Bratislava Old Town (Starý Mesto) Centre Walk 1

AUG 10,2012 - AUG 10,2012 (1 DAYS)

Slovakia

1 DAYS

Citywalk

Bratislava old town (Starý Mesto):

Attractions: Župné námestie square, Trinitarian Church of Bratislava or Church of saints John from Matha and Felix from Valois, Capuchin Church (Kostol sv. Štefana), Michael's Gate (Michalská brána), Pharmacy Salvator, St. Martin Cathedral, monument to the synagogue, Gašparkovo divadlo, Kapitulská Ulica, Pálffy Palace in Ventúrska 10, Johann Pálffy Palace (Pálffyho palác, Panská 19), Hviezdoslavovo námestie (Hviezdoslavovo Square), Hlavné námestie (Main Square), Old Town Hall, Jesuit Church, Apponyi Palace, man-like statues, Roland Fountain (Maximiliánova fontána), Primate's Palace, Franciscan Church and Monastery, Mirbach Palace.

Tip 1: From Župné námestie (square) to Hlavné námestie (Main Square).

Tip 2: City Hostel.

Tip 3: El Gaucho restaurant.

Tip 4: Prasna Basta restaurant.

Start: Župné námestie square.

End:   Hlavné námestie or back to Župné námestie (350 m. from the main square).

Introduction - why Bratislava ? Bratislava has one of the smallest historical centres in the world but it is also one of the most charming. Bratislava is a city that is best explored on foot to fully appreciate its rich architectural heritage. The interesting mix of German, Hungarian, Austrian, Jewish and Czech influences is evident everywhere.Walk through the city's historic Old Town, filed with quaint cobblestone streets, trees and fountains around small parks. Bratislava is also rich in art and culture with ballet performances and operas taking place the year round. The well-preserved Staré Mesto (Old Town) of Bratislava is the perfect place to get a dose of the city’s medieval history, stroll through narrow pedestrian streets, or sip espresso at cafés.

We start our 1/2-3/4 day walk in the Župné námestie square. It is located near the: Kapucínska street , SNP Square (Square of the Slovak National Uprising) and the Commerce street. In 2006 it was completely renovated along with other streets around, in the historic center. The main square is connected with the edges of the town with tram lines. The square looks like half-pedestrian zone. The main building in the square is the Trinitarian Church (see below) - adjacent to an older building of the National Council.

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Trinitarian Church of Bratislava or Church of saints John from Matha and Felix from Valois (Slovak: Kostol trinitárov, Trinitársky kostol or Trojičný kostol or Kostol svätého Jána z Mathy a svätého Felixa z Valois) is a Baroque-style church in Bratislava's Old Town, on the Župné námestie square. The Trinitarian Church of Bratislava is also known as the Church of Saint John of Matha and Saint Felix of Valois. The church was built on the site of the older Church of St. Michael, which was demolished in 1529, along with the settlement of St. Michael, during the Ottoman wars, along with other suburbs, so as to see better the attacking Turks. The Trinitarian Order started construction of the church in 1717 and it was sanctified in 1727, although work in the interior continued into the first half of the 18th century. the church is chockfull of fantastic Baroque features. Many of the components found in the design of the building were influenced by features of the St. Peter’s Church in Vienna, the sister city of Bratislava. With its awe-inspiring vaulting and unbelievable frescoes, this is categorically a must-see for those who appreciate architecture. The altar was manufactured by A.G. Bussi. The main feature of the construction is the altarpiece showing St. John of Matha and St. Felix of Valois ransoming prisoners, while the statues of St. Agnes and St. Catherine flank the altar. Over the years, the great hall of the church has played host to various prominent composers who held concerts for the public, including Johannes Brahms and Franz Liszt. The building has served as a secular and sacred facility with everything from church services to political events being facilitated within its walls.

