The Bratislava Castle is one of the best known symbols of the city of Bratislava. It is located on the southern-most hill of the Small Carpathian Mountains at about 150 meters above the sea level. 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.
Today, the castle is being reconstructed again. The current reconstruction began in 2007 and should continue until 2011 or 2012. Nevertheless, some parts of the castle are already open for public. The castle houses collections of the Slovak National Museum – Treasures of the Ancient Past and the Museum of History.
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