Monday, January 2, 2017

Bratislava - Slovakia

I was in Bratislava in September 2014, Ara was there last month. The city may not dazzle like the neighboring countries capitals but it is still worth the visit.
Bratislava is easily accessible. The city is safe, friendly, hassle-free and it’s all there. History, architecture, tradition, culture, art, drinks, food and nightlife.

The city walls and the wonderful St. Michael’s Gate remind visitors that town fortifications were essential in the 1300s. The architecture ranges from gothic to Renaissance, baroque, rococo to neo-classic and empire. The coronation route of Hungarian Kings is marked out in plaques with gilded crowns hammered into the cobblestones. Visitors seeking the inside story need only take the tour through the Old Town Hall, including its climb to the top of the bell tower and the castle, which  Maria Theresa used as her favourite residence.
Several parts of the city were changed during socialism and for those curious about what happened during the 40-year communist era, Bratislava offers a chance to get beyond the generalisations. There is abundant evidence of the boldness of the communism experiment, the remarkable housing project at Petržalka, the concrete bunkers dotting the border between Austria and Slovakia, the striking UFO bridge, the memorials to the fallen soldiers who liberated Bratislava from the Nazis, as well as the memorial to those who lost their lives attempting to flee across the Iron Curtain in Devín where another castle is located. While the castle is largely unreconstructed, there are some historical exhibits to help the visitors appreciate its story. - in:

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