Tag Archives: Slovakia

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

Bratislava Street Art

Bratislava Street Sculpture

“If there is something famous about Bratislava it is its statues. If you have visited the city, or even more if you live here, you definitely must have a picture with these icons. These strange sculptures were created to give some flair to the town and an added touristic attractive to visitors.”

http://www.inevents.org/bratislava/statues-in-the-old-town-our-silent-neighbours#.UyVh8fl_vQw

Bratislava Old Town

Bratislava Blue Church

It was designed in 1907 by a man called Ödön Lechner who was a Hungarian Art Nouveau architect and whose favourite colour was obviously blue because the exterior is painted in various shades of cobalt, sapphire and sky with an indigo roof and blue-black windows.  And the theme was continued inside as well because again the predominant colour was a vivid sky blue that gave a pleasing and cheerful ambiance to the building.

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Bratislava, The Castle and The Genie

Bratislava Castle

The castle is one of the most prominent structures in the city and stands on a plateau eighty-five metres above the river.  There has been a castle on this site for hundreds of years, the Romans had a fort here and after them there was a large Slavic fortified settlement. A stone castle was constructed in the tenth century, when the area was part of the Kingdom of Hungary and subsequently it was converted into a Gothic fortress under Sigismund of Luxemburg (Luxemburg?) in 1430, became a Renaissance castle in 1562, and was rebuilt in 1649 in the baroque style.  Under Queen Maria Theresa, the castle became a prestigious royal seat.

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Vienna and a Celebration

Vienna detail

The city was in very good condition compared with others we have visited and this is due to the fact that it wasn’t destroyed during the Second-World-War and fell quite quickly in the Russian Vienna offensive of 1945 and secondly because after the war the Russians were prevented from adding Austria to the Soviet Bloc and therefore it never suffered the indignity of years of communist neglect.

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Vienna, A Greek Restaurant and Complimentary Red Wine

Girls in Vienna

As with most big cities the approach to Vienna by train was not the most attractive entrance and we passed low-grade housing and light industrial units before we arrived at the Südbahnhof station.  We feared that there might be a frontier post to negotiate but there was no sign of officialdom and we alighted the train and left the station without incident, stopping just briefly on the way out to purchase a map of the city.  Once we had found our bearings we set off on a direct route for the city centre along a street with impressive buildings mostly occupied by foreign embassies and business headquarters.

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Bratislava

Bratislava buildings

The Danube is a navigable European artery and there were a lot of cruise boats on the water that make the daily journey either west to Vienna or east to Budapest but they didn’t look especially exciting so we were glad that we were planning to use the railway tomorrow instead.  It was mid morning by now and time for refreshment so we walked back from the river and after the girls had walked past and rejected café after café, all of which that looked perfectly acceptable, we finally found something that got the collective seal of approval and we enjoyed drinks at a pavement café in the sun in the old Town Hall Square.

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Bratislava and the Danube

Bratislava blue sky

This was our first view of the famous River Danube, which at two thousand eight hundred and fifty kilometres is the second longest river in Europe after the Volga.  It is the twenty-ninth longest river in the world and flows through nine countries.  It starts in Germany and runs like a European timeline through Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria and the Ukraine before it finishes its journey by discharging its waters into the Black Sea at the Danube Delta and on route it passes through the four capital cities of Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest and Belgrade.

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Bratislava, Slovakian Pop Star – Braňo Hronec

Brano

Bargain flights to Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, was all that it took to persuade us to visit one of Europe’s newest sovereign states.  Slovakia separated by harmonious agreement from the previous Eastern European state of Czechoslovakia as recently as 1993 in a process referred to now as the ‘Velvet Divorce’ and the city is only now fully opening up to tourists from the west.

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