Bratislava by Night

Although I only had two days in Bratislava at the end of my European wilderness trip I had a great time spending the early part of the night moving around the section of the city along the Danube and near the Nový most (new bridge) taking pictures of the city at night.

To follow up on these shots, here are eight more pictures of Bratislava by night.

bratislava by Night

This is the famous Bratislava Castle (same as the first picture) taken from the UFO tower on the west end of the New Bridge across the Danube River. The castle dominates the city from a rocky Carpathian outcrop just above the river. Because Bratislava sits at such a strategic location along the river and at both the lowland passage between the Carpathians and the Alps and the trade routes from the Baltic to the Rhine, the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, the location has been vital to control for literally thousands and thousands of years. The oldest castle or fort known to have been constructed on the hill dates to about 3500 BC. The Hallstatt people expanded and strengthened the hilltop fortifications in around 500 BC.

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bratislava by night

This view is looking downriver from the walls of the castle. A light rain was falling at the time and I was surrounded by snogging teenagers. I’m never very impressed with churches but the way St. Martin’s Cathedral juts from the edge of the old city reaching the heights of the castle walls is pretty darn beautiful. The cathedral is the center of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese and took nearly two-hundred years to build. It was completed in 1452.

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bratislava by night

Again, the castle. The reign of Maria Theresa still impacts this area of central Europe. Her influence was profound. When she became Queen of Hungary in 1740 she assured the powers that be that she would give equal attention to both the Austrian and Hungarian portions of her Kingdom and so she had the castle at Bratislava (then called Pressburg) remodeled between 1761 and 1766. That remodeling gives the castle much of the look and feeling it has today.  This picture was taken from almost underneath the New Bridge on the western shore of the Danube.

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The highway and roadworks leading up to the New Bridge on the eastern shore of the Danube taken from the walls of the castle.

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bratilava by night

Ok.  Ok.  this isn’t a night shot.  I know.  But it is late afternoon just before sunset and I really loved the colors of the river and the trees.  Again, from the castle walls looking southwest across the Danube River.  This is again the New Bridge and the UFO Tower.  I went up in the UFO tower for some shots but I didn’t stay to have a drink in the tower bar.  I kind of regret that now but looking at the fancy people lined up to get in there I’m not sure they would have allowed me to set a foot inside.

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bratislava by night

And the UFO Tower and Novy Most from pretty much the same spot as above just a few hours later.

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After all the picture taking I retired to the old town in Bratislava for a beer and a plate of Bryndzové Halušky and a giant sausage. Yum!  It seemed that the hip thing for the cool backpacking set to do in Bratislava by night was to hit the hookah bars.  It was rather astounding to see just how many young backpacking tourists were sitting out along the narrow streets blowing smoke. By this time however I was spent.  So I just sat the camera up on the table and snapped a few lazy shots before I wandered back to the boatel for a snooze.


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  1. Comment by Cathy Sweeney

    Cathy Sweeney Reply October 31, 2014 at 10:51 am

    I was only in Bratislava for about 24 hours last December and it was very foggy and mysterious. I never even saw the UFO Tower. But during my short visit, I did get the feeling that it’s an intriguing city and would like to return — maybe when I can see the same lovely views as you captured in your photos.

    • Comment by Jim O'Donnell

      Jim O'Donnell Reply November 4, 2014 at 1:50 pm

      Cathy, I think I got really lucky with the weather. It was just warm and clear nearly the whole time. I really lucked out.

  2. Comment by Emiko

    Emiko Reply October 31, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    Really nice shots. In reading your post, I realized I’d didn’t know what Bratislava looked like and I was surprised at how it looked. I was a particular fan of the third photo – great quality of light!

    • Comment by Jim O'Donnell

      Jim O'Donnell Reply November 4, 2014 at 1:49 pm

      Thank you so much Emiko. Yes, its a pretty lovely little place. I was first there in 1995 and it seems so run down…but CHARMING! Now it is really cleaned up and yet still charming. Lots of good food!

  3. Comment by Jane Starritt

    Jane Starritt Reply November 1, 2014 at 2:08 am

    I'm happy to see the daylight picture of the river. When I was there it was the "brown" Danube. It looks much better in your pic.

  4. Comment by Kiva Duckworth-Moulton

    Kiva Duckworth-Moulton Reply November 1, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    Pretty stunning!

  5. Comment by Jim O'Donnell

    Jim O'Donnell Reply November 4, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    I think overall it is pretty brown…well….greenish? What happened to the Blue Danube?!?!

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  8. Comment by rebecca

    rebecca Reply March 30, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    you got some fantastic photos! I love Bratislava as a city but you have done well to compliment it

    • Comment by Jim O'Donnell

      Jim O'Donnell Reply April 4, 2015 at 8:28 am

      Thank you Rebecca. Its a very nice city.

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