Bratislava: Prague in miniature?
Русская версия Probably, many of you remember a country Czechoslovakia. At the end of the 20th century, namely in 1993, Czechoslovakia collapsed being split into two independent countries: the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Many travellers admire Czech Prague, but little is heard about other capital – Slovakian Bratislava. In May 2014, Victor visited this beautiful and cosy city. Today he will tell about it.
Before visiting Slovakia, I had the opportunity to visit amazing Prague. Therefore, the half of the day, which I stayed in Bratislava, I spent on comparing these two cities.
Frankly speaking, I did not see so much as I wanted to, because of the heavy rain. Anyway, I found more similarities than differences. Both cities spread along the banks of the river. In case of Bratislava, it is fabulous Danube, which flows through or is the border of ten countries. As Prague, Bratislava has a kind of Visegrad – Bratislavky Castle. From this point, you can observe not only views of the city, but also the neighbouring Austria and Hungary. Of course, in my case, the marvellous views were not available, so this is the photo from below.
To see the sights of the city quickly, I joined a group of Free City Tour, the service which exists in many cities in the world. The tours are organized twice a day with the meeting point near the statue of the Slovakian poet and playwright Pavol Országh Hviezdoslav.
In Bratislava, there are plenty of nice and cosy streets with different kinds of churches and chapels. Again, it is similar to Prague, but much quieter.
Some of them even have the same name. For example, St. Stephen’s Church can be found in Prague too.
Some of them, such as Church of St. Elisabeth (Bezručova 2534/2), also called the Blue Church, are very different.
The most amazing thing is that in front of this colourful and beautiful building another architectural monument is located. This is the abandoned maternity hospital from the Soviet Era. If I understood correctly, the building is kept as a real monument and kept on purpose.
Video from the inside can be seen here.
Many places in Bratislava are of world important historical heritage. For example, St. Martin’s Cathedral is one of the largest Gothic churches in Slovakia. Here the coronations of different levels have been held, including the coronation of the Roman Emperor Maximilian III and Queen of Hungary and Bohemia Maria Theresa.
The only gate to the old city stored from the Middle Ages bear the name of St. Michael. His statue is located on the top of the tower. The gates are built in 1300 (approximately) and reconstructed in 1758, as a sign at the entrance shows. The tower exhibits the Armoury part of Bratislava Museum.
Of course, the capital has a National museum and a theatre,
different kinds of statues and monuments. The most interesting of them are located in the shopping centre Eurovea SK,
as well as in the beginning of the street Panská. There is a monument to the Plumber Chumil.
Look for a road sign, which deserves a place in our collection of funny characters.
At the first glance, Prague and Bratislava are very similar. However, I think that neither Czechs nor Slovaks would agree with this statement. As citizens of the different countries, they are jealous of each other. The countries argue which of them the Soviet tanks entered first in August 1968, competing in who suffered first. I heard this story near the building of the University Komenského (Štúrova 22/9, Bratislava).
Exactly at this place, Ladislav Belik made his famous photo, taken out from the former Czechoslovakia with a lot of hardships spread around of the world later.
Photo “the Bare-chested Man in Front of the Occupiers Tank” by Ladislav Bielik taken from: http://www.infovojna.sk/21-august-predvadzanie-sa-vojsk
Perhaps, I come back to less hot topics and bring another example. Once in the Czech Republic, I met a Slovak, who assured me that their languages are so different that they sometimes do not understand each other. Another sensitive issue in these countries is hockey. The game between Czech Republic and Slovakia is always of high interest. I am not very good in language or hockey, so I turn to another issue – beer. I should note that the Slovak beer is very tasty and can compete with the Czech.
Interiors of pubs are also similar,
and the food is just wonderful with low prices. Traditional Slovakian dish “Galushki”:
Concluding, I liked both Prague and Bratislava. Both cities have places to walk, things to see, possibilities to relax. Do not miss the opportunity to visit neat and inexpensive Slovakia. I am sure you will like it.