A Trip to the Devin Castle by Mária Slezáková

09/05/2010 20:40

                 

Yippee! The spring has arrived. Before the exam term gets on our nerves, let’s relax, hike and explore magnificent nature and history.

A gentle 4 km long hiking trail with 7 information boards will take you from Devinska Nova Ves to the Devin Castle in less than one and a half hours.  

       

On the way to Devin you will cross the Sandberg area, which is located near Devinska Kobyla, part of the Slovak National Nature Reserve.

   

Sandberg, or, in other words, a sand place, is famous for a paleontological locality. Many fossils that have been found there belonged to sea organisms, shells, oysters, but also to shark teeth, seal bones, and whale jaw-bones.  Other remarkable discoveries include remnants of prehistoric apes. If you would like to see these, you are welcome to visit the Slovak National Museum or the Vienna Natural Museum.

 

One of the most picturesque spots in Slovakia, the ruin of the Gothic Devin Castle, offers unforgettable history, compelling myths and legends, stunning views of the Danube and the Morava.

The confluence of these two rivers is impressively romantic.

 

 

Etymologically, the name Devin comes from Slavic Dowina, meaning either a girl or divine.

Symbolically, Devin is a cradle of Christianity in Slovakia thanks to patron saints Cyril and Methodius who arrived in Devin as early as in 863 AD. Nearby the castle ruins you may find remnants of a Christian church which was built during the Great Moravian period.

From a historical point of view, Devin’s oldest traces of settlement date back to the 5th century B.C. Throughout the history, the place was inhabited by various tribes, such as the Celts, Romans, and Goths.

What is particularly interesting are the numerous significant roles the castle played throughout history. For example, it served as a fortress of the Limes Romanus fortifications that were used against enemies during the times of the Roman Empire. Later it was a military garrison, trade centre and the seat of the rulers Rastislav and Mojmir at the times of the Great Moravian Empire.

In the 13th century the Castle was a site of Austrian-Hungarian battles. And unfortunately, in the 18th century the fortification was seriously damaged by Napoleon's army.

  

In 1836 Ľudovít Štúr, the father of the modern Slovak literary language, took to the Devin Castle a group of young students, who, taking an oath of allegiance to the nation, accepted a Savic name in addition to their names and surnames.

 

The pleasant hiking trail to the Castle will certainly offer you a quiet walk in peaceful nature, in the footsteps of absorbing history. Have a wonderful sunny time and enjoy your trip!

Practical information

How to get to the castle:

On foot: From Devínska Nová Ves (Rudolf Slobodný Square) to the Devin Castle (follow the blue marking, it takes cca. one and a half hours). Or from Dubravka to the Devin Castle (follow the green and yellow marking, it takes approx. two hours and a half)

By bicycle: From Devinska Nová Ves to Devín, along the river Morava

Note: the not-so-perfect bike path is only for brave cyclists.

By boat:  From Bratislava’s central port to Devin on a sightseeing boat. You can also go on a day trip from Hainburg in Austria to the Devin.

Public transport:

By bus no. 29 from the Novy Most bus stop to the Devin castle (terminus Hrad Devin), which takes 15 min. Or you can also take bus no. 28 which plies between Eurovea center (Pribinova terminus) and Devinska Nova Ves (Opletalova terminus) via Nový most, the Botanical Garden and Devin. The best stop to get off is the stop Devín which is situated at the end of Devin, beyond the cemetery and you will reach the Devin castle in 7 minutes on foot.

Opening hours
May - September
Tuesday - Friday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., last visit 4.30 p.m.
Saturday - Sunday 10 a.m. - 7 PM, last visit 6.30 p.m.

Entry fee:
adults:  3 €
reduced (children, students, pensioners): 1.30 €

Family entrance: 6 €
 

Note: Currently, the upper part of the Castle is closed due to reconstruction, so you are allowed to enter just the surroundings of the castle ruins. Nevertheless, it is definitely worth visiting!

Further information available at:

http://www.devinska.sk/devinska%20nova%20ves/sandberg.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dev%C3%ADn_Castle

http://www.castles.sk/devin.php

Mária Slezáková