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Slovakia

Architecture of Slovakia. Must see and must visit landmarks

Bratislava Castle, Bratislava

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» According to the historical data, the predecessor of the castle in Bratislava corresponds to the time of the appearance of the Egyptian pyramids (the second half of the 3rd century BC).
» The building constructed on the hilltop consists of the palace with towers (one of them dates back to the 13th century), defensive walls, gates, and a park. There are corner towers in the quadrangular construction.
» The exterior of the castle has been preserved since the 15th century. It differs from other historic constructions with its white walls and red tiles.
» You can enter the territory through the gates constructed at different times. The Vienna Gate leads to the entrance to the palace. It consists of 4 columns with sculptures of warriors in uniform.
» You can see various collections in the palace. Their exhibits have been transported from several museums. Here, you will find a numismatic collection, old musical instruments, artifacts of the Paleolithic Period, a Neanderthal’s skull, and jewelry made in the Bronze Age.
» The second level (the Hall of Fame) houses exhibits dedicated to Slovak hockey.
» There is a modern children’s playground in its territory. You can see the panorama of Bratislava from the observation platform. There are modern tramways under the palace.

Bratislava City Museum, Bratislava

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» Now, the City Hall of Bratislava serves as a museum. It consists of constructions of the 13th-14th centuries. The building was repeatedly reconstructed. So, the architecture of the building is very diverse.
» The colorful roofing material is very attractive. On one of the corners of the house, there is the statue of the Mother of God.
» There is still a cannon ball in the wall that is a demonstration of the attack of Napoleon’s army. On the facade, you can see the line that marked the level of water rise during the flooding of the river in 1850.
» There is a clock tower in the roof. You can see the silhouettes of buildings from the observation platform.
» The main purpose of the museum is to acquaint visitors with household items of the old times. It was founded in 1868.
» Archaeological artifacts will tell you about folk traditions. You should pay attention to artificial targets for shooting made in the 17th-19th centuries. Targets are quite standard. The bicycle with different wheels, big and small, is a very interesting exhibit. Such models had been used until 1880.
» There is the collection of binoculars, some of which are made of the inner layer of shells. The keys to the city are huge. They represent the entrance to the city.
» You can see some important historical events of Bratislava on the touch screen.

Church of St. Elisabeth, Bratislava

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The unusual oval construction with the spire and bell tower is called St. Elisabeth Church after the Hungarian princess, one of the famous martyrs living in the 13th century.
» The mosaic above the entrance and picturesque clay pictures of the saints’ daily routine show the history of St. Elisabeth, the patron of the afflicted. The icons above the altar depict her. The bronze sculpture in the territory of the construction was installed in her honor.
» The facade of the Blue Church is made of sky blue tiles. The huge size and the bright shine of majolica feature only this building.
» The temple was blessed in 1913. The round tower with the spire is 37 meters high. The bell tower with a clock is crowned by the cross.
» Architectural decorative inserts are smooth and round and literally blend into one another. It leaves an impression that you see the festive cream cake in the shape of the house.
» The interior is also in blue.
» Upper secondary lessons for children are held in the Catholic Temple. The church is open for visitors. Wedding ceremonies are held here.

Comenius University, Bratislava

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The prestigious educational institution of Slovakia is named after the Czech philosopher, Jan Komensky. When the country had gained independence in 1919, the university was found.
» The lecture building occupies the great part of the city center. The building was built in the 17th century. It consists of several buildings that form a single complex.
» Each department has its building. The central entrance is made of high glass semi-arches. There is the name of the university on the facade. The interior walls of the long halls are decorated with quotes of the great educator.
» The teaching staff was represented only by the Czechs at one time. Originally, there was only a medical faculty.
» The university is proud of eminent figures who studied there.
» Every year, about 7 thousand students enter the university. The total number of university students is 28 000.
» They study 1 300 academic disciplines. The university has a research center.
» Special methods have been prepared for 2 thousand foreign students from 80 countries. 13 departments offer to study different fields of expertise.

Grassalkovich Palace, Bratislava

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» In 1760, the two-storied palace was built of white and gray brick upon the order of Count Grassalkovich who managed the issues of the economic land development at that time.
» Today, the building serves as a state institution or the residence of the Head of State. When the President is inside, the flag is raised on the building. That is why the palace is also called the Presidential Palace.
» The palace with a park area is located in the center of Hodzovo namestie.
» The exterior of the white building is decorated with sculptures bas-reliefs. Shaped slabs (porticoes) are upheld by the columns. The windows have the shape of arches and they are rounded. The central part of the dome is crowned with a high spire.
» The interior is decorated with lots of compositions, luxury ornaments, even too ornate patterns, which features such architectural styles, as baroque and rococo.
» The entrance is protected by armed guards. There is a fountain resembling a round planet in front of the facade.
» There are stone statues and monuments to eminent figures along the park. Children can have fun in the children’s playground.

Michaels Gate, Bratislava

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The city was surrounded by massive walls. Only the 51-meter white tower with the gate has been preserved. The construction was built in 1300.
» The gate is surrounded by the moat. You can enter the city through the leaf bridge. The entrance is closed by the lift grid with a wooden door.
» After centuries, the sculpture of St. Michael with a dragon was installed at the top. The arch in the wall was named after him just like the nearby temple bearing his name. Later, it was destroyed and the gate was made of its stone blocks. Architects put the part of the gravestone of pink stone into the wall of St. Michael Tower.
» In the 16th century, the tower hampered the new construction so the gate was transported to the city center. It has been preserved in memory of the old times.
» The tower has 7 levels. The balcony at the 6th level that you can reach only on foot has a panoramic view of the city.
» Now, the building houses the collection of weapons. Here, visitors can learn more about how the city was fortified in the old days.
» The transversal aisle in the gate continues the narrowest street in Bratislava. Under it, there is a pointing circle with parts of the world and the distance from big capitals. This circle is called “Kilometer Zero”.

Slavin War Memorial, Bratislava

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The marble Slavin Memorial is a memorial complex installed on the hilltop and divided into 3 parts.
» The first one is the Oath to the Colors. You can reach it by the two-tier marble staircase with bas-reliefs. One of them depicts five soldiers. The warrior kneels down and kisses the regimental flag. On the stone, you can see the Slovak and Russian words about the imperishable memory of dead soldiers.
» The second part is Appreciation to fallen heroes. On the walls, you can see the dates of the liberation of cities and towns. There are burials of warriors, soldiers of the Red Army, the civilians, the injured, and those who died in the hospital. 278 people lie in individual graves. People come here to bow to 6 845 fallen heroes.
» The third part where the 39-meter pile is installed on the pedestal above the ritual hall is the sculpture of the soldier holding the flag. This sculpture is visible from many parts of the city. It is 11 m high.
» The total area of the complex is paved with marble tiles. The complex surrounds the cemetery. You can see bronze paintings depicting wartime on the entrance gate. There is also a Christian cross.
» The Slavin Memorial was opened on 3 April 1960.

Slovak National Gallery, Bratislava

Location on the map:   Interesting facts: » Several museums located in different historic buildings were united into the complex called the Slovak National Gallery. The mastermind was writer Laco Novomeský.
» The advocacy work on his art history and creative development started to operate in the middle of the last century. In addition to visual aids, themed meetings are held here.
» The collection includes over 50 thousand exhibits. The main building is adjacent to the square construction called Water Barracks (the police of the city had occupied it before).
» In the main gallery, in Esterhazy Palace (that is named after the surname of the Hungary nobles), you can see paintings, sculptures, decorated items, and pieces of applied art.
» Works of Slovak masters (13th-14th centuries) prevail in the collection: sanctuary icons, statues, and didjeridus. There are also many foreign pieces of art. Old constructions and modern buildings are presented in the layouts.
» The ground floor houses religious and Catholic sculptures, lots of icons and religious paintings. At the first floor, there is the Slovak fashion collection of the 50s-80s. The second level presents paintings of modern artists and pictures of the citizens’ way of life in certain periods.

Slovak National Museum, Bratislava

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The Slovak National Museum is primarily a main building that presents archaeological, historical and ethnographic artifacts. Numismatic, art and historic collections tell us about the nation development.
» At the ground floor, temporary exhibitions are often held. Their themes are always different. So, collections are different too: struggle for independence, folk traditions and signs, culture from ancient times to date.
» Visitors can learn more about the nature and geological structure of the region by examining the corresponding collection at the second level.
» The third level is occupied by a big library.
» According to the architectural project, the building was built of modern materials. It features clear lines and shapes. The entrance to the rooms is also permitted to persons with disabilities.
» The National Museum includes 18 special departments in different corners of the country. The museum fund includes over 3 million exhibits.
» The idea to open the national institution belongs to ethnographer Andrej Kme. His private collection (1908) includes the remains of mammoths he found in Slovakia.
» The Museum annually organizes over 2000 exhibitions all over the country and abroad. They are visited by over a million people.

