Sunday, June 15, 2008

Bratislava, Slovakia (June 2, 2008)

Located on the Danube River only an hour from Vienna, Bratislava is the small and charming capital of Slovakia. Over the years, the site has been populated by Celts, Romans, Germanic tribes and Slavs, but it reached its pinnacle during the 16th century when it became the coronation place for the Hungarian kings.

The medieval Old Town is a lovely place to spend a leisurely afternoon, with its cobblestone streets, brightly colored buildings and sunny plazas lined with outdoor cafes. Whimsical bronze statues - now a hallmark of the city - peek out from the most unlikely places.

On a hilltop overlooking the Old Town sits Bratislava Castle; from the castle grounds, one can see across the Danube River to the endless rows of panelaks, large concrete apartment blocks that are characteristic of the former Communist states.
Hlavne nam, the main square of the Old Town, with the Old Town Hall behind. The Old Town Hall (which looks vaguely like a church) was built in the 15th century.
An Old Town street lined with cafes. The white tower in the back of the photo is St. Michael's Gate, the only surviving gate to the medieval city; it was originally built in the Gothic style but was later reconstructed in the Baroque style.
Between the 16th and 18th centuries, 11 Hungarian kings were crowned in the 15th century Gothic St. Martin's Cathedral
Occupying a strategic site above the Danube River, Bratislava Castle was once the seat of the Hungarian royalty
The "Rubberneck" statue lost his head twice because of careless drivers, so a road sign was erected to warn motorists!
Here I am beside another one of Bratislava's many whimsical statues

No comments: