The Old Town of Bratislava contains the small, but preserved medieval city center, Bratislava Castle and other important landmarks. Bratislava's Old Town is known for its many churches, a riverbank promenade and cultural institutions, it is also the location of most of the foreign states embassies and important Slovak institutions, the Summer Archbishop's Palace, seat of the Government of Slovakia and Grassalkovich Palace, seat of the President of Slovakia.
The eastern section is the historical and administrative center. Notable buildings and spaces include the Grassalkovich Palace, Trinity Church, Bratislava's Town Hall, St. Martin's Cathedral, Michael's Gate, the Primate's Palace, the Slovak National Theatre, the Main Square and Zochova Street from the 14th century and many other old churches and palaces. There are still some remnants of the medieval Bratislava city walls, although not open to the public for the time being.
St. Michael's Tower is one of essential symbols of Bratislava. Only the gate on St. Michael's Tower has been preserved out of the original four gates that were gateways for entering the fortified medieval city. Currentlyan exhibition of weaponry and city fortifications of the Bratislava City Museum is on display in the tower. A view of the entire rest of Michalská ulica street, which is one of the oldest in the city, opens up from St. Michael's Gate.
Zichy's Palace with its elegant, strictly Classicist-style facade draws the visitor's interest at the corner of Ventúrska and Prepoštská Streets. It was built in approximately 1775 at the behest of Count Francis Zichy. The palace was refurbished in the 1980's and now it hosts all kinds of ceremonies and celebrations. A Baroque-style Pállfy's Palace (house No. 10), which was rebuilt from an old house in 1747, is located at the corner of Ventúrska and Zelená Streets. A memorial plaque on the Pállfy's Palace facade on Ventúrska Street brings attention to the fact that the six-year old child prodigy, worldwide known as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), probably performed a concert in the palace.
A parish church is a landmark of every Christian city. This is no doubt the case with St. Martin's Cathedral – the largest, oldest and most remarkable church in Bratislava from the 14th century. St. Martin's Cathedral was a coronation church between 1563 and 1830.
The crossroads of the Fisherman's Gate and Panská and Laurinská Streets is one of the Old Town's liveliest places. People like to stop here to listen to tunes played by street musicians. Tourists are bound to make a picture with the statue of Čumil in what is an almost ceremonial photo session. The Fisherman's Gate is a short street in Bratislava's historic centre. Next to House No. 1 on Fisherman's Gate Street is a statue of a man in real size, who is holding a hat in his hand. The man looks like he is saying hello to somebody he knows coming out of a nearby entrance. Unlike the nearby Čumil, this sculpture, which shines in the silver colour, represents a real Bratislava local, whom everybody has called Schöner Nazi.References:
The Palazzo Colonna is a palatial block of buildings built in part over ruins of an old Roman Serapeum, and has belonged to the prestigious Colonna family for over twenty generations.
The first part of the palace dates from the 13th century, and tradition holds that the building hosted Dante in his visit to Rome. The first documentary mention notes that the property hosted Cardinal Giovanni and Giacomo Colonna in the 13th century. It was also home to Cardinal Oddone Colonna before he ascended to the papacy as Martin V (1417–1431).
With his passing, the palace was sacked during feuds, and the main property passed into the hands of the Della Rovere family. It returned to the Colonna family when Marcantonio I Colonna married Lucrezia Gara Franciotti Della Rovere, the niece of pope Julius II. The Colonna"s alliance to the Habsburg power, likely protected the palace from looting during the Sack of Rome (1527).
Starting with Filippo Colonna (1578–1639) many changes have refurbished and create a unitary complex around a central garden. Architects including Girolamo Rainaldi and Paolo Marucelli labored on specific projects. Only in the 17th and 18th centuries were the main facades completed. Much of this design was completed by Antonio del Grande (including the grand gallery), and Girolamo Fontana (decoration of gallery). In the 18th century, the long low facade designed by Nicola Michetti with later additions by Paolo Posi with taller corner blocks (facing Piazza Apostoli) was constructed recalls earlier structures resembling a fortification.
The main gallery (completed 1703) and the masterful Colonna art collection was acquired after 1650 by both the cardinal Girolamo I Colonna and his nephew the Connestabile Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna and includes works by Lorenzo Monaco, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Palma the Elder, Salviati, Bronzino, Tintoretto, Pietro da Cortona, Annibale Carracci (painting of The Beaneater), Guercino, Francesco Albani, Muziano and Guido Reni. Ceiling frescoes by Filippo Gherardi, Giovanni Coli, Sebastiano Ricci, and Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari celebrate the role of Marcantonio II Colonna in the battle of Lepanto (1571). The gallery is open to the public on Saturday mornings.
The older wing of the complex known as the Princess Isabelle"s apartments, but once housing Martin V"s library and palace, contains frescoes by Pinturicchio, Antonio Tempesta, Crescenzio Onofri, Giacinto Gimignani, and Carlo Cesi. It contains a collection of landscapes and genre scenes by painters like Gaspard Dughet, Caspar Van Wittel (Vanvitelli), and Jan Brueghel the Elder.
Along with the possessions of the Doria-Pamphilij and Pallavacini-Rospigliosi families, this is one of the largest private art collections in Rome.