Nestled in the historic (and present) hub of the Slovak capital, Bratislava Castle is one of the most important monuments to the country’s heritage. Today, it’s a dominant feature of the city where it resides, but it also boasts a rich history that dates back all the way to 907. Let’s look at how it’s faring in the world today:
Table of Contents
- 1 Frequently Asked Questions
- 2 Early History
- 3 Current Times
- 4 Interesting Bratislava Castle Facts
- 5 Visiting Bratislava Castle – Tips and Tricks
Bratislava is a total survivor, as showcased by the fact that it never fell–even during the great Tartar Invasions of the 13th century.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is Bratislava Castle Located?
Bratislava Castle sits on an elevated hill in the capital of Slovakia, which it is named after.
When was Bratislava Castle Built? Who Build It?
The very first iteration of Bratislava Castle was a fortified settlement by the Celts. It was given its current form by the Slavic people of the Great Moravian Empire. Over the centuries, it was added to and refurbished by many notable figures such as Sigismund of Luxembourg, Ferdinand I, Maria Thersa, Joseph II, and more.
When is The Best Time to Visit the Castle?
Spring is an excellent time to visit, as the castle grounds are in full bloom providing a full experience to visit.
What Other Monuments are Located Nearby?
There are so many other notable landmarks you can visit in Bratislava. St. Martin’s Cathedral and The Old Town Hall are two notable destinations nearby.
FOR HISTORY | BEAUTIFUL IMAGES | INTERESTING FACTS | TRAVEL TIPS
Back to the Origins
Bratislava Castle occupies a highly strategic location and first made its appearance in history via the Annals of Salzburg in 907. However, archaeological evidence dictates that the place had been occupied by Stone, Bronze, and Iron Age settlements as well. From Celtic tribes to Roman settlements that bordered the area, the location of Bratislava has been a veritable hub and beating heart ever since its first iteration as a fortified encampment of the Celts.
Reincarnations through History
The Bratislava Castle that we see today has undergone several refurbishments and additions over the years. The Slavic people built it as a center of power when the great Moravian Kingdom was at the height of its power.
The 11th century saw it become an important part of the Hungarian State, and thus, a church and chapter house were added. The 12th century saw the incursion of a new stone building. During the 13th century, the addition of two stone towers made even more of an overall impact on the changing architecture of the castle. However, it wasn’t until the 15th century that the true revamp took place.
The Gothic Re-establishment (15th Century)
The monarchy of Sigismund of Luxembourg saw the country’s administration being relocated to Bratislava from Buda. Hence, the castle was given a total revamp as construction to keep out the Hussite forces. The changes included the eastern entrance and the addition of fortifications that were a whopping 7 meters (23 ft) thick.
The Renaissance Enactment (16th Century)
Ferdinand I was the reigning monarch in the 16th century, he ordered a Renaissance-style revamp of Bratislava Castle. This is also when the “Jewel Tower” on the southeast side was added to the existing structure. It was christened so because it housed the Hungarian Coronation Jewels.
Baroque Makeover (17th Century)
Bratislava became the seat of power of Pálffy (the provincial chief of the time), starting an entirely new chapter of refurbishment. Bratislava Castle was madeover in the Baroque style this time.
Maria Theresa, the reigning queen of the time, later had the entire castle tweaked to fit the tastes and lifestyle of her son-in-law, the governor of Saxony and Tessen.
Revisit More Historic Places Below or Read Further
Bratislava Castle is an important part of Slovakia’s legacy. The last time it saw a major revamp was in 1953. Progress was slow, and it wasn’t until the 60s that it was finally completed. The new construction was remodeled to house the Slovak National Museum, while some of the other parts of the castle were used as the government representative offices. It’s also an attractive tourist destination that has become a must-visit in Slovakia.
Interesting Bratislava Castle Facts
- Stephen I, the first Hungarian King, had the name of Bratislava Castle recorded on the coins that were used at the time (1000-1038).
- Bratislava is a total survivor, as showcased by the fact that it never fell–even during the great Tartar Invasions of the 13th century.
- Albert, the son-in-law of Maria Theresa, was an ardent art collector, and Bratislava was reworked to hold his collections. The collections were later transferred to Vienna.
- Bratislava once housed the General Seminary on the behest of Joseph II in 1783, but it was short-lived. It was immediately closed upon his death.
Visiting Bratislava Castle – Tips and Tricks
Bratislava is an excellent destination for history and architecture buffs alike, but it also has some stunning views and an experience for every tourist out there. Here’s everything you need to know about getting there:
How to get to Bratislava Castle?
The castle is an easy destination to visit if you’re in the city of Bratislava. It’s a 15-minute walk from the city center on foot. If you’d rather not, then take a 2-minute taxi ride to the entrance for just €3.5-€5.3 ($4-$6 USD).
Ticket Prices, Visiting Hours & Travel Tips
Bratislava Castle can be visited all year round. The summer schedule runs from April 1st to October 31st, with visiting hours of 10:00 am to 6:00 pm daily. The winter schedule,from November 1 to March 31st, is 9:00 am to 5:00 pm daily.
The Bratislava Card will get you free or discounted entrance to attractions throughout the city, with specifically free entrance to Bratislava Castle. There are 3 types of cards that you can avail of: a 24-hour period of access for €20 ($23 USD), 48 hours for €25 ($29 USD), or 72 hours for €28 ($32 USD).
How Long Will It Take to Tour Around?
2 hours are enough to visit Bratislava Castle in its entirety.
Some words of advice and tips:
- If you’re planning to walk there, then don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes.
- If you want the best pictures, then you should definitely climb up the tower.
- Guided tours can be availed in both English and Slovak, so choose accordingly.