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Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, is located southwestern Slovakia on the borders with Austria and Hungary. It is the only national capital that borders two independent countries. Known as Pressburg to German-speakers or Pozsony to Hungarian-speakers, Bratislava got its present name only since 1919. But the city has a long and proud history that dates back to pre-Roman times.
The city was the capital of the Kingdom of Hungary, a part of the larger Habsburg Monarchy territories and became a coronation town and the seat of kings and all major organisations and offices. Eleven Hungarian kings and queens were crowned at St. Martin's Cathedral including The Queen Maria Theresa.
For many people still known as a part of former Czechoslovakia, Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia becoming more and more popular city, modern and young so called “Partyslava” or “BARtislava”.
Bratislava surrounding - one day trips from Bratislava
The territory of this region is suitable for extended stay as well as for short term trips. Tourists destinations are accessible approximately 45 driving from Bratislava city centre.
ViennaIf you want to jump away for a daytrip to another country why to don’t take a boat trip to Vienna? There are several companies and ways of transport how to get there. Either choose Hydrofoil or take Twin City Liner - find all details, schedules and special offers.
Small Carpathian Wine Route
Those who have the chance to take Small Carpathian Wine Route, a trip to the small cities and villages under the hills of the Small Carpathian, can encounter their beautiful scenery with vineyards and small towns at their foot similar to a string of pearls.
Life in that region equals wine above all. Wine made local people to cut the woods on the slopes of Small Carpathians, to plant vine, to develop trades and crafts for making and storing wine but also to drinking it in a noble manner. Wine brought well being to the Small Carpathian towns of Pezinok, Modra and Svätý Jur and helped them to be granted the status of privileged royal towns in the beginning of the 17th century.
Slovak wines are not known beyond the borders of the country. Slovakia produce 0.3 % of European wines and Slovaks are able to consume all wine they make. However, small amounts are exported, even to Japan. Some fifteen-twenty years ago Slovak wines were not very famous. Produced industrially in large amounts it were mainly sweet wines mixed of various sorts with high addition of beet sugar. Such wines were popular then and some remain even now, e.g. Nitrianske knieža (Knight of Nitra) or Kláštorné červené (Red from Monastery), which are served in some restaurants or pubs with low respect to wine.
But it can hardly happen in facilities marked with small white
boards reading Malokarpatská vínna cesta - Small Carpathian Wine Route.
Wine served here is usually a quality dry sort wine grown in
region of Small Carpathians, mainly Welschriesling, Riesling, Veltlin,
Lemberger or St. Laurent. The best way to taste wine is to visit
cellars of private vintners who started their business after the fall
The largest cellars in Small Carpathians are to be found in village Častá. Those in the one of the most impressive Slovak castle Červený Kameň (known in past also as Bibersburg) are empty and one can only admire it and guess how much copper ore was stored here in the turn of Middle and New Ages when Fugger family owned the castle and manors around. The name Fugger is also connected with the wine cellar having the largest sitting capacity in the region. An old Fugger manor house is being reconstructed and the stone cellar is really impressive.
For history lovers there is a chain of castles, ruins and historical reconstructions of old settlements from Bratislava to Smolenice (Devín, Bratislava castle, Biely Kameň in Svätý Jur, Červený Kameň, Molpír and Smolenice chateau) as well as museums in Pezinok, Modra and Svätý Jur. Svätý Jur itself is the best preserved town on the Small Carpathian Wine Route. Its centre was listed as Municipal Historical Memorial Preserve List in 1990.
Return to the past in Cerveny Kamen Castle (Redstone Castle)
There are only two non-ruins castles around Bratislava. The first one is the Bratislava castle that was rebuilt in the last century and the second one is the national cultural monument Cerveny Kamen Castle. Cerveny Kamen is situated in the picturesque surroundings of the Small Carpathians Mountains and through its advantageous position and unique collections is one of the most visited castles in Slovakia. Its distance to Bratislava is 28 kilometres only.
There is a museum at the castle, which makes available records of the development of the residences of the aristocracy from the 16th century to the beginning of the 20th century. A part of the museum is exhibition of historical arms.
