All posts filed under: slovakia

Bratislava in Contrast | The Alternative Atlas

Bratislava in Contrast

This city is undoubtedly on the way to being named a “must-see” trendy European destination in the near future, and the charming old town will make many visitors feel like they’ve stepped directly into a fairy tale (we posted a few images here).  What lies under the surface is the otherworldly contrast that is seen between the grey Communist blocks and the playfully ornate art deco and Austro-Hungarian buildings outside of the tourist stomping grounds. An embarrassingly quick history of this gritty Eastern European capital: once a part of Czechoslovakia, the city of Bratislava was under the control of the USSR following WWII and it fell behind the iron curtain during the Cold War with the United States.  In 1993 the nation was split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia, with Bratislava becoming the capital of the latter.  Slovakia is now a free nation and is a part of the E.U., but the Communist influence remains. ^^^Sights like these make for an interesting landscape: the infamous Blue Church (of St. Elisabeth) sits directly beside a …

Bratislava or Bust! | The Alternative Atlas

Bratislava or Bust!

After months of traveling and exploring many of Europe’s major cities, this impossibly charming little place remains one of my favorite capitals in the world.  The word hidden gem only begins to describe the allure of this city.  We visited Bratislava on a whim while staying in Vienna, and we were mesmerized. Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia, and is located along the border with Austria and neighboring Hungary.  We took a one-hour bus ride from Vienna (only 37 miles way!) and arrived in the center of the sunny 18th century old town without any idea what to expect… and the blanks filled in quickly! The old town is adorable and full of little passages and cobblestone side-streets.  Wandering around those little alleys is so much fun, and it is common to emerge from a dilapidated passageway into a bright and spectacular backstreet… ^^^…shared only by the nuns attending their errands. The contrasting nature of the buildings in Bratislava offers a feast for the eyes and makes for an unbelievably photogenic city.  The graffiti-covered walls, Communist …