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Saint Martin’s cathedral (distance from Hédervár: 57 km)

Szent Márton-dómSaint Martin’s Cathedral or Coronation Church is the biggest and best known churches in Bratislava. The gothic church has three naves and it was built on the ruins of the old church in Roman style. The first church in Bratislava was probably built in the castle since this was also the home of the provostry and the chapter. Due to the necessity to defend the castle the church had to be moved in order to strengthen the fortification of the castle. Therefore Prince Imre asked Pope Innocent III. to allow him to move the provostry to the foot of the hill.

Chapels inside the dome:

Chapel of Saint John the Merciful
Chapel of Saint Ann
Chapel of Saint Josef
A cseh királynőnek ajánlott kápolna

Primate’s palace (distance from Hédervár: 61 km)

Prímás palotaThe Primate’s Palace is one of the most beautiful palaces in Bratislava built in neoclassical style. Nowadays, some parts of the palace can be visited as museums.

The original palace was built at the time when the Archbishop of Esztergom had to leave Esztergom due to the occupation of the city by the Turks. The palace was reconstructed and extended after a fire in 1590. The palace gained its form that we can see today as a result of a reconstruction made between 1778 and 1781 based on Menyhért Heffele’s plans for and on behalf of the Archbishop of Esztergom, József Batthyány, who also paid all costs related to the building works. Following the battle of Austerlitz, the Peace Treaty of Bratislava was signed in 1805 in the Hall of Mirrors that can be found on the first floor of the palace. The peace treaty was signed by Maurice Tallyrand and Johann Prince of Lichtenstein. This is also the place where István Széchenyi has offered his yearly income for the establishment of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

The building was purchased by the city on 30 August 1902 and started a large scale reconstruction in order to make offices, a museum and library in the building. During reconstruction works the gobelins hidden from Napoleon’s army were discovered in the building. The precious gobelins were bought by Archbishop József Batthyány from Bishop Mazarin.

In the period between the two world wars, cultural presentations and meetings were held in the Hall of Mirrors. Zseni Várnai, Aladár Schöpflin, Zsigmond Móricz and Thomas Mann have all had presentations here. The bishop’s hat can still be seen on the palace’s roof over the heraldry. Beside the coat of arms of the archbishop, a mosaic made by Ernst Zmeták can also be seen on the frontispiece, since the original frescos have been ruined over time. On the frontispiece of the palace you can still see the statue of Minerva as well as a few other allegorical figures.

Museum of clocks (distance from Hédervár: 61 km)

ÓramúzeumInside the House at the Good Shepherd you can visit the Museum of Clocks. The building was named after the statue that can be seen on the frontispiece. The house built in rococo stile is known to be the narrowest house in Europe.

The exhibition is concentrated mainly on clocks from the 18-19th centuries made by manufacturers living in Bratislava. Several types of clocks are exhibited. You can see clocks from the 17th -20th centuries, various types of portable and wall clocks, alarm clocks and some examples of wrist-watches. Unfortunately the exhibited clocks and watches do not work. Some of them were able to even predict and show the atmospheric pressure as well as a weather forecast.

The history of clockmakers in Bratislava dates back to very early centuries. Bratislava was also considered the capital of the clockmakers, since 92 of the 186 active clockmakers in Slovakia, were working in Bratislava.

The building itself has an area of 50 m² and all three floors can be visited. On the first floor you can see sand-clocks, but you can also see special works of art like a picture with a sand-clock included in the picture itself.

Bratislava castle (distance from Hédervár: 62 km)

Pozsonyi várBratislava castle is one of the most prominent sights of the city. Bratislava castle is situated on the left-side banks of the river Danube, 85 meters above the city.

Due to its geographical characteristics, Bratislava castle has always had an important role in history since it has been the first line of the defence in protecting the settlement from attacks coming from the west. First written mentioning of Bratislava in the Annales Fuldenses in 907 is also connected to the castle.

At the time of the Tatar attacks it must have been a serious fortress since the Tatars never managed to conquer it. The Czech king Otakar has used the opportunity to conquer the weakened city after the Tatars’ attack in the 1270’s. Finally the united army of Austro-Hungarians and especially the light cavalry of King László IV have defeated the Czechs in the battle on the Morava field.

At the beginning, the fortress was mainly a banked fortress with wooden beamed frame. King Béla IV turned the fortification into a castle made of stone. Its shape was rather traditional, a strong tower and strong outer walls. The south-western tower was the only one standing on the ground; the other towers were made in the time of King Mátyás, but served only as decoration. This is the tower that you can see as you arrive through the Viennese gate.

The castle has been a separate civil and military territory and the authorities of the city had no influence on life in the castle. The leader of the castle was appointed by the king. He was awarded the rank of Comes Posoniensis, and was the ealdorman of the county at the same time. The rank of Comes Posoniensis was higher than the mayor of Bratislava city. He had wider authority and came from higher class of the society.

The base of the three naves of the old basilica from the time of Great Moravia can also be seen in the castle. Nowadays the castle has a regular rectangular shape with a central court. You can discover elements of renaissance and early baroque origin in the castle. One of the most important reconstructions of the castle was made under Empress Maria Theresa. Bratislava castle burnt down in 1811. The reconstruction of the castle was finished in the 20th century. It has been open for the public since 1968. At the moment, the whole palace is under reconstruction, and the Ars liturgica – Goldsmith’s trade in the service of liturgy can be visited in the treasury of the Bratislava castle.

Bratislava castle was the home of the permanent exhibitions of the Slovak National Museum (furniture exhibition, treasures of the Felvidék area). It has also housed some of the official rooms of the Slovak National Counsel. There was an instrument exhibition in the Luginsland-bastion.

Grassalkovich-castle (distance from Hédervár: 62 km)

Grassalkovich-kastélyThis beautiful castle built in baroque-rococo style stands on the Hodža square, which is a highly favoured meeting place in Bratislava. The castle has a fabulous French formal garden. In front of the castle there is an art work called Peace. This is the work of Tibor Bártfay.

The palace was designed and built by András Mayerhoffer for Count Antal Grassalkovich, a Hungarian nobleman who had Croatian origins. The palace was built in 1760 right next to the summer palace of the archbishop of Esztergom. The count was the president of the Hungarian Royal Treasury (a kind of finance minister at that time), and as such, needed a place to stay in the capital city. The work and exquisite style of the palace’s designer can clearly be seen on the rooms, Spanish room, as well as on the staircase decorated with statues.


Dévény castle (distance from Hédervár: 67 km)

Dévényi várDévény castle is situated at the strategically important confluence of the Danube and the Morava rivers, and is today part of Bratislava city. The district is situated 8 kilometres to the northwest from the city centre, at the embouchure of the Morava river as it flows into the Danube, at the Dévény-gate of the city. Dévény castle used to be the western gate of the Hungarian Kingdom. It is situated on the top of an 80 m high hill. Its ruins are demanding respect even in its current state. There is a picturesque view to the Hainburg castle that is situated on the other side of the Danube.

The castle of Dévény is one of the oldest castles in Slovakia. Historical sources mention it as early as 864. It has been the scene of many events linked to Slovakia’s earliest history. Archaeological excavations have revealed findings from the Stone Age, which means that the territory has long been inhabited. Dévény is situated at the crossing of important routes; therefore the romans have used it as a military base ever since the second century. After the fall of the Great Moravian Empire, the owners of the castle changed, and the castle was not cared for since the 18th century. The ruins of the castle house exhibitions of reconstructed monuments presenting the history of the Slavonic nation. There is also a unique well inside the ruins of the castle. It is 55 m deep. It could be an interesting experience to travel by sightseeing-boat from Bratislava or the nearby Hainburg, to taste some of the non-traditional food in one of the cosy fish-restaurants that can be found in the small streets of Dévény village.
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