The Slovak Rome and Volcanic travel hell!!!

Trnava Travel Blog

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Sudbahnhof is under a great deal of reconstruction. The metro is completely removed and it looks to be quite awhile before it will be available. You can take a train to get to it, though, also a bus is an option.

I left on the 8:25 train to Bratislava, Slovensko and then on to Trnava, which is a bit northeast. The round trip ticket was 28 euro with rail plus discount.

It was raining……a nasty rain. The kind of rain that is not kind to travelers, let alone photography. I had hoped for better as I have been really looking forward to my exploration of Trnava.

Trnava is The Slovak Republics oldest city, established in 1211.

During the period of the Turkish invasions, it was a religious center of Hungary, and became, as early as in the 17th century, a university town. Numerous buildings from this era earned Travna the nickname of "The Slovak Rome".

I exited the train station and only a five minute walk away is the Medieval walls of the Old Town. At the time of it’s building, it was the largest fortification in the Hungarian Empire.

I walked along the outside of the wall from the Lutheran Church to the gated entrance. After doing a walk-thru of the town, in the driving rain, I decided to seek out the refuge of the Museum of West Slovakia. It is the largest such museum of history, and ethnographic display in the country. Also, it would keep me dry for awhile and maybe the rain would lessen by the time I left.

The attendant took my 2.5 euro and then required an additional 3.5 euro for taking pictures. She then told me where to start and then preceded to start running around through the whole museum turning on the lights as they were all off.

Only minutes after entering the museum, Rob called me. He told me that there had been an eruption of a volcano in Iceland and that a large ash plume was being generated. Meetings had been cancelled and people were trying to get home. As flights were not grounded into/out of Amsterdam, we were going to drive from Vienna. He told me to continue to enjoy Trnava and when I got back we would leave….possibly with passengers trying also to get back to Nederlands and Belgium. I had him text me train times as I only had evening times for my return.

The Zapadoslovenske muzeum v Trnave (Museum of West Slovakia),  It has headquarter in the former Clarists' convet from 13th-century.

In 1782 austrio-hungarian monarchy Joseph the II. made changes in the religious structure of the empire and this building which was by then in present size was given to the army. The army used it as a hospital. After the erection of a new army hospital this building was used as a storehouse. In 1954 was building given to the newformed West-Slovