Bratislava (to be continued)
04/01/2014: We went to Bratislava just to spend the day, because we were in Vienna. We started our trip going to the Bratislavský hrad (http://www.bratislava.sk/). This 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 Blue Church is Bratislava’s most attractive Art Nouveau (Secession) building. It is astonishingly blue from pews to the roof. The official name of the Catholic church built at the beginning of the 20th century and sanctified in 1913 is the Church of St. Elisabeth of Hungary. It was designed by architect Edmund Lechner from Budapest and is considered a great example of Hungarian secession. The Blue Church’s oval tower is 36.8 metres tall. Interior decorations include the Elisabethan rose. Two coast of arms are displayed – Hungarian and the City of Bratislava. A cricular mosaic of St. Elisabeth can be seen above the portal. Mass is served at the church regularly. Many Bratislava visitors come to see this landmark (referred to as candy-coloured or fairy-tale), tucked away in quiet streets of the Old Town. Nearby stands a high school building by the same architect.
It is an asymmetrical cable-stayed bridge with a main span length of 303 m (994 ft). Itssteel construction is suspended from steel cables, connected on the Petržalka side to two pillars. The total length of the bridge is 430.8 m (1,413 ft), its width 21 m (69 ft), and it weighs 537 t (592 short tons).
A special attraction is the flying saucer-shaped structure housing a restaurant, which since 2005 has been called UFO (previously, Bystrica), on the bridge’s 84.6 m (278 ft) pylon. The restaurant is reached using an elevator located in the east pillar, and offers a good view over Bratislava. The west pillar houses an emergency staircase with 430 stairs. Nový Most has four lanes for motor traffic on the upper level and lanes for bicycles and pedestrians on the lower level.
In the end of the day, after walking back from the Blue Church, we found a very charming pub called Presporak (https://www.facebook.com/Presporak).