The castle is located on a hill overlooking the river Danube, the southern-most hill of the Small Carpathian Mountains, 150 meters above sea level. You can access it by foot from two sides - up Beblaveho street from the Old Town or from Mudronova street by the Slovak Parliament building up at the hill.
The castle hill was populated as early as in the late Stone Age; however, the first known inhabitants were the Celts, who had founded a fortified settlement here, called an "oppidum". The border of the Roman Empire, the "Limes Romanus", ran through the area for over four centuries. During the Great Moravian Empire, a fortress was built on the hill and it became a significant center at the time. In the 15th century, during the reign of Sigismund of Luxembourg, the castle was built as an anti-Hussite fortress in the Gothic style. In 1437, the castle well was constructed to the depth of 85 meters and the water table at 42 meters. The style of the building changed again in 16th century when King Ferdinand ordered to have it rebuilt in the Renaissance style. A century later, the style was changed again due to the province chief, Palffy, who wanted to the castle to be in the baroque style. In 1811, the castle burned down completely and stood in ruins until reconstruction took place on it in 1953-1968. After reconstruction, the castle served as the Bratislava residence of the Czechoslovak president. It also hosted assemblies of the Slovak National Council. At present, the Slovak parliament still uses parts of the compound.
The Bratislava Castle houses some collections of the Slovak National Museum - notably the archeological exhibition "Treasures of Slovakia's Long-Gone Past", several historical exhibitions (history, furniture, clocks) and a music exhibition. The museum is open daily except Mondays, from 9 am to 5 pm.
In addition to the castle itself, the castle hill offers many interesting features to explore. The narrow winding streets from the Old Town Side contain several pleasant restaurants, cafes and galleries. The castle hill is a mixture of historic, Communist-era and contemporary landscaping.
On Bratislava Guide, we also have other articles about other Popular Bratislava Sites.