Bratislava is truly an often lover looked city on the Danube. Interestingly enough, my Great Grandmother who was Lithuanian was named Bratislava, but our tour guide couldn’t figure out how she got this name as she was born in the 1870’s or 1880’s and the city did not get its current name until 1919. Apparently, the city’s name is loosely translated as “Brotherly Love”. We had a great little walking tour of the town where one of the first stops we made was the sight of the historic Synagogue which was torn down during communist times to make way for a bridge across the Danube. There is a nice park and display remembering the previous building and its congregation. Then we went through the old City walls to visit the St. Martin’s cathedral.
We then enjoyed learning about the coronation way, as this was a coronation city in the Hapsburg empire. The city opens up onto an impressive square with a fountain where the city hall is located. There we saw an statue of St. George slaying the dragon. There were apparently several buildings where Beethoven’s mistresses lived also. Another whimsical art installation is the “man at work”, was inspired by the mini skirts of the 1960’s. We returned to the ship along the Hviezdoslavovo námestie, part park and part pedestrian street. There we found a wonderful statue of Hans Christian Anderson who visited the city and several of his fairy tales are depicted on the monument. Overall, it was a beautiful city with lovely historic architecture and a great cultural ambiance.
Lunch was an al fresco lunch on the top deck of the ship and then we enjoyed a hike to the Bratislava Castle with the ship’s adventure manager. From there, we could see the three countries of Austria, Hungary and Slovakia, as well as the city’s famous UFO Bridge with the UFO Tower, Observation Deck and restaurnant.