Bratislava monumets

BRATISLAVA CASTLE

BRATISLAVA CASTLE

The castle dominates the city of Bratislava - to which the first written reference is related in the annals of Salzburg of 907, in association with a battle between Bavarians and Hungarians. The castle’s hill was populated as early as the late Stone Age, while the first known inhabitants were the Celts who had founded a fortified settlement here – ‘Oppidum’.

For four centuries, the border of the Roman Empire ‘Limes Romanus’ ran through the area. During the Greater Moravian Empire, Slavs built a fortress that became a significant centre for the time.

In the 10th century, Bratislava became an integral part of the growing Hungarian state, with a palace of stone and the church of St. Salvator and its chapter being built on the castle hill in the 11th century. In the 15th century, in the reign of Sigismund of Luxembourg, the castle was built in Gothic style as an anti-Hussite fortress. During this time, a new entrance to the castle was built on the eastern side - Sigismund gate, while 7-metre thick fortification walls were built on the western side and a castle well was constructed in 1437.

In the 16th century, King Ferdinand ordered the rebuilding of the castle in Renaissance style, while in the 17th century, when the castle became the seat of hereditary province chief Pálffy, it was rebuilt in a baroque style. In the reign of Maria-Theresa, the castle was arranged for the needs of her son-in-law - governor Albert of Saxony and Tessen, who was a fervent collector of arts and who installed his works at the castle. This collection was later moved to Vienna to become today‘s Albertina gallery.

In the reign of Joseph II, the castle housed a general seminary to educate priests. Later, it served as barracks for soldiers until it burnt down in 1811. The present reconstruction was carried out as late as 1953 - 1968. Today the castle serves as a representative for the Slovak National Council and houses the collections of the Slovak National Museum

 

ERDODY PALACE

ERDODY PALACE

The Rococo Erdödy Palace was built in 1770 following the design of Mathew Walch. Originally Count George Leopold Erdödy the head of the court and the chairman of the Royal Hungarian Chamber bought the four houses on the site. The conversion of the buildings to a luxurious palace was carried out by his second son Jan Nepomuk Erdödy. Once the work was completed concerts and opera were performed in the palace. The Erdödys even had their own private opera group. An extensive renovation in the 1990s restored the facade and its paintings to their sparkling Rococo appearance.

 

GRASSALKOVICH PALACE

GRASSALKOVICH PALACE

The Rococo summer palace from 1760, built for the Chairman of the Hungarian Royal Chamber, Count Anton Grassalkovich, and advisor to Marie Theresa. The luxurious palace was a sought-out location for aristocratic societal events. The palace complex includes the Grassalkovitch garden, a place for walks and concerts. A copy of a statue of Marie Theresa and the fountain of Youth by the prominent Slovak sculptor Tibor Bártfay stand in the garden. Today these grandiose premises are the seat of the President of the Slovak Republic.

Grassalkovich Garden behind the Presidential Palace offers a space to relax in away from the bustle of the city. It was founded as a copy of French gardens at the same time as the palace. From 1919 it became a place of walks and concerts. In the garden is a statue of the Empress Maria Theresa on horseback, a fountain entitled Youth by Tibor Bártfay and avant-garde statues by contemporary artists. Each visiting head of state plants a small oak in the President´s Alley.

 

THE PHARMACY AT SALVATORE

THE PHARMACY AT SALVATORE

This Neorenaissance building was built by the pharmacist Rudolf Adler in 1904. The Baroque chemist´s interior from 1727 is now a private collection. The house entrance is decorated by a stone statue of the Saviour by Alojz Rigele.

 

PRIMATIAL PALACE

PRIMATIAL PALACE

The Primatial palace (1778-1781) was built on the site of the original courtyard belonging to the Esztergom archbishop. The frontal façade of the palace is in strictly classicist style. In the attic of the roof, there are allegorical statues by J. Kögler and F. Prokop as well as vases by J. A. Messerschmidt. In the top of the tympanum, there is the coat of arms of Jozef Bathyány and a cardinal's hat weighing 150 kg.

The first owner was cardinal Jozef Batthyányi. The palace is topped with the imposing black iron cardinal’s hat. The gable of the building is decorated with a range of allegorical statutes, expressing the cardinal’s human qualities and achieved ranks. The Bratislava treaty between France and Austria was signed here in the Hall of Mirrors on 26 December 1805. Today the palace is the seat of the Lord Mayor. The superb Hall of Mirrors houses concerts. The rare collection of English tapestries from the 17th century, originating from the royal loom in the English town of Mortlake and discovered during the reconstruction in 1903, undoubtedly merits a visit. The exquisite fountain of St.George, depicting the legendary knight battling the dragon, stands in the square inner courtyard of the Primatial´s palace. According to one legend the figure of St. George is identical to archbishop Juraj, and his fi ght with the dragon symbolises the endeavour of the Catholic church to save the city from the Reformation.

Legend has it that the knight St. George saved the virgin Dubravka from the dragon, and as a reward gained her hand in marriage. Every year on the occasion of St. George’s Day the stone statue comes to life, turns around on his horse and bows to the inhabitants of the city.

 

SLOVAK NATIONAL TEATRE

SLOVAK NATIONAL TEATRE

This historical renaissance building was constructed in 1888 as the City Theatre according to the design of the Viennese architects F. Fellner and H. Helmer.

The busts of famous musical composers are preserved, placed in the oval openings in the façade, as well as the stone sculptural group the Muse of Thalia by the Viennese sculpture T. Friedl and putti, figures of children symbolising tragedy and comedy by V. Tilgner, author of the superb Ganymede’s fountain situated before the entrance to the theatre. The fountain depicts Ganymede, borne by an eagle to Olympus, where he shall serve Zeus. As a reward he gains eternal youth, which to this day radiates from the boy’s joyful face. Today the building is the seat of the Slovak National Theatre opera and ballet ensembles.