One site that is well worth exploring while in the capital is the majestic, 9th century Bratislava Castle. Overlooking the River Danube, this epic structure was once a defence fortification but is now home to the Museum of History, exhibiting sculptures, paintings, and art. Complete with a Baroque garden, the ‘Yard of Honor’ with two spectacular gates, and impressive views of Slovakia, Austria, and even as far as Hungary from the castle towers, this is understandably one of the most popular Slovakian landmarks. In the surrounding Old Town, the Maximillian Fountain (also known as Roland’s Fountain) can be found. Built in the 16th century, this statue is shrouded in legendary tales of the stone knight coming to life as the clock strikes midnight for New Year and during Good Friday. However, it is thought that the only people who can see this ‘miracle’ unfold are those who are native locals to the area, who have been of pure heart and actions for the entirety of their life.
Journeying on from Bratislava, the small villages of the Tatra Mountains are another place to include on the sightseeing list. Characterized by austere wooden churches and traditional folk houses, the Tatra mountain range borders Slovakia and Poland and is a protected area, with National Park status on both sides. Idyllic, enchanting views are a given here. Often described as one of the country’s most beautiful castles, Oravský Hrad Castle is another captivating sight to behold, even from afar. This National Cultural Heritage Monument is built atop a steep cliff-face and was first referred to in historical documents in the 1200s.