Trencin is a town with a population of around 56 000 people. It is mostly known for its castle, also old town and a few churches are interesting as well. I think it is worth to make day trip here even from Bratislava.
It is a town, known already from 150 CE, Ancient Roman times. First time the written evidence appeared in 1111 or 1113.
Trencin is about 120 kilometers from Bratislava.
Vienna is more known than Bratislava for sure, but this time Bratislava was a priority, so Vienna was visited for just 2 days.
All the beauty of this town is very associated with the Austrian - Hungarian Empire times, and then the emperors wanted to see residence of them very beautiful and worth to be the capital. The biggest jump in creating the beauty of Vienna began from the middle of 19th century, in this time mostly all must see destinations in Vienna was built. Is looks as a up class town as you can feel it due to atmosphere.
Vienna is about 66 kilometers from Bratislava.
Trnava with a population of 70 000 people is 7th largest city in Slovakia. It is known for many church in small area, also called as "Little Rome". Why it happened so? In sixteen century place belonged to Hungarian Kingdom. It was decided to transfer Esztergom Archbishopric and Chapter here, so it became religious center of Hungary.
Trnava also is university town, housing Trnava University, mostly known in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, but during my visit I also felt it is student town. IT is for sure worth visiting this town if you are nearby.
Trnava is about 55 kilometers from Bratislava.
Eurovea is a large, newish (completed 2010) shopping complex and residential area on the banks of the Danube, set into what was previously a derelict area between the Old Bridge and Apollo Bridge.. As far as I'm concerned it is 'off the beaten path' because I simply cannot imagine most visitors to Bratislava would choose to go to a shopping centre. I may be wrong, of course...
Although the shops did not appeal (there are branches of Next and Debenhams as well as many other multi-national chains) I found the shopping centre itself remarkably pleasant. I especially liked the way you can look up through a glass ceiling and see one of the outdoor fountains 'from underneath'.
The exterior area by the river is very nice: several cafes with outdoor seating (including wickerwork armchairs and sofas) in which to sit and enjoy the view, and a selection of exercise equipment (rowing machines, walking machines....) set into the riverbank. There are lots and lots of trees pl;anted as well, which will make this a really lovely area in future.
There's a huge (7.4m high) statue of General Stefanik, a founder of the Slovak state who was also a mathematician, a French Army General and an aviator: he's in full aviation kit (he died in a plane crash in 1919).
I think Eurovea is a real asset to the wider city and, if you have an afternoon to spare (especially if the weather isn't so good) then it might well be worth a visit. The shopping centre is open from 0900 to 2100.
You can walk there from the Old Town along the riverbank, or take a bus or tram. Details of which bus/tram numbers are given on the Eurovea website (in English) below.
Only twenty kilometers north-east of Bratislava, Red Stone Castle (Hrad Cerveny Kamen) is a thirteenth-century castle with a rich history. Originally built for Queen Konstancia Uhorska and passed along royal Austro-Hungarian families, in the Renaissance the castle was purchased by a businessman who decided to use it as a fortified storage facility for the goods he traded across the continent. He added extensive fortifications to the castle, including an expansive basement, but unfortunately had to sell the castle almost immediately as it was too tempting a target for repeatedly-invading Turkish forces. The family that bough the castle converted it back into a residence and it stayed in their family until the mid-twentieth century, when it was nationalized as an important tourist site. Entrance to the castle grounds is free, though those wanting to go inside must take a guided tour (available frequently in Slovak and once daily in English... we were the only people on the English tour when visited).
The castle website has information about opening hours, ticket prices and access (including via bicycle or bus).
Again, this is not really 'off the beaten path' if you have to use it, and you may well walk past the building without realising.
It first caught my eye because it was one of the few very obviously 'older' buildings i spotted in the Old Town. The arched stone entrance was the giveaway. Then I noticed the rather lovely sgraffito (I think) pattern used to decorate the frontage....and then I noticed the coat-of-arms, which looked vaguely familiar.
And then I read the plaque and realised what I was looking at!
Unlike the US Embassy, the UK Embassy has a page devoted to the history of the building and the street (Panska). It makes interesting reading (see below).
The building dates from the late 1500s and has been an inn, a residence for a Baron, a 'palace' for an Earl and commercial premises.
When the UK government purchased it a full archaelogical investigation was carried out, revealing an ancient well and Medieval windows.
Have a look as you wander past....