Slovak National Theatre, Bratislava

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The theater consists of two buildings. The main building is located in the historic center. It was constructed in 1886.
» The house has non-covered decorative platforms. On the facade, there is the group of sculptures: the monument to the Muse of Comedy Talia and busts of eminent people of art.
» The bronze fountain with marble inserts at the entrance represents a young man taken by the Eagle of Zeus away.
» The hall accommodates almost 1000 visitors. The fine beauty of the chandelier really impresses. It consists of 64 spotlights. The hall is also illuminated by 800 gas lights.
» The walls are decorated with frescoes and paintings.
» The second building was built in 2007. It was being constructed for 21 years. It accommodates 1700 seats.
» The mirror exterior is unique. The facade resembles a semicircle. The fountain represents the palms drawn heavenwards, the symbol of worship of actors.
» Experimental performances are traditionally held in the modern theatre.
» The troop of the Slovak Theatre was formed in 1920. Only Czech actors were given main roles. The first Slovak opera was performed in 6 years.
» After the Second World War, the repertoire of the theatre started including the works of Soviet masters.
» Now, the repertoire includes different genres: opera, ballet, drama.

Slovak Philharmonic, Bratislava

Location on the map:   Interesting facts: » Orchester Slovenskej Filharmónie is the concert hall of the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra located in the hall of the Redoubt. It started to be built at the site of the abandoned barn. It was built in 1919.
» After the Second World War, the music hall passed to the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra. Some rooms are rented by a famous restaurant and casino.
» The palace that has been built according to the project of Budapest architects impresses with luxurious lines and shapes. It is a rectangular building with moldings, architectural floral elements, and small figures of Amurs on the facade.
» One wall and the central entrance front a narrow street.
» The exterior combines different architectural styles, including the Vienna Austrian Art of the beginning of the 20th century. The building has a very harmonious exterior.
» You can reach the upper levels and several audience halls from the main lobby by getting up the marble stairs. The building has plastered white and golden walls. There are huge transparent chandeliers and big mirror canvases. There is also an organ.
» The symphony orchestra was founded by the famous Czech composer and violinist in 1949.
» Visitors have an opportunity to see subtitles in different languages. The hall has excellent acoustics.

St. Martin Cathedral, Bratislava

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The temple was built on the hilltop, at the site of the former cemetery, in the 13th century. It was being built for 150 years. It was blessed in 1452.
» It is a proportional building. It ends with an 85-meter tower. Its top is decorated with the gilded copy of Hungary rulers. It is 1 m high and weighs 300 kg.
» In the Cathedral, the nobles - 10 rulers and one empress - were crowned.
» There are four chapels. There are tombs of eminent citizens under one of the chapels, at a depth of 6 meters.
» Architectural central entrance represents the preserved sample of the Slovak Renaissance. It represents the Holy Trinity.
» Kings sat in the long room during masses.
» There are also preserved documents recalling that the oratorio of Beethoven was performed here in the 18th century, and composer Liszt conducted here in the 19th century.
» The ceiling impresses with its decorations. There are wooden sculptures along the walls. You can see Biblical paintings on stained glass windows.
» In the territory, there is a monument to St. Martin the Merciful, the patron of the deprived. It represents him bending over the beggar and giving him a cloak.
» The temple houses the collection of church values.
» The cathedral church is open for visitors.

Trinitarian Church, Bratislava

Location on the map:   Interesting facts: » The Catholic Church was built in the style of baroque in 1717. The building with an unusual curved oval facade was blessed in 10 years.
» The cathedral was named after the saints who founded the Monastic Order of the Holy Trinity. The members of the Order redeemed Christians out from Muslim slavery.
» One of those people being redeemed was Cervantes who came back to Span and wrote his famous “Don Quixote” there.
» The temple is decorated with a flower dome made by the Italian master. There is a canvass above the main altar. It represents church patrons. The painting shows the time when captive slaves are redeemed.
» In 1844, the monastery was added to the church. Upon the order of the Austrian Emperor who opposed to the Catholic Church, the monastery was closed.
» This place is famous for concerts of eminent composers Liszt and Brahms and solemn meetings held.
» In 1862, the Priest blessed Philipp Eduard Anton von Lenard, a future nominee for the Nobel Prize in Physics.
» Significant historic events took place here. Kostol Trinitarov gained the status of the historical and architectural monument.
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