Bratislava Castle - Hrad

This page is about the main castle of Slovakia, Hrad, and the hilly district around it. It is a beautiful castle on a rocky hill above the Old Town and River Danube. The hill is part of the Little Carpathian mountians. Unfortunately there were scaffoldings on parts of the exterior of the castle, due to renovation works during my visit. There are great views of Bratislava skyline from the site and you can see Austria from the hill and on clear days you can see Hungary.

Hrad, Bratislava Castle, seen from the Old Town.

The massive building of Hrad, with its 4 corner towers has a strategic location, it is situated on a passage between the Alps and Carpathia, close to Austria and Hungary. There are many legends connected with the history of the castle. Crown Tower, that house the Hungarian crown jewels, is the biggest tower. In 1809 Bratislava, then called Pressburg, was bombared by Napoleon's canons and burned down in 1811. It stood in ruins for many year. Not until in 1957 the restoration works begun, mostly in baroque style, but also some gothic and renaissance elements have been preserved. The Hillebrandt building was restored 2000. It still houses the museum and presentation rooms for the National Council of the Slovak Republic and for the president. A massive reconstrution was started in 2008, will take five years and cost up to 63 million euros.

The baroque staircase that lead to the Slovakian National Museum.

The narrow hilly streets that lead up to the castle. To the right is the rococo style House of the Good Shepherd, home to the Museum of Clocks.

Even steeper streets.

St Martin's Cathedral.

Danube and Novy Most (New Bridge) with the Ufo Tower.


View into Austria and its power stations.

Commie block district on the other side of Danube.

The 200m tall TV tower Kamzik stands on a mountain. In front of it you can see the old communist monument on a high hill.

Tower 115, St Martins Cathedral, Apollo bridge.

Hotel Kyjev, City Center, VUB.

From the left: Narodna Banka Slovenska, Millennium Towers (behind). Right side of the tree: Hotel Kyjev. STU, City Business Center, VUB Centrala.

From the left: Hotel Kyjev, City Business Center, VUB Centrala, the white stack, Tower 115, St Martins Cathedral.

A panorama of Bratislava skyline. Tower 115, St Martins Cathedral, Apollo bridge, Hotel Kyjev, City Center, VUB.

From the left: Hotel Kyjev, City Business Center and VUB Centrala, Old Town Hall in front.

Industrial area in the outskirts, near Hungary.

St Martin's Cathedral is 85m tall.

Colourful houses in modern Asian style near the castle.