I saw a statue when I was wandering Hviezdoslavovo Namestie, the long and very pleasant tree-lined pedestrianised square which leads up to the wedding-cake Slovak National Theatre. It caught my eye because of the large, unhappy-looking snail which was gazing up into the man's face.
On the back I saw three crowned swans, a naked king and a soldier in uniform. there was no obvious plaque, and I puzzled and puzzled...that naked king was familar, somehow, and that soldier....
I asked a Slovak friend to look at the photo. He couldn't help. So I continued to puzzle...
And suddenly, late one night a couple of weeks after my visit, it came to me:Hans Christian Andersen! Of course! 'The Emperor's New Clothes', 'The Little Tin Soldier', 'The Wild Swans' and (I had to look this one up) 'The Snail and the Rose-Tree'.
A quick check on wiki confirmed that yes, the statue is indeed Andersen, and was placed on the square to mark his visit in 1841 (though it is certainly a modern statue, not one which dates from that time).
If you want to see him, walk down Hviezdoslavovo Nam away from the National Theatre. He's at the far end, on the right.
Novy Most (new bridge)
Built in the earlt seventies, this construction remains an iconic part of the city.
The communist regime wanted to "modernise " the city, so it has destroyed a part of the old
Looking left from the front terrace of the castle, the view downriver follows the Danube as it wends its way towards Hungary. Beyond Petrzalka, industrial chimneys pour plumes of smoke into the already cloudy sky and barges move quickly downstream. If you like urban/industrialised landscapes you will find this very evocative. The bright span you can see, two bridges down is the newest Bridge, Most Apollo, completed in September 2005. The construction of this bridge attracted a lot of attention as it required some very complicated manoeuvres. Apparently " the 5,240 tonne structure with a span of about 230 metres was turned across the Danube river using several ships, onto a pillar about 40 metres from the right bank ". You can read more about this at www.favouriteplaces.sk
there is a nice park just opposite to the public garden of the Grassalkovich palace, the President's residence at Bratislava. I would not have visited it, had I been in time to be able to go inside the public garden. I was late by 1 minute and so, just took time to stroll around when I discovered this park. There were lots of modern looking equipments and no traditional swings, or see-saws or slides and the park looked more like an industrial park, but nevertheless, very popular amongst local children. The highrises of Bratislava can be seen on the background.
Beratislava benefits from having a forest right in the heart of the city, just a few stops away by trolley bus - no.203 from Hodzovo square (next to the Plaza hotel). If you're in the mood to relax amidst green trees and long for a walk in the nature, this is the place. You can actually see the top of the Koliba hill with its TV tower from almost anyplace in Bratislava. After getting off the trolley bus it's just some tewnty minutes to the top of the hill where you can grab a hot-dog and hot wine or beer (depands on the season when you arrive) at one of the three buffets and then head for a walk down to Zelezna studienka (asphalt road, aroun an hour takes you to a bus stop to get to the old town) or wander around the forest or just head back the same way again. Beware of the restaurant at the top of the tower, it's a nughtmare - over priced food, bad service and nothing exceptional when it comes to the meals themselves.
Far from downtown, onde can find the Transports Museum. It displays a fine exhibit, which includes old steam locomotives, cars, motorbikes and countless acessories and objects related with transports. In its collection there are a few vehicles from the Second World War, like a german Open Blitz and an american Jeep Willys. The minus is the complete absence of english captions in all the exhibit.
I paid €1,80, incuding a pictures permission. Unlike other museus I visited in central Europe, in this one a visitor can watch around without the close look of an annoying employee.
Just outside of the Antik Cafe in the Main Square, I saw a statue of a man dressed in a suit & hat standing & smiling Rybarska Brana street. He is Schone Naci ((Beautiful Ignaz) and as the legend goes, he became mentally ill after his affection for a woman was not returned.
He was also very poor but always well dressed and always a gentleman with the ladies he meets on the street, greeting women by smiling & bowing at them (like the statue).
Another bronze statue in the Main Square area is the Paparazzi , who is frozen in a pose with his camera. It looks like he's trying to take pictures of people secretly by partially hiding behind the corner of Laurinska street, right at the entrance of the famous Paparazzi fine-dining restaurant.
While walking past the Main Square, I came across this statue peering at me from a manhole in the sewer. His name is Cumil and was put there in 1997. What's he doing? From what I hear, he's trying to look up the ladies' skirts. Well, the poor fellow has some shoe prints on his head. Probably from being cheeky
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