Above: A view of one leg of the ‘Upside down table’ castle on the hill overlooking the old town.
As we sleep the Avalon Passion presses on to Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. A splendid castle keeps watch over the old town. Its known affectionately as ‘ The upside down table’ as the turrets on each corner look like the legs of an upturned table. Once the favourite summer palace of Queen Maria Theresa, it now houses the Slovakian museum. The old town boasts a magnificent gothic cathedral, St Martins. This was where the Hungarian royals came to be crowned from the 1500’s. Coronation commemorations are still held here annually on the last weekend in June. You can drink wine from a fountain in the town square at that time …quality not guaranteed but it would be fun to try!(See below)
The pale pink Primate’s Palace (below) is one of the most striking buildings in town. Dating from the late 1700’s its first owner, Cardinal Batthyanyi, was obviously not above a bit of self promotion. He wanted everyone to know it was his palace so he arranged for a 150 kg iron model of his hat to top his coat of arms over the main entrance. The statues along the roofline are supposed to reflect his fine qualities and achievements!
Bratislava is slap bang in the heart of ‘music country’. Mozart performed here at 6, Liszt at 9. Beethoven taught here and locals will tell you he fell in love here with one of his students. The city oozes the history of these extraordinary musicians. There is romance in the air. If you’re keen on top quality opera you’ll find it here and it won’t cost you nearly as much as it will in Vienna. Here you can indulge your musical passion for as little as 5 Euros.
As you wander in the old town you’ll notice random bronze figures. The one below is known as ‘The Peeper’ . He pops up out of a manhole in the pavement and locals joke that he’s looking up the ladies skirts. Either way apparently its good luck to rub his hat … its well rubbed!