Bratislava's best display of ancient historical artefacts is in Rusovce, a village which forms one of the outer districts of the city. Archaeologists have excavated the remains of a Roman military camp, Gerulata, which once stood here. The camp, which was first constructed in the 2nd century, formed part of the vast Limes Romanus system of imperial defences which stretched across Europe. As well as the excavations, the site now also hosts a branch of the Bratislava City Museum, containing some of more precious Roman finds.
The site of Devín Castle, a few kilometres further up the Danube, at its confluence with the Morava River, may also have formed part of the Limes. The present stone castle dates from the 13th century but was destroyed in the 19th. Its ruins were an inspiration for some of Slovakia's most prominent romantic national poets. It has since been partially rebuilt and is also now part of the Bratislava City Museum.
Nearby, and along the riverside path to Devínska Nová Ves are reminders of Slovakia's more recent past. Barbed wire fencing that once formed part of the Cold-War Iron Curtain, along with concrete defensive bunkers dating from the 1930s, can be seen near the path. Below Devín Castle on the Morava side is a concrete memorial to the dozens who lost their lives trying to cross to Austria during the Cold War.
Bratislava – then known as Pressburg – was once one of the most important centres of Jewish learning in Europe. This was mostly down to one man, the city's early nineteenth-century Chief Rabbi Moshe Schreiber, also known as the Chatam Sofer. His traditionalist teachings were a response to modernising trends in Judaism at the time, and Jewish pilgrims still visit his grave in Bratislava. This is housed in a unique underground memorial near the river entrance to Bratislava's tram tunnel. It is necessary to arrange visits in advance.
Another burial place, but this one soaring above the city, is the monumental Slavín war memorial. It is the final resting place of almost 7,000 Red Army soldiers who lost their lives during the liberation of Bratislava at the end World War II. The central obelisk, almost 40 metres high and topped by a huge statue of a Soviet soldier, is visible from much of the city. The views over the city from the memorial are superb.
Antická Gerulata Rusovce
851 10 Bratislava
841 10 Bratislava
Chatam Sofer Memorial
Nábrežie armádneho generála Ludvíka Svobodu
811 02 Bratislava
Slavín War Memorial
811 06 Bratislava
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