Sunday, November 8, 2009

Hrad Devín & Old Town Bratislava

Halloween weekend was my fourth trip to Bratislava but the first time I've actually had the chance to see anything. Marcus & Janelle took me to see Devín Castle which is about a 20 minute bus ride from the city.

Hrad Devín is one of the three oldest castles in Slovakia. The castle is a ruin, destroyed by Napolean in 1809, so you can't actually go inside. The ruins overlook where the Danube and Morava rivers meet and you can see Austria across the water.

During the Cold War, this was one of the closest points to the west where many people tried to escape. Before you enter the castle grounds you come to monument remembering those who died trying to make it across.

After Devín, we walked through Old Town to take pictures. There is some very pretty architecture in the city center. Bratislava also has several quirky statues around town. Here are a couple of them...

Schoener Naci (Beautiful Ignaz) greets people walking down Rybarska brana street. The legend says he had lost his mind because of an unrequited love. Although he was very poor, he was walking the streets in Bratislava always well dressed for almost 40 years. The townies used to give him some food and he was, in return, giving flowers to the ladies passing by.
At the corner of Panska and Rybarska brana streets you find Cumil (The Watcher). It's up for debate if Cumil has just cleaned the sewer, is simply resting, or is looking up women's skirts. However, you're supposed to touch him for good luck.

It was a very cold day but we had so much fun and took lots of pictures. I still didn't make it to see the "Blue Church" so that will have to wait, until my next visit, some time after New Year's. There are a couple of hundered pictures out on Flickr of our trip to Devin and sightseeing in Bratislava.

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