The entrance to the basilica of the Trinitarian Church of St John of Matha and Saint Felix of Valois. On the left is the former monastery, now a county house:

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Interior of the Trinitarian Church in Bratislava:

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

We head southeast on Župné námestie, 35 m and turn right to stay on Župné námestie, another 20 m. Continue onto Kapucínska. On our right is the Capuchin Church (Kostol sv. Štefana) - next to the Trinitarian church. Capuchin Church and monastery is devoted to St. Stephen. Opposite the church - Pillar of the Plague with Our Lady from 1723 dedicated to Virgin Mary:

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

View from Kapucínska to Bratislava Castle. On the right is the Capuchin Church:

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

From Kapucínska turn left onto Klariská, 40 m. Turn left (EAST) onto Baštová, 140 m. and turn left onto Michalská. Michael's Gate (Michalská vezha) or Tower (Michalská brána), Michalská 22 is on the right. Michael's Gate is the only city gate that has been preserved of the medieval fortifications. It is one of the oldest town buildings - built about the year 1300 AD. Its present shape is the result of Baroque reconstructions in 1758, when the copper sculpture of Archangel Michael was added on its top. The gate's tower hosts the Exhibition of Weapons of Bratislava City Museum. In the medieval times Bratislava was surrounded by fortified walls, and entry and exit was only possible through one of the four heavily fortified gates. In the north, there was St. Michael's Gate named after St. Michael and the St. Michael church that stood in front of it (outside the town wall). Later on it was put down and materials gained from it were used in the building of additional town walls. On the east side of the town, it was the Laurinc Gate, named after Saint Lawrence, in the south it was the Fishermen's Gate (Halász kapu), (Rybná brána). This was the smallest gate of the four, used mainly by the fishermen entering the city with fish caught in the river Danube. On the west side it was the Vydrica Gate (Vödric kapu), (Vydrická brána), also called the Dark Gate or Black Gate, since it was like a tunnel - dark and long. 

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Michael's Gate was the centerpiece of a larger fortification system which included two rings of city walls, two bastions, a barbican and a falling bridge over the water moat. While the city walls have disappeared in this part of the city, the barbican survives, although partially built into later houses. Today, the barbican is partially built into the house on Michalská Street No. 25. It contained windows (holes) facing the moat area, which were visible as late as 1960's, but are completely covered now. The falling bridge was later replaced by a wooden one and the brick structure that is today's Michael's Bridge was built in 1727 and it is the oldest bridge in the city. This area also contains the last remaining stretch of the Bratislava Moat, half of which has been made accessible to the public since year 2006, the other half remains closed for unknown reasons. You can see the tower from all around the relatively small Old Town. There is a very interesting exposition about Arms and Municipal Fortifications on six floors of the tower. If you venture up to the very top of the tower you will be rewarded with outstanding views of Bratislava, and an excellent photo opportunity of the castle. Open All Year: WED - MON: 10.00 - 17.00. Closed Tuesdays:

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

450 metres away, you’ll see the Pharmacy Salvator with a lobster hanging up at the entrance and medicines showed in the stalls. Find out the history of pills, drugs if you are interested to…. Head south on Michalská toward Zámočnícka, 150 m (we'll return to this place in the end of our itinerary). Continue onto Ventúrska, 200 m.

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Note at Ventúrska #3 the Academia Istropolitana. This is the first academic university of the former Hungarian empire founded
by king Matthias Corvinus in 1465. The Academia Istropolitana was of
immense significance for the development and promotion of the humanist philosophy in the Hungarian empire. One of the European scholars who taught here was Johannes Muller Regiomontanus (1436 to 1476), who lectured on the movement of the Earth around the Sun 100 years before Galileo !!! Today the Academy of Performing Arts resides in the building. BUT, apart from the courtyard, the palace IS NOT OPEN to the public:

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip
Turn right onto Panská, 100 m.

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

and the museum is on the left (Panská 25). It is a neo-Renaissance building and former pharmacy constructed by pharmacist Rudolf Adler in 1904. The pharmacy itself was founded by Archbishop Georg Lippay in the 17th century and changed owners and locations several times before settling in this custom-built structure where it continued to operate for another 102 years before being shut down in 1996. The building used to contain culturally protected Baroque pharmaceutical furniture from the year 1727 which is today in a private collection. The building's facade features a stone statue of Christ the Saviour by sculptor Alojz Rigele. The ground floor is abandoned and the upper floors contain 10 flats, partially occupied by the Slovak National Theatre employees. Since 1963 the building is a culturally protected monument and it is one of the more striking examples of neo-Renaissance architecture in Bratislava. Pharmacy Salvator is located across the street from the monumental St. Martin's Cathedral and it is part of most guided tours of the city:

