of St. Michael's Street (Michalská ulica), which is one of the oldest in the city, opens up from St. Michael's Gate.

Zichy's Palace (house No. 11) with its elegant, strictly Classicist-style facade draws the visitor's interest at the corner of Venturska and Prepostska Streets. It was built in approximately 1775 at the behest of Count Francis Zichy. The palace was refurbished in the 1980's and now it hosts all kinds of ceremonies and celebrations. A Baroque-style Pallfy's Palace (house No. 10), which was rebuilt from an old house in 1747, is located at the corner of Ventúrska and Zelená Streets. A memorial plaque on the Pallfy's Palace facade on Ventúrska Street brings attention to the fact that the six-year old child prodigy, worldwide known as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), probably performed a concert in the palace.

A parish church is a landmark of every Christian city. This is no doubt the case with St. Martin's Cathedral - the largest, oldest and most remarkable church in Bratislava from the 14th century. St. Martin's Cathedral was a coronation church between 1563 and 1830.

The crossroads of the Fisherman's Gate and Panska and Laurinska Streets is one of the Old Town's liveliest places. People like to stop here to listen to tunes played by street musicians. Tourists are bound to make a picture with the statue of Cumil in what is an almost ceremonial photo session. The Fisherman's Gate is a short street in Bratislava's historic centre. Next to House No. 1 on Fisherman's Gate Street is a statue of a man in real size, who is holding a hat in his hand. The man looks like he is saying hello to somebody he knows coming out of a nearby entrance. Unlike the nearby Cumil, this sculpture, which shines in the silver colour, represents a real Bratislava local, whom everybody has called Schöner Nazi.

Of three central areas in Bratislava's historic centre, the Main Square, built in almost square dimensions, is the most enchanting place.  Throughout Bratislava's history it was the main market place, an area for public gatherings, welcoming ceremonies to sovereigns and other renowned personalities. The Main Square continues to lure visitors to have a rest near a Renaissance-style fountain, on a bench with the statue of a French soldier or under a sun umbrella in one of local cafés.

Every building on the Main Square is worthy of attention.  The one that stands out most, though, is the square's main landmark - the Old Town Hall. The rebuilt Bratislava's Town Hall on the Main Square began to be fully used in 1434.  Prior to 1442, an underpass was built to enable entering the Town Hall from the Square. This remarkable architectural element has been preserved in all its beauty to this day. During subsequent construction work, just repair and reconstruction of some valuable architectural details was carried out. A plaque with a line marking the water level of the Danube River during disastrous floods in February 1850 is placed on the wall. An exposition of the history of the city and feudal justice of the Bratislava City Museum is on show in the Old Town Hall building.


Tags: | Slovakia | Bratislava | Highlights |


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