Bratislava Castle is the main castle of Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. The massive rectangular building with four corner towers stands on an isolated rocky hill of the Little Carpathians directly above the Danube river in the middle of Bratislava. Because of its size and location, it has been a dominant feature of the city for centuries.
The location provides excellent views of Bratislava, Austria and, in clear weather, parts of Hungary. Many legends are connected with the history of the castle.
The castle site includes the following:
Castle building (The Palace)
The castle building includes four towers (one on each corner) and a courtyard with a 80 m (260 ft) deep water well. The largest and tallest tower is the Crown Tower on the southwest corner. The 47 m (154 ft) tower dates from the 13th century and for approximately 200 years beginning in the mid-1500s housed the crown jewels of Hungary. The exterior walls and inside corridors contain fragments of old Gothic and Renaissance construction elements. The walled-up entrance gate from the 16th century is still visible to the east of the main entrance. Behind the entrance, is an arcade corridor leading to a large Baroque staircase which, in turn, leads to the exhibitions of the Slovak National Museum on the second floor. The west wing of this floor houses the 4 halls of the Treasure Chamber (opened in 1988) with a collection of the most precious archaeological finds and other objects of Slovakia, including the prehistoric statue called the Venus of Moravany. The third floor houses the exhibition on the History of Slovakia. The first floor in the south wing of the building houses the rooms of Slovak parliament - the National Council of the Slovak Republic - including furnishings from the 16th century. The northern wing of the building- the former Baroque chapel, houses the Music Hall in which concerts are held. The courtyard includes the entrance to the Knights Hall.
- Sigismund Gate in the southeast– the best preserved original part of the site, built in the 15th century;
- Vienna Gate in the southwest – built in 1712;
- Nicholas Gate in the northeast – built in the 16th century;
- Leopold Gate;
To the west of the main building, is the newly reconstructed Hillebrandt building which dates from 1762 and was destroyed by the 1811 fire. The Yard of Honor is the space directly before the castle entrance dates from the late 18th century.
Inside the Sigismund Gate and below the Court of Honor, is the Leopold Yard with bastions, constructed in the 17th century.
To the east of the castle building the constellation of the Great Moravian basilica (9th century), the Church of St Savior (11th century) and other Early medieval objects is indicated on the ground. The true archaeological findings are directly below this indicated constellation.
Adjacent to the Nicholas Gate, a Gothic gateway from the 15th century in the northeast quadrant, is the Lugiland Bastion. This is a long three-floor building from the 17th century which currently houses the National Council of the Slovak Republic, and a Baroque stable (today a famous restaurant). An English park is located to the south of the stable.
The northern border of the site is formed by a long Baroque building from the 18th century, which today houses the Slovak National Museum and the castle administration.