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Head southwest on Panská, 85 m.Note at Panská 29 (above shop window of an optician) the Taunter sculpture. There are various explanations for this strange carving of a small, apparently naked man set into the façade of a house. One of them says it was intended to ridicule the curious owner of an adjacent house who used to spy on passers-by on the street through a small window. Another explanation says it's a boy rushing to the window from his chamber pot to the window so as to not miss a coronation parade:

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Turn right toward Rudnayovo námestie,  4) m. Turn right onto Rudnayovo námestie and St. Martin Cathedral, (Dóm sv. Martina) (Katedrála svätého Martina), Rudnayovo námestie 1 will be on the left. It is situated at the western border of the historical city center below Bratislava Castle. It is the largest and finest, as well as one of the oldest churches in Bratislava, This XIV’th Gothic building was the coronation church, between 1563 and 1830, of 19 Hungarian Emperors (including Maria Theresia) until the 19th century. St Martin's 85 m. spire dominates Bratislava Old Town’s skyline. The tower virtually formed a part of the town’s fortifications, built as it was into the city’s defensive walls. The surroundings of St Martin's are impressive as the structure itself. These include the picturesque remains of outer buildings in a spacious courtyard, and a working seminary with robed adepts on a cobblestone side street. Open: MON - SAT 09.00 - 17.00, SUN 13.30 - 16.00 (November - March it closes 1 hour earlier ). Price: € 2.

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

A small but significant neighbor of the cathedral is a monument to the synagogue, which stood next door for centuries until the Communist government demolished it around 1970 to make room for a new Nový Most bridge. The original synagogue and a lot of the Jewish quarter were destroyed by the Communists when they built the new highway and bridge many years ago.  The monument and a model of the demolished synagogue sit on the site of the original synagogue. There’s a Holocaust memorial behind it:

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Don’t be disappointed by its exterior which seems a bit common and let your steps get in where you’ll be impressed by every detail and where you’ll imagine what was a luxurious ceremony of coronation like. Apart from a nice statue of St. Martin carved by sculptor Georg Rafael Donner, you can see golden, Gothic style altars which you’ll find quite attractive. On the whole, the most important details are a Classic Gothic nave, the vaulted arches and stain-glassed windows which strike every tourist. The final leg of your visit is climbing to the church’s tower where it is displayed St. Stephen’s Crown, a 1m high copy of the Hungarian royal crown and other treasury things ( Beethoven has had a premiere here). The cathedral contains the remains of Saint John the Merciful who died in the early 7th Century:

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Carved relief from 19. cent. by Ferdinand Prinoth from St. Ulrich on Gothic side altar:

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

The best-known works in the cathedral were created in the eighteenth century by Austrian baroque sculptor Georg Raphael Donner at the behest of Imre Esterhazy, Bishop of Esztergom. He created the main altar, a small Baroque chapel dedicated to St John and a large lead statue of the cathedral's patron saint, Martin, astride a horse. Art historians consider this statue of St Martin among Donner's most interesting works. Martin is leaning off his horse to cut his robe in two pieces so he can give half to the shivering, naked poor man cowering below. Donner's statues are always quite vivid, but this figure engages the viewer in the action even more than usual.

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Facing the rear of the church after walking in, there is a Westwerk, a gallery where the king could sit above the congregation during services.

South to the St. Martin Cathedral and the Salvator Pharmacy stands the El Gaucho - Argentinian Steakhouse, Hviezdoslavovo námestie 13 (see Tip 3 below).

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

In the end of Rudnayovo námestie road, at #4 - stands the Gašparkovo divadlo - Family and Children Environmental Bratislava Theater with a capacity of 45 children turned up to offer regular performances every weekend. There is also a game room which is open one hour before and during the performance. Shows held over the weekend, usually on Saturday at 17.00 hrs., On Sunday at 11.00. Prices: from € 3.5 to € 4.5. You must buy a ticket for a parent. Children under 12 months have free admission. Tickets can be purchased one hour before the performance:

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

You can surround the St. Martin Cathedral to its northern side and get a  glimpse up of the Kapitulská Ulica (road). From the 16th to 19th century, “Canonry Street” greeted the first steps of the newly coronated Hapsburg kings and queens, who descended from the St. Martin’s Cathedral. Today, you can hardly imagine such pomp. While Kapitulská is the most authentic section of Old Town Bratislava, it’s also the most neglected. It is a cobble-stoned lane - be on guard not to sprain an ankle on the steep stones. Admire the simple but elegant two-story homes, with archways tall enough for the horse-drawn carriages:

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

We trace back and return to the Ventúrska road (we've been there before). Head south on Kapitulská toward Úzka, 15 m. Turn left onto Prepoštská, 100 m. Turn right onto Ventúrska, 50 m. Walk along Ventúrska road with your face to the south. After passing Zelená on your left - you see the Pálffy Palace in Ventúrska 10. Perhaps the most astonishing fact is that there are two Pálffy Palaces in Bratislava’s old town and both are often mixed up. One just called Pálffy Palace and the other called Johann Pálffy Palace. Pálffy Palace (non-Johann…) is from 1747, a Baroque-style palace located in the centre of Bratislava. It is recognizable from its attractive portal.. It was built for count Leopold Pálffy, an Austrian army officer form the powerful Pálffy family. Young Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart gave one of his first public concerts here in 1762. Today, it houses the Austrian Embassy of Slovakia.

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Head south on Ventúrska toward Panská, 75 m. Turn left onto Panská and at # 19 is the SECOND Pálffy Palace. Johann Pálffy Palace is a classicist palace from 1747. It was the seat of the Pressburg county administration from the early 19th century to the late 1850s. It now hosues a part of the Bratislava City Gallery. (Galéria mesta Bratislavy - Pálffyho palác, Panská 19) (near the Hviezdoslav Square). Today the palace offers contemporary selections as well as the classic masters collections. Note: The Bratislava City Gallery displays its collections in TWO historical building located in the historical centre of Bratislava, namely at Mirbach Palace, situated in Františkánske square opposite the Franciscan Church, and at Pálffy Palace, situated in Panská Street 19, opposite the British Embassy. The palace is standing on the site of a former building, which was until the mid-1850s the seat of Pozsony county. After the seat moved elsewhere, it was rebuilt in late Classicist style by the Pálffy family, who were former hereditary chiefs of the Pozsony county. Open everyday (EXCEPT MONDAYS): 11.00 - 18.00:

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Visually, most popular is probably the "Passage" by Matej Krén, consisting of almost 15,000 books, which, together with mirrors, create an illusion of endless space and infinity of human knowledge.

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Another extraordinary piece is the "Villa of Mysteries" by Alex Mlynárčik, which presents significant part of Slovak fine art and an authentic evidence of the originally created for the period. It has originally been created for the exhibition in Lund (Sweden).

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Permanent exposition consists also Slovak art, Gothic glass paintings, pictures from the Dutch and Flemish masters from 17th and 18th centuries, also pieces by Italian masters from the 17th to 19th century. 
Saints - St. Sebastian - Dorota Sadovská:

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

If you sneak a bit further to the south - you arrive to the Hviezdoslavovo námestie (Hviezdoslavovo Square). It is located in the Old Town, between the New Bridge and the Slovak National Theatre. The square is named after Pavol Országh Hviezdoslav (a Slovak poet, dramatist, translator and for a short time member of the Czechoslovak parliament). We'll return to this square later (see the second blog of the old town) !

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

We'll head to Zámočnícka - using a different route (not repeating the Ventúrska road). It is a 500 m. walk. From Panská 19 (the Bratislava City Museum/Gallery) we head northeast on Panská toward Rybárska brána,160 m. Turn left onto Rybárska brána, 55 m. Turn right onto Hlavné námestie, 60 m. Hlavné námestie (Main Square) is one of the best known squares in Bratislava. It is often considered to be the center of the city. The main square of Bratislava, surrounded by colorful buildings, restaurants, souvenir shops and mini market. The place stages a series of summer concerts, or the christmas market in December. During the socialism period (1948–1989), the square was named Námestie 4. apríla (4 April Square:  the day when Bratislava was liberated by the Red Army at the end of WW2). Earlier names were: Hitlerovo namestie (1939–1945), Masarykovo namestie, Ferenc József tér (1914), Fő tér, Hauptplatz (1879), Franz Joseph-Platz (1850), Forum civitatis (1668), Ring (1434), Markcht (1404), Forum (1373). Some of the main landmarks found in the square are the Old Town Hall and Roland Fountain. It is beautiful, very well maintained and primarily comprised of pedestrian-only streets - a plus if you like to wander around looking up at buildings and statues. There's no traffic and it is surrounded by beautiful pastel coloured Renaissance buildings.
Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

