CASTLES AND CHURCHES IN BRATISLAVA
They breathe history, awaken a special peace in us and are covered with a mask of mystery.
In the capital of Slovakia you will find more than 50 of them. We are talking about Bratislava churches, cathedrals and chapels. On a normal day, we hardly notice the buildings of churches, but with their architecture they undoubtedly complete the typical colour of Bratislava.
Today we will introduce you the most interesting ones that you should not miss during your trip in Bratislava. They will enchant you not only with their beautiful architecture, but also with their history and many interesting facts.
Take a walk around the city, breathe in the atmosphere of the Old Town and get to know Bratislava Castle, the Cathedral and churches.
The majestic Bratislava Castle, standing out on a hill, 80 m above the Danube, has been a symbol of Bratislava for centuries. Just 14 minutes on foot from Hotel Devín, you are just a short walk away from a beautiful view of the entire city HERE. The origins of today’s castle date back to the 13th century. The largest, the so-called Crown Tower of the castle comes from this period. In the 15th century, the original smaller castle was demolished and replaced by a building preserved up to these days. It was reconstructed in the second half of the 20th century. The castle was the seat of the Hungarian kings during its history and the coronation jewels were kept there. Today, you will find here, above all, a historical museum.
The castle ruin towering on a high cliff above the confluence of the Danube and Moravia rivers is one of the most important historical and archaeological sites in Central Europe. It is located only 17 min by car from Hotel Devín**** HERE. It offers charming natural scenery with an unrepeatable view. It uniquely documents the history of settlement of current Slovakia. Thanks to its strategic location, the castle hill was already inhabited in prehistoric times and was controlled or fought for by many nations. Who will not be impressed by several thousand years of history, will be enchanted by the natural scenery and fantastic views.
Another of Bratislava dominants, the Dome of St. Martin is located only 7 min on foot from the building of the hotel HERE. It is undoubtedly the most preserved and largest Gothic church in Bratislava. Due to its size, it has been dominating the panorama of the city for centuries. Its tower measures up to 85m and on its top there is a model of the Hungarian royal crown as a symbol of the coronation church, which weighs 150 kg and has a height of 164 cm. Only the largest and oldest bell – the Wederin from 1674, which was cast by Balthasar Herold, remained of the original six bells. This bell with the weight of 2.5 t is one of the rarest in Europe. The other bells were melted during World War I. It was not until 2000 that the St. Martin’s Cathedral received five new bells as a gift from the capitals of the neighbouring states.
The Church of St. Elisabeth, also called the Blue Church, can be found only 13min on foot from the Hotel Devín**** HERE. It is referred to as the most attractive Art Nouveau building in Bratislava. Its style, known as Hungarian Art Nouveau as well, is also repeated in the case of the nearby school on Grösslingova Street. Both buildings were designed by the Budapest architect Ödön Lechner (Edmund Lechner) and were built at the beginning of the twentieth century (the church was consecrated on 11th October 1913). Both the interior and exterior of the church are painted in shades of pale blue and decorated with blue majolica. Even the roofing has a blue glaze. The building also includes an oval tower 36.8 metres high.
Only an 11-minute walk through the Old Town will take you to the oldest church in Bratislava HERE. The Franciscan Church of Annunciation of the Lord is the oldest preserved sacral building in Bratislava and its consecration took place in 1297. The chapel of St. John the Evangelist was built as a side extension of the church. From the chapel there is an entrance to the crypts, where in the past, besides the Franciscan friars, the famous families of the Hungarian Kingdom, nobles and bishops were buried. The largest known Baroque painting in Slovakia is exhibited in the chapel. During the Advent in the chapel there are exhibited more than thirty bethlehems from several countries of the world of different sizes and made mainly from natural materials such as wood, husks, clay, wax, banana leaves.
On Župné námestie, the square not far from the Franciscan Church, you will find the Trinitarian Church HERE. Its official name is the Parish Church of St. John of Matha and St. Felix of Valois. Thanks to its connection with the Order of Trinitarians, it became known under the name of the Church of the Holy Trinity. The Trinity church was built on the site of the older Church of St. Michael, which the defenders of the city got demolished in 1529 along with the settlement of St. Michael during the Turkish wars. The interior is dominated by a dome with an illusionary fresco by the Italian Baroque painter Antonio Gallio Bibiena (1744). The most important work, located in the temple, is a large altarpiece depicting St. John of Matha and St. Felix of Valois – the founders of the Order of Trinitarians – as they are redeeming slaves from Turkish captivity. The author of this masterpiece from 1745 is Franz Xaver Palkó. It is interesting that the artist painted his portrait in the painting. It’s a boy on the far right!