What to see in the capital of Slovakia: castle tour

    What to see in the capital of Slovakia: castle tourTrip around the capital of Slovakia. Immersed in the surrounding nature, some of the most beautiful castles in the republic are hidden.

    Before starting your visit to the castles of Bratislava, it is worth noting that in Slovakia the term "castle" usually refers to both the "hrad" and the "zámok". The first is the castle built for defensive and war reasons, recognizable by the powerful and sublime appearance of the fortifications; with zámok, however, we refer to those palaces intended for royal ceremonies or seasonal residences of noble families. On this itinerary you will discover beautiful hrad and zámok capital of Slovakia and its surroundings.

    Visit now Bratislava Castle, in the heart of the capital. Located in the Staré Město, the ancient and central part of the city, it offers visitors a breathtaking view, both during the day and in the evening. Being located on a hilly area caressed by the flow of the Danube, the top of which is easily reachable on foot, you can see the entire extension of the city and a large stretch of the great river.

    Inside, it houses the national museum, part of a museum structure in the capital that brings together numerous other art centers in Slovakia. The museum offers to view objects and works dating back to the different ages of civilization in this area of ​​the capital, starting from those of the Roman and medieval times (some documents from the 10th century already attest to the existence of the castle) up to statues dedicated to the great rulers of these areas.

    A two-hour walk along the banks of the Danube and through one of Slovakia's many beautiful nature reserves (the Fialková dolina), you reach the Devin Castle. On this journey you will probably travel the same roads that Saints Cyril and Methodius trod in their evangelizing work in the surroundings of the capital. The fantastic fortress located on a cliff approximately 200 meters high will leave you breathless.

    Some parts of Devin Castle are affected by the collapses that marked its long history, but this does not deprive it of its natural charm. These areas surrounding the capital of Slovakia were also inhabited by some ancient peoples: in the last century, archaeologists discovered Roman towers dating back to around the 1st century AD.

    Observe the panorama below, the sinuous plain and the blue waves of the rivers Morava and Danube and pay attention to the so-called “maiden's tower”. On this hill, in fact, according to tradition, many of the young women locked up in the castle, exhausted by waiting for their imprisonment, ended their lives by throwing themselves into the void.

    Six kilometers on foot or by bike from Devin, or about forty kilometers by car from the capital, passing through the verdant Devinska Kobyla reserve, you will find the Hof Castle. It is a castle of recent origins: it was built in 1700 as can be seen from the architectural profile and interiors. One of the events in the history of Slovakia that gives great symbolic and historical value to the castle was the marriage of Maria Christina of Habsburg-Lorraine (daughter of the great Maria Theresa of Austria) and Albert of Tassonia-Teschen, which took place in 1766.

    Stop to visit the imposing garden in which the castle is immersed. In fact, as many as seven lush terraces will keep you in these areas for a while. Some interesting points of the garden are the Najade waterfall in the third terrace, the one in front of the castle; then the statues representing the rivers of Slovakia in the next terrace; and then ending with the wooded area in the last one, at the end of the garden.

    Finally, just over an hour's drive from the capital you will reach another fantastic stop on your trip to Slovakia. This is the castle of Smolenica. Extended like few others, it recalls the French architectural style. You recognize it by the colors of the roof, red, black and the turquoise of the high dome. However, there are also some Italian artistic touches, such as some interiors designed by Pietro Mazzacheto.

    Like other castles in the surroundings of the capital, Smolenice is also located in the green plains of Slovakia. The wonderful interior furnishings, worthy of families of high noble rank, are unfortunately inaccessible to the public except in the summer season (opening in July and August). More than at tourist visits, this castle is intended for conferences of various types, such as those held by the Slovak Academy of Sciences.

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