North side of the Town Hall and the Jesuit Tower:

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Within the square you can visit the Old Town Hall as well as the Museum of the History of Bratislava and Bratislava City Museum found within this famous building. It is the oldest city hall in the country with a tower that offers a charming panoramic view on the main sights. There is always something going on – traditional markets, concerts or other types of cultural program. Old Town Hall is from the 14th century in the Old Town of Bratislava. The tower was built approximately in 1370. Today, Old Town Hall has been used as the city museum (see above). Do not miss the inner courtyard !

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Note the Man in Black painted on the facade of the Old Town Hall, by the
Gothic bay. According to a legend - it is an illustration left here by the
devil of a devious councilor who wanted to expel a widow out of
her property.

The Jesuit Church (Holy Saviour Church) (Kostol Najsvätejšieho Spasiteľa) an originally protestant church from the 17th century on the Franciscan Square in the Old Town of Bratislava. Today, the church belongs to the Society of Jesus, known as the Jesuit Order:

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Next door is the Apponyi Palace, Radničná 1 (It is the first narrow street on the right from the Old Town Hall), which is another restored historical building hosting two more interesting museums, the Period Rooms Museum and the Museum of Viticulture (wine making). The palace formerly belonged to Hungarian nobleman Count George Apponyi. As we said, the museum it now contains presents Bratislava's history as a city full of vineyards, wine bars and wine cellars. Today, once again, many of these have come back to life. Fine local wines are available to taste and buy in the palace's historical courtyard. They are worth a try: the excellent wines from this area were once drunk by King Matthias Corvinus and the Bohemian aristocracy. From 1767, Empress Maria Theresia imported 'Frankovka' (a local variety of red wine) from the Bratislava district of Rača to the Viennese court. The ticket you purchase in the Museum of Period Rooms is valid also for the Museum of Viticulture. Open Hours: daily except Mondays, TUE - FRI 10.00 – 18.00, SAT - SUN 11.00 - 18.00. Prices: 4 € per person:

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

It’s time to meet wonderful man-like statues! Where? Just in the Old Centre. On the square you can see the famous Nepoleon's Army Soldier statue perched over the park bench. Additional quirky statues can be found in the area as well, like:

Cumil or Rubberneck (on the corner of Panska street and Rybarska gate) - inspired by the figure of The Good Soldier Švejk. There’s a working man called Cumil who invites tourists to lean forward (to the ground) to be taken a photo with. He’s not filthy so don’t be afraid and give him a hug while saying cheese:

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Not far from this popular statue, it stands another one- the Paparazzi (or the Photographer) (Laurinska street) which is coming from the corner, holding a camera to snap photos of every passer-by. Feel like a star!

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Wasn’t it enough? No, it’s time to encounter the happiest “person” on Bratislava or Schone Naci (Sedlarska street) , an older gentleman lifting his hat to greet you as you pass. Something like a famous clown who gained local fame so don’t miss it! Schöner Náci or Schöne Náci (real name Ignác Lamár) was a renowned Bratislava character of the mid-20th century. He was born in Petržalka on 11 August 1897 (then Hungary), and died of tuberculosis in Lehnice on October 23, 1967 (then Czechoslovakia). He was originally buried in Lehnice, but his remains were reburied in Bratislava's Ondrejský cemetery on September 2, 2007. Schöner Náci was the son of a shoemaker and grandson of a famous clown, also Ignác Lamár, and was inspired by the latter's example to bring happiness to the streets of the city. He walked around the Old Town and in particular the stretch from Michael's Gate to the river, in top hat and tails, greeting women with the words, “I kiss your hand” in German, Hungarian and Slovak. He received free food from several of the city’s cafes, and supported himself with occasional cleaning work:

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

The last but not the least interesting statue is the Napoleon’s Army Soldier one, leaning over a park bench in the center of the square, just waiting for you to take a souvenir photo with “him”:

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Roland Fountain (Maximilian Fountain) (Maximiliánova fontána). Oldest standing fountain in the city, it was ordered by Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor after a fire in 1563. The Maximilian fountain was built in 1572 in the Austrian stone workshop of Andreas Lutringer, with the financial support of the Hungarian King Maximilian II. Major reconstruction in the mid-18th century, outer pool added in 2006. The fountain features in local legends. It is a Slovak National Cultural Monument. However, the fountain is better known as Roland’s fountain. To this day, inhabitants of the town still perceive a veil of mystery around the fountain. The knight Roland stands in his place, facing the Town Hall:

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

If you walk past the Old Town Hall, just beyond Nlavne Namestie you will find the Primate's Palace (Primatial Palace), (Palac Primacialny), which is another attraction potentially worth visiting to see a rare collection of historic English tapestries (see below) and a lovely inner courtyard. It was once the headquarters of archbishops and cardinals, but it is perhaps more famous for its beautiful Hall of Mirrors, in which numerous political treaties and pacts have been signed over the years. The Bratislava treaty between France and Austria was signed here in the Hall of Mirrors on
December 26th 1805. Visitors can visit the hall. The beautiful Hall of Mirrors houses concerts and weddings. The palace also houses an exhibition of English tapestries from the 17th century, which originate from the royal loom in the English town of Mortlake and were discovered during the reconstruction in 1903. It remains a mystery how the tapestries made their way to Bratislava from Britain, but they are now among the most valuable art pieces to be found in Slovakia. The series of six tapestries tells the story of Hero and Leander in elaborate wool, silk and gilt thread. The Primatial palace (1778-1781) was built on the site of the original courtyard which belonged to the Esztergom archbishop. The frontal facade of the palace is designed in a strictly Classicist style. The first owner of the palace was cardinal Jozef Batthyanyi. At the top of the palace is an imposing black iron cardinal hat. The gable of the building is decorated with a number of allegorical statues, representing the cardinal’s human qualities and achieved ranks. Today, the palace is the seat of the town’s Mayor: 

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

The beautiful Renaissance Old Town Hall's courtyard holds cultural programs in the summer and concerts can be heard from the tower.

In the courtyard there is the beautiful St. George Fountain and it is interesting visit to the state apartments. The exquisite fountain of St. George is depicting the legendary knight battling a dragon. According to a legend, the figure of St. George is identical to the one of archbishop Juraj (George), and his battle with the dragon symbolizes the endeavor of the Catholic church to save the city from reformation. Legend has it that knight St. George saved virgin Dubravka from the dragon and as a reward received 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:

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Turn left to stay on Hlavné námestie, 30 m. Continue onto Františkánske námestie, 140 m. On your right, the Franciscan Church and Monastery. The Franciscan Church and Monastery is the oldest church in the Slovak Republic's capital city. The tall Gothic tower was built in the 13th century and is visible throughout whole Bratislava. It is hidden
behind a Baroque facade of the Church of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary. In the 16th century this was the site where Hungarian noblemen were made knights of golden spurs (as a part of a coronation). The chapel of St. John the Evangelist from the 14th century ranks amongst the rarest Gothic monuments in Slovakia. The Franciscan monastery has an original Gothic crossed arcade corridor. In 1526 the Hungarian parliament elected Ferdinand I as the first Habsburg king on the Hungarian throne. After an earthquake in 1897 the statics of the original Gothic tower were disturbed. The tower was therefore, dismantled and relocated to the Petržalka park where it stands to this day. The inhabitants of the city insisted that the earthquake was a manifestation of divine wath for the allegedly godless life of the Franciscan monks.
OPENING HOURS: SUN - THU 10.30 – 17.00:

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Across from the Franciscan Church, you will find the Mirbach Palace (Primaciálny palác), Františkánske nám. 11, which is one of two city locations to host the City of Bratislava Gallery (see above). The yellow/pink palace itself is an artistic jewel from the old Pressburg era. Along with its Rococo style architecture, colourful engravings are also preserved from the original interior design. The palace is named after its last owner, Count Emil Mirbach who was shot in 1945 by the invading Russians and the palace was expropriated along with the contained Mirbach's art collections. The palace was completely renovated in 1975. After renovations and reconstructions, the palace became one of two seat of Bratislava City Gallery. Mirbach Palace now holds occasional gallery shows in its halls, and houses the permanent exhibition of Central European Baroque Painting and Sculptures, which attracts many tourists. The ground floor is currently home to modern works by Slovak artist Milan Pagáč, including a floor-filling neon installation. The first floor holds a permanent exhibition of the gallery's collection of central European baroque painting and sculpture. Two of its rooms, elaborately wood-panelled, are preserved from the original palace interior. Each of the panels – and there are scores of them – holds a small neoclassical painting, but the overall effect, perhaps due to the dim lighting, is gloomy rather than spectacular. It is worth persevering through the hundred or so artworks arranged around the floor: towards the end are two (a third is currently on loan to the Louvre in Paris) of Franz Messerschmidt's astonishingly modern 'character heads'. These grimacing bronze busts were created by the artist after he had moved to Bratislava (then Pressburg) in the late 1770s (see Tipter Vienna Belvedere blog). Open daily except Mondays, 11.00 – 18.00. Prices: €3.50:

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip We continue from the Hlavné námestie (Main Square) to Zámočnícka road (Locksmith Street). From the impressive Hlavné námestie continue NORTHWARD onto Zámočnícka, 40 m.

Zámočnícka road (Locksmith Street):

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

At No. 11 in Zámočnícka road  - you can find the famous Prasna Basta (see Tip 4) restaurant. To return to our start point: Head west on Zámočnícka toward Michalská, 60 m. Turn right onto Michalská, 40 m.  Michalská turns right and becomes Hurbanovo námestie, 75 m. Take the crosswalk, 40 m. Turn left onto Župné námestie, 130 m.

Connection with the "Bratislava Old Town (Starý Mesto) Centre Walk 2" itinerary: we ended this route in the Zámočnícka ulica, 50 m. from Michalská brána (Michael's Gate and Tower). So, we start our connection in the Michalská brána (Michael's Arch) - Michalská road.

Head north on Michalská toward Hurbanovo námestie, 30 m. Michalská turns right and becomes Hurbanovo námestie, 75 m. Take the crosswalk, 50 m. Continue onto Námestie SNP (youv'e, already, been here in the first walk...), 350 m. Turn right to stay on Námestie SNP, 80 m. Take the crosswalk, 400 m. Turn right onto Klemensova, 400 m. Continue onto Krupkova, 130 m. Turn left onto Pribinova, 250 m. Turn right to stay on Pribinova, and M. R. Štefánika square is on the right, 55 m. Now turn to the "Bratislava Old Town (Starý Mesto) Centre Walk 2" blog.

Accommodations

City Hostel, Obchodna 38, Bratislava: The main advantage of City Hostel is its central location on THE main shopping street. Nearby are many shops with clothes, supermarkets with budget prices (Billa, Lidl), eateries like McDonald's etc'. It is also the street of the city nightlife. Many bus and tram stops around. My (double - only twin beds) room was very quiet and spacious. The hostel is on a pedestrian-only alley with no access for cars. Room is simply furnished - beds, TV, wardrobe and bathroom with shower and towels. Inner walls are very thin. NO breakfast. Another downside is that WI-FI isn't available in the bedroom and you have to go to the reception area to get internet connection.  Just one single computer is available for guests, at the reception. Double Bed Private Ensuite room (reserve far in advance) is approx. 36 euros (for couple):

Food

El Gaucho - Argentinian Steakhouse, Hviezdoslavovo námestie 13:

The best meat in town. Fresh, high-quality locally sourced and sustainable products. Very friendly and kind service. Reasonable prices. Main dishes: 6 - 16 euros. The Argentinian touch can be found in all parts of the restaurant concept – The menu, drink and wine list and ambience. Israeli ownership. Recommended for heartily generous meal !

Online reservation: http://www.elgaucho.sk/en/about-us/el-gaucho-concept

Food in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Food in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Food

Prašná Bašta restaurant, Zamocnicka 11:
If you want to dine in Old Town, Prašná Bašta, an old style cellar restaurant offers a varied menu in an old gunpowder bastion or their spacious garden patio or in their splendid beer garden. It is 50-70 m. from Michael's gate. Good food. The food is cooked well and you will leave full and contented. Nice surroundings. Polite and pleasant service. Moderate to medium prices.

Food in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Food in , Slovakia, visiting things to do in Slovakia, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Please sign in to start using your backpack.