Devin Castle – A Castle in Bratislava Destroyed by Napoleon

Devin Castle is an ancient castle in Bratislava destroyed by Napoleon’s army. It stands atop a hill located at the confluence of two old rivers: Danube and Morava.

Devin Castle in Bratislava, Slovak Republic
Devin Castle in Bratislava, Slovak Republic

However, it is not a standing castle, but the ruins of a former one. Let’s know more about it. 

Devin Castle in Bratislava, Slovak Republic
Devin Castle in Bratislava, Slovak Republic

As soon as you enter, the castle towers welcome you with their imposing structures.

Devin Castle in Bratislava, Slovak Republic
Devin Castle is 20 kms from Bratislava (Slovakia).

I arrived too early there (at 8:00 in the morning) without knowing that it opens at 10:00.

Danube and Morava River Bratislava
This castle overlooks Danube and Morava Rivers.

So I had two hours to walk around and found this war memorial, a few steps from the mouth of Morava River.

The War Memorial at Devin's Castle Bratislava
The War Memorial at Devin’s castle in Bratislava.

Devin Castle defines everything Slovak, they say.

It holds such an importance for the Slovaks that the word Devin has become a second name for everything Slovak.

Danube and Morava River Bratislava Slovakia
The Danube and Morava Rivers meet here.

It’s like Slovakia would not have retained its character if this castle wasn’t built.

Things to do in Bratislava
The town of Devin from the castle tower.

An Iron Curtain, drawn below the castle, was once what it was famed for. It was lined with barbed wires and it served the purpose of protecting the entrance up to 1989.

Iron Curtain Devin Castle Bratislava
Hiking up to the tower isn’t really that difficult.
As you go up the hill, you’ll pass the ruins of small churches way back from the 4th century.
Ruins of an old church from the 4th century.
Ruins of an old church from the 4th century.

Because of its strategic location up the hill, a number of battles were fought here  

Devin Castle Bratislava, Slovak Republic.
Explore Devin Castle from Bratislava for a half day.

At first glance, everything looks like the castles are made of bricks and stones.

Explore Devin Castle from Bratislava for a half day.
Explore Devin Castle from Bratislava for a half day.

History records show that in the 8th and 9th century, there stood a wooden structure with the same purpose of protecting the city it overlooked. The stone structure was built years later.

Directions to Devin Castle
Take bus 28 or 29 to reach this place.

The stone structure made after the wooden one also served as a palace where the ruler Prince Rastislav and his heirs once lived.

Hostel Hotel in Bratislava
Devin Castle is 20 kms away from Downtown Bratislava.

Looking at the remnants, the ground stronghold suggests that the structure was a classical dome. It must have inspired awe back then. 

Explore Devin Castle from Bratislava for a half day.
Take bus 28 or 29 from Bratislava to reach Devin castle.

In 1809, Napoleon and his men invaded Slovakia and they completely destroyed the castle.

Napoleon destroyed this palace in 1908.
Napoleon destroyed this palace/castle in 1908.
While the Bratislava Castle was rebuilt, Devin Castle was forgotten.
Devin Town
The town of Devin.

In Bratislava, the capital, almost every site in the city is popular, but Devin Castle still enjoys a popular place to visit, despite its distance from the capital city.

How to get to Devin Castle
It’s take a maximum of 2 hours to explore this place.

If records have to be believed, every year, Devin Castle receives more visitors than any historic site around Slovakia.  

It's take a maximum of 2 hours to explore this place.
It’s take a maximum of 2 hours to explore this place.

How to get to Devin Castle

From Bratislava, Devin Castle is 20 kilometers away. It is accessible by public transport for one euro only. Take 28 or 29 bus from the bus stop under the new bridge. It’s the same bridge that you cross when you go to the UFO Tower. When you get on the bus, ask the driver to drop you off at the Castle. Do not go directly to the town of Devin. The bus driver I had could not speak Eglish so I showed him a photo of the castle from my phone. He dropped me off at the nearest bus stop to the castle. From there, I walked for 10 minutes to the entrance.

Morava River Bratislava Slovakia
The Morava River in Slovakia.

A Half-Day Visit

Remember that the castle opens at 10:00 in the morning. It takes two hours maximum to visit the castle – unless, you’re taking too much time taking photographs.

Hostel Hotel in Bratislava
It’s take a maximum of 2 hours to explore this place.

Hotel / Hostel in Bratislava

Bratislava is pretty cheap, so you can indulge yourself by staying in a nice hotel. Radisson Blu Bratislava is right smack in the center of the city and you’ll never regret staying here. If you are a backpacker, Hostel Brickyard is just a few steps from the train station and the bus stop that goes to the airport is also a few steps from here. I’d recommend this if you have an early flight or early train schedule. However, the location is around 1.2 kilometers to the city center which I think is reasonable and a good way to know the city on foot.

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