Bratislava, Slovakia

When the 20th Century started Bratislava was Pressburg, part of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire.  It had an ethnically mixed population, German, Hungarian, Jewish and Slovak.  Over the course of the 20th century, through two wars and 3 or four countries, depending on how you count, it became a Slovak city that still honors its German, Jewish, and Hungarian traditions.  The cafes rival those of Vienna and there is a revival of Jewish culture with the Pressburger Klezmer Band and a Jewish center, although the old Jewish quarter was removed in the 1970s (almost three decades after the Jews, themselves were removed) to make way for the approach to the SNP bridge, with its flying saucer like motif.   There are pictures here of the Jewish Memorial.  We lived in Bratislava, or “Blava” for 27 months in the late ’90s and loved it.

The Austrian and Hungarian borders come right up to the edge of the Bratislava Pertzalka district. These last shots were taken from the Vienna S-Bahn as we approached Bratislava.  The building that looks line an inverted bedstead is Bratislava Castle.

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