A 10 minute drive from Slovakia’s capital, Bratislava, will take you to one of the best preserved castle ruins in the country. It is the famous Devin Castle or as Slovaks call it Hrad Devin (the word devin is derived from the Slavic word deva which means girl). Why the castle got this name I am not sure, but the most photographed tower within the castle complex is called the Maiden Tower and many legends are told about abducted virgins that killed themselves by jumping from the top of it.
The castle occupies an excellent position for defensive and lookout purposes, standing on a massive rock hill above the confluence of the Danube and Morava at a stone’s throw away from Austria.
History tells us that the area was inhabited as early as the 5th century B.C., 400 years before Celts came to the area. In the 8th century it was a wooden fortification, and a few centuries later it was replaced by a stone fortress. During the Middle Ages it served as as a boundary fortress, military station and a trade centre. It changed owners and they changed its appearance according to their needs. In the 19th century the castle was heavily damaged by Napoleon’s army, and in the 20th it stood at the border between the Eastern Bloc and the West.
Today, visitors to the ruins have an opportunity to see a permanent exhibition on architectural development of the castle from the 11th to 19th century, but I had to skip it since I was in Bratislava just for a day. Nevertheless, I think it was sufficient time for me to “sample” what I liked about Slovakia’s capital and its surroundings.
The last photo in the gallery is showing Devin from a few kilometre distance, from the site that translates as Sandberg which I am planning to show in some of my future posts.
This is my contribution to Jo’s Monday walk. Pay her a visit and see where her tireless feet are taking you today.