The castle, on a hill above the old town, dominates the city of Bratislava.
It features in the first written reference to the city, which appears in the Annals of Salzburg of 907, in association with a battle between Bavarians and Hungarians. The castle hill was populated as early as the late Stone Age; its first known inhabitants were the Celts, who founded a fortified settlement here called ‘Oppidum’.
For four centuries, the border of the Roman Empire, the ‘Limes Romanus’, ran through the area. During the Great Moravian Empire, Slavs built a fortress that became a significant centre for the time. In the 10th century, Bratislava became an integral part of the growing Hungarian state; a stone palace and the church of St Saviour and its chapter were built on the castle hill in the 11th century. In the 15th century, in the reign of Sigismund of Luxembourg, a castle was built in Gothic style as an anti-Hussite fortress. During this period, a new entrance to the castle was built on the eastern side – Sigismund’s Gate – while 7-metre-thick fortifications were constructed on the western side, and a castle well dug in 1437.
In the 16th century, King Ferdinand ordered the rebuilding of the castle in the Renaissance style, while in the 17th century, when the castle became the seat of hereditary provincial chief, Pálffy, it was rebuilt in the baroque style. In the reign of Maria Theresa, the castle was arranged according to the needs of her son-in-law Albert, governor of Saxony and Tessen, who was a fervent art collector and who installed his works in the castle. This collection was later moved to Vienna to become the present-day Albertina Gallery. Since independence, the castle has served as a representative venue for the Slovak Parliament and houses collections of the Slovak National Museum.
Slovak National Museum-Museum of History (Bratislava Castle)
The museum collections proving the development of society in Slovakia from the Middle Ages up to the present. It also builds up, administers and processes a numismatic collection from the earliest times up to the present and collections documenting the history and ethnological development of Slovak people abroad.
Among the most attractive objects in the SNM-Historical Museum collection fund are goldsmith and silversmith works. In the spirit of style orientations, contemporary taste and aesthetic requirements of a given period of time, they represent the artistic skills and craftsmanship, taste and feeling of goldsmith and silversmith masters. They document the variety and ornamental richness of different styles, the labour intensity of various gold and silversmith techniques, as well as the aesthetic requirements of their commissioners.
The Treasury is situated on left side of the castle, under main gate.
The Baroque garden on the grounds of Bratislava Castle was originally built according to the design of the architect of empress Maria Theresa. Stroll among the silver linden trees and statues and take a photo by the central fountain. A high wall built on the exact foundations of the original wall surrounds the restored garden with green shrubs creating baroque patterns.
Opening hours of the museum:
open daily except Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., last entry at 5 p.m.
Opening hours of the Bratislava Castle grounds:
open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Entrance fee: 14 Eur, 100 % discount with Bratislava Card*