Bratislava Castle

The hill over the historical centre of Bratislava is characterised by the typical silhouette of Bratislava Castle. The favourable location of this place enabled it to control the intersection of the Danube and Amber trade routes offered good conditions for colonisation from the Stone Age. In the 2nd century BC rulers of the Boii tribe probably controlled the vast oppidum from this place which extended to the area of 60 hectares. The latest research related to Celtic findings has confirmed that at the turn of the era the Celtic elite had its palaces in this area built by technologies according to Roman models. The seat of the Great Moravian noblemen, with the function of an ecclesiastical-administrative centre in the hillfort walled in by a wooden-earth structure from the 9th century, is remembered by the preserved foundations of the three-aisle basilica on the east terrace of the castle. After the fall of the Great Moravian Empire, Bratislava Castle became part of the frontier line of castles in the newly formed Hungarian state and was adjusted several times together with the fortification. Today´s form of the four-winged castle was predetermined by the reconstruction during the reign of King Sigismund which was related to the fortifying of the western frontiers of the country against Hussite armies. At that time they built a two-storey Gothic palace according to Italian castellos and the castle was surrounded with a fortification. Today´s late Gothic Sigismund´s Gate and the eastern Lugisland bastion were part of this fortification. The Renaissance construction changes in 1552-62 were caused by the conquering of the country´s capital city Budin by the Ottoman army in 1529. Due to that the functions of the capital city were moved to Bratislava. From that time the Hungarian coronation jewels were stored in the oldest and biggest tower of the Bratislava castle and this tower is called the Coronation tower. During the first half of the 17th century works on the castle damaged by wars and disorders were done under the supervision of the Bratislava´s heritage provincial chief Pálfy. In 1635-1639 a third floor and two new Gothic towers were built, so that together the castle had four towers. The Terezian reconstruction from the end of the 18th century according to the plans of the architect of the Hungarian royal chamber, F.A. Hilebrant, turned the castle into a representation seat. A new four-storey building was build to the eastern facade for the needs of Maria Theresa´s son-in-law Albert, governor of Saxony and Tessen, and his wife Maria Christina, as well as for private stays of the ruler Maria Theresa. A Baroque garden was also built on the northern terrace of the castle. The fire in 1811 turned the castle into a ruin for 150, while it mainly destroyed the structures from the Terezian reconstruction. Its current state partially resembles the state from the 18th century and is the result of a vast reconstruction which has been in progress since the late 50s of the 20th century up to the present. Today, the castle is used for state-representation and cultural purposes.

Peter Barta a kol: BRATISLAVSKÝ HRAD – sprievodca

Heritage > National cultural monuments