Bratislava Bunkers


Even though bunkers are not a typical tourist attraction, you can still find many historic enthusiasts, who want to know and see this part of cultural heritage. In Petržalka, there are accessible three preserved bunkers: BS-8 Hřbitov, BS-6 Vrba a BS-4 Lány. The first of them is probably the most known within Bratislava, connected with the Second World War. It is the biggest of three bunkers, the most heavily armed one and even visited by Adolf Hitler, which makes it a great paradox as it was built as a defence against Germany. Citizen association Save Petržalka´s Bunkers (OZ Zachráňme petržalské bunkre) assumed care of this bunker that proves the interest and enthusiasm of Bratislava residents in preserving the city´s past for future generations. Inside of the bunker you can learn about the lie in such bunker, where could the soldiers take rest, where were they eating and what it took to run such a strategic army place. You will see historical uniforms, period posters, typewriters, kitchen equipment, and gas masks. A small military cemetery with graves of unknown soldiers is located near this bunker, hidden in the shade of the trees, it makes it look more like a park rather than a reverent place. You can walk to the bunker, or take a bike, from the Kopčianska bus stop. 

The second above mentioned bunker is BS-4 Lány, this one was reconstructed from the originally desolated state by enthusiasts from the Citizen association Museum of Petržalka Fortification (OZ Múzeum petržalského opevnenia). Members of the association proceeded very cautiously with the sense of history of the city and managed to get period equipment for the revitalized bunker. Bunker is located near the border crossing Petržalka – Berg. 

The last one mentioned location is bunker BS-6 Vrba, that was renovated by the same Citizen association. These three bunkers can be visited during the whole season but beside those three there are few more with poetical names like Muda, Paseka, Vrba, Tři Hranice, Ostrov or Duna. 

Devín and Rača

Many people from Bratislava know Devín Military Base, near which has recently grown an observation tower. Did you know, that beside that, there are another bunkers? This area was strategic mostly for its protection “against West” during the period of socialism. The military base is definitely worth visiting on its own  - you can find there a tangle of concrete underground tunnels, landing runways overgrown with gras, huge garages resembling hangars or abandoned two-floor barrack where you can still see the remains of rooms. 

Apart from the base, there are few more bunkers located in this area, which stay in the shadow of the military base. In the city part Rača is located also one older and unkept bunker, which was inhabited by the homeless for some period of time and so it´s, besides being unkept, also full of rubbish.  Finally, the place was cleaned by the group of enthusiasts, that use it for their leisure time activities (LARP). One more interesting fact about bunker is that bunker and the estate where is located is in the private property and also some advertisements has occurred at the reality estate portals offering the bunker in Devínska Nová Ves for sale. So, if you are a military enthusiast you can own your very own bunker. J

Forest Park

One of the most favourite places for relax in Bratislava, is undoubtedly the city Forest Park. Bratislav Forest Park concerns extensive city forests where every visitor can find “its own” – either you want to go for a walk with kids, a barbeque with friends or a more demanding bicycle touring. During the walks through the Forest Park  you can find the remains of fortifications and tunnels, often falsely labelled as old mining tunnels or caves. In fact, these constructions create a part of Bratislava defence system, like the bunkers in Petržalka or the Military Base at Devínska Kobyla. These fortifications have a little bit different history though, and were built during the beginning of 20th Century, when this area belonged to the administration of Austria-Hungary. 

It was 1914, a beginning of the First World War, during which the monarchy was endangered, Russian army proceeded from the north-east and the monarchy was afraid of occupation of their strategic cities, namely Bratislava, Budapest, an mostly Vienna. This launched the construction of defence line – although it weren´t the bunkers we can see in Petržalka, but parts of them are still preserved. These are artillery cavern, meaning the shelters for artillerists and ammunition built at elevated places with good strategical view and most importantly with a possibility for early fire. Also, these caverns could differ from each other – small ones had only one entrance and one room whilst those bigger ones were close to the bunkers that were being built later. Probably the most famous one is near the cable cat station at Kamzík, but is however, well hidden. Nevertheless, is the cavern opened, and again thanks to the Citizen Association (OZ Bunkre) in cooperation  with the city part Nové Mesto.  

Life in the medieval Bratislava 

The capital city is nowadays inhabited by hundreds of thousands of people and still growing not only growing wider but also taller. But how did the city looked centuries ago during the late medieval times? Who were its inhabitants, what were they doing and what was worrying them?

City´s appearance

The town behind the city walls, together with its dominant features, gained its appearance mostly during the 14th Century, after the Hungarian king Andrew III in 1291, conferred its town privileges to the town part which we now know as the historical city centre. Among other privileges was, besides surrounding the town with wall, also the right of electing the city council and magistrate, free trading with fabrics, livestock, and fish.