Bratislava Architectural Jewels (Self Guided), Bratislava

Owing to the fact that the Danube Road connected Western Europe with the Orient, Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, has always been influenced by European art and culture. Visitors to the city can admire its Gothic and Baroque architecture, along with the splendid 20th century buildings. Don't miss the chance to explore Bratislava's great architectural variety!
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Bratislava Architectural Jewels Map

Guide Name: Bratislava Architectural Jewels
Guide Location: Slovakia » Bratislava (See other walking tours in Bratislava)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 Km or 2.2 Miles
Author: hollyg
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Bratislava Castle
  • New Bridge and UFO Observation Deck
  • Old Town Hall
  • Primate's Palace
  • Michael's Tower and Street
  • Capuchin Church
  • Trinitarian Church of Bratislava
  • Grassalkovich Palace
  • Slovak Radio Building
Bratislava Castle

1) Bratislava Castle (must see)

Bratislava Castle is the huge rectangular fortress with four corner towers, standing atop a rocky hill directly above the river Danube right in the middle of Bratislava. Strategically positioned to ensure safe passageway between the Carpathians and the Alps, for many centuries it had guarded crossing over the Danube at the intersection of the old central European trade routes – most notably the amber route – running from the Rhine River valley and the Baltic Sea down to the Balkans and the Adriatic Sea.

In good weather the Castle allows outstanding view of not only Bratislava, but also the neighboring Austria and Hungary. Many legends are associated with the Castle, which has found place in the historical and cultural heritage of both Hungarians and Germans, due to its connection to Hungary and the Hapsburg monarchy.
New Bridge and UFO Observation Deck

2) New Bridge and UFO Observation Deck (must see)

If there's anything unmistakably Bratislavan in the city, it is definitely the New Bridge across the Danube. This is the only bridge in the world being included in the World Federation of Great Towers. It is the longest cable-supported suspension bridge of its kind and the first asymmetrical bridge ever built. Completed in 1972, it was originally named the Bridge of the Slovak National Uprising. Today it is simply referred to as the New Bridge.

Made of steel, it fascinates onlookers mostly with the oval, UFO-like platform above its asymmetrical pylon. The platform in fact houses a restaurant. Apart from flying 95 meters above the bridge, the restaurant is popular for the sweeping views of the city. If you ever wish to visit this restaurant, you'd have to take an elevator.
Old Town Hall

3) Old Town Hall

The Old Town Hall of Bratislava is an excellent example of Gothic architecture and was originally built in the 1300s. It stands between Main Square and Primate’s Square and was originally designed to accommodate soldiers guarding the fortress surrounding the medieval town. During the Renaissance period, the building underwent transformation after being damaged by earthquake and then fire. Its beautifully tiled roof is now one of most recognizable city's landmarks.

In the course of the centuries the building had been used as a prison, mint, market, archive and arsenal until it finally became a Town Hall. Today it houses the Bratislava City Museum, featuring a collection of historic artifacts including cannonballs, dungeon instruments of torture and antique weaponry. One cannonball is of particular interest to visitors. You can find it embedded in the tower wall. It has been there since 1809 during bombardment of the city by the invading Napoleon troops.
Primate's Palace

4) Primate's Palace

Primate's Palace (or Primacialny palac as they call it) was created between 1778 and 1781 by architect Melchior Hefele for the Archbishop of Bratislava József Batthyány. The palace is famous for its Hall of Mirrors that has hosted many historic events over the centuries, including the signing of the fourth Peace of Pressburg in 1805 after the Battle of Austerlitz which effectively ended the War of the Third Coalition.
Michael's Tower and Street

5) Michael's Tower and Street (must see)

Michael’s Gate is one of the last pieces of medieval architecture in Bratislava and a gateway to the Old Town that was once surrounded by a massive fortified wall. That fortress had four gates in each direction. St. Michael’s Tower was part of the northern entrance and was built around the year 1300. In 1758, it was remodeled with the added baroque features and the statue of St. Michael and the Dragon placed at the top where it still remains.

Michael's Gate was the centerpiece of a larger fortification system which included two rings of city walls, two bastions, a barbican and a drawbridge over the water moat.

Today, the Tower holds an exhibition of old weapons. Apart from the weaponry, visitors to the Tower can also enjoy a magnificent view of the city opening from the top. Down below at the Michael's Street, visitors will be greeted with a variety of high-end stores and restaurants.
Capuchin Church

6) Capuchin Church

The Capuchin Church that was built in 1717 belongs to the Capuchin order in Bratislava and is consecrated to Saint Stephen of Hungary. You can find the statue of St. Stephen above the main portal. The Church has a very simple but notable design. The square of the Capuchin Church is decorated with a column to the Virgin Mary.
Trinitarian Church of Bratislava

7) Trinitarian Church of Bratislava

The Trinitarian Church of Bratislava is also known as the Church of Saint John of Matha and Saint Felix of Valois. Located in the Old Town of Bratislava, the church is chockfull of fantastic Baroque features. The structure was erected on the original location of the first St. Michael’s Church in 1717, after almost 200 years following the destruction of the St. Michael’s settlement during the Ottoman wars.

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 frescos, 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.
Grassalkovich Palace

8) Grassalkovich Palace

The Grassalkovich Palace is the residence of the Slovakian president. This palace represents a mixture of Rococo and late Baroque styles and was built by architect Anton Mayerhofer in 1760 for the Hungarian nobleman, Count Antal Grassalkovich, the vassal of Habsburg Empress Maria Theresa. The palace was intended primarily as an entertainment venue and had hosted many balls and musical parties throughout its history thrown by the Habsburg royals; eventually it became a popular center of musical life in Pressburg and saw many celebrities of the day, including composer Joseph Haydn himself premiering here some of his works.

In September 1996, the palace underwent reconstruction and was turned into a presidential office. The adjacent garden, containing the statue of Bratislava-born composer Jan Nepomuk Hummel, has been made a public park.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Slovak Radio Building

9) Slovak Radio Building

Known for its odd upside down pyramid structure, the Slovak Radio Building is unique and a worthwhile part of a sightseeing tour of Bratislava, Slovakia. This upside down construction was erected during the socialist years of Slovakia, prior to the fracture of Czechoslovakia. The building was designed by renowned architects Š. Svetko, Š. Ďurkovič and B. Kissling. Located on Mýtna ulica (street), the Slovak National Broadcasting Studio has several theaters and recording studios which have been used by musicians and musical groups from around Slovakia.

It took 15 years to build and represents a combination of cement and steel framework. The first broadcast from the building was in 1984. The concert hall, which is quite spacious, holds one of the largest organs within the nation. Slovak Radio is adjacent to Freedom Square and is close to the very tall Slovak National Bank building. The section of the city where it stands is the more contemporary part of the city. The building is only open to the public when musical performances and concerts are happening. The rest of the time, the facility is used by the Radio network for broadcasting purposes.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Bratislava, Slovakia

Create Your Own Walk in Bratislava

Create Your Own Walk in Bratislava

Creating your own self-guided walk in Bratislava is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Bratislava Introduction Walking Tour

Bratislava Introduction Walking Tour

Slovakian capital Bratislava straddles the river Danube right at the Austrian and Hungarian border. The closeness of these two countries has had its toll on the city's long and often tumultuous history in which the Austrians, Croats, Czechs, Germans, Hungarians, Jews, Serbs and Slovaks have played their role. It wasn't until 1919 that the city, prior to that known as Pressburg, got its...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 Km or 2.1 Miles
Historical Churches

Historical Churches

Religious Buildings of Bratislava are not just architectural monuments and historic treasures, but also beautiful places that convey a religious atmosphere and spiritual mood. Seize the opportunity to become a part of harmony by visiting Bratislava religious buildings.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles
Bratislava Old Town

Bratislava Old Town

The city of Bratislava can amaze you with its history. The special charm of the Old Town of Bratislava will leave you absolutely dazzled by the beauty of it all. It's possible to find anything to your taste here. Wonderful architecture, fine examples of art, lots of information on science and the history of Bratislava Old Town -- all will give you a real Slovakian experience.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.2 Km or 0.7 Miles