Cellars of the Cerveny Kamen Castle, remnants of the Fugger family era, represent with their extensiveness, ingenious architectonic design and connection of individual halls a work of immense value, unrivalled in Slovakia. Guided tours last approximately 1.5 hours.
Within the castle complex, you can visit the Astur Falcon court, open daily except Monday from 1.4. to 31.10. between 10.00am and 5.00pm. Exhibition of birds of prey can be seen at 11.15am, 2.15pm and 4.15pm.
A further attraction is horse and ponny riding, and carriage trips around the historical park.
How to get there
From Bratislava via the route No. 202 it is only 28 kilometres to the castle. Cities, and villages on this route are part of the Small Carpathian Wine Route: Svaty Jur, Pezinok, Modra. After Modra the castle is visible on your left. 6,5 kilometre after Modra turn on the left to Pila village. The castle dominates over the village. There is a paid parking just in front of the castle.
Roman Military Camp Gerulata in Rusovce
If you want to move in time and get several centuries back and get to know fascinating military and civil life of Romans, we invite you to visit Roman military camp Gerulata which was a part of unique fortification in the north boundary of Roman imperium - LIMES ROMANUS. Roman LIMES was spreading from Britain to Balkan in length of 3000 km and existed more than 400 years. Its Germanic part is listed in The List of European Cultural Heritage UNESCO, The tradition of life in Roman camp is presented every year in September thanks to "Roman games" presenting the habits of dressing, food and martial arts in Antique Rome.
Ancient Times Gerulata National Cultural Monument, the exposition brings the history of Roman Empire in the territory of Slovakia closer. The museum is located in the space where a Roman military camp Gerulata used to be. Province Panonia is the only one in our territory that was an integral part of the Roman Empire. It was built in the 2nd century as a part of the Limes Romanus system. It was abandoned in the 4th century, when Roman legions withdrew from Pannonia.
Piestany - Spa City
Piestany attracts many who seek health-oriented spa treatment, especially those who seek high value for the cost. Guests from Eastern Europe and Arab countries have been coming for many years, but increasingly western Europeans also appreciate Piestany. This is because Piestany offers so many old-fashioned cures which Europeans have found effective for generations, at truly affordable prices.
Unlike most places in Slovakia, life in Piestany does not pivot on the town square or high street, although this is also attractive and well kept. Most services of interest to visitors, including several good restaurants, cluster in and around the larger hotels and health spas. These make up the largest and oldest industry of the 30,000 residents, although in recent years foreign investors have come to develop other industries as well.
A Balneological museum on Piestany's ancient and modern history features several sites open to the public, including 9th century castle ruins, the history of local spa treatments, and small exhibits on folk and sacred art.
How to Get There
Most trains on the main line north from Bratislava (about an hour away) stop at Piestany’s train station, from where it is a pleasant walk or short taxi ride to the spas and hotels. It is also each to reach Piestany by car via the main E75 highway. There are many bus connections from other points.
Independent tourist guide for Piestany and its spa hotels.
Castle Ruins of Pajstun & Plavecky Castle
Pilgrimage to Marianka
History of the oldest pilgrimage place in Slovakia - Marianka begins in 1377 and it is followed by legend about an anchoret, miraculous statue of Virgin Mary and miraculous spring. In this place, the monestary, church, Chapel of St. Fountain and Calvary were built step by step, creating the monumental zone today. Many desires were heard in "Mariatal valley" from the times when this legendary anchoret lived, about what we have a proof by votive boards of pilgrims even from behind Slovak boundary.
Crypts in Malacky
If you have no fear from cold breath of the beyond and the presence of 200 dead people who are buried under monastery of Virgin Mary taken into heaven in Malacky town, then you should definitely visit the crypts in this small town right behind the mountains. This underground was built by Franciscans for their decedent members about 350 years ago. The sleep was also found here by last members of aristocratic palffy clan. Currently, reconstructed crypts serve as an exhibition. The heart of Jan Palffy, kept in the silver box, can be shown to you if you ask local vicar. An when you are in the town already, it is worth to visit also Franciscan church with St. stairs chapel. Inside you will see true copy of stairs, on which Jesus Christ walked to Pilate.