The pearl on the Danube is called our capital - Bratislava. It's a beautiful city situated in the south-west part of Slovakia. In the past it was an important junction of the main trades and nowadays it's a gate to Slovakia from Austria and Hungary.
Bratislava is situated among the warmest places in Slovakia -in the Danube lowland. It offers a lot of opportunities how to use your free time. A lot of people e.g. goes to bath to Gold Sands or they spend much time at the banks of Rye's island that is situated quite close to the city and it's the largest island inside the Middle Europe.
The history of the city is very rich and it dates back to the fifth century. At that time arrived the first Slovanic tribes into this locality. They formed their own principality which soon gave a race to the Great Moravian Empire in the 9th century. In 1291 Bratislava become a free royal town. Now it's an administrative, political and economical centre of the state.
Historical monuments and culture:
In the 13th century the town was an important border fortification of Duke Rastislav from which it was depended against the expansion of the East-Frank Empire. The remains of fortification were destroyed at the time of building of the medieval castle. The only thing, that stayed as a memory of large walls around the town, is Michael's gate.(In spite of the fact that there were four gates in the medieval fortification)
It is named after the church and the suburb of St. Michael to which
the gate led. Today there is held arms exhibition inside the Michael's tower and you can find there three architectural styles - gothic, baroque and reneisance one.
The most typical symbol of the capital is Bratislavský castle that towers 885 meters over the river Danube. If you see driving around the castle of the table-upside-down shape you can be sure, you are right in Bratislava. The first mention of the castle is attested by several records from beginning of the lOth century. Today the castle houses the reception rooms of the Slovak National Council and Gouverment. There are also held exhibitions of the Slovak National Museum there. The permanent and temporary one shows various archeological and historical exposites.
Quite close to this - only ten kilometres farer, on the conflunce of the Danube and the Moravia - is situated the second castle. It is called Devin and it's the symbol of Slovak mutuality. There are a lot of stories about it among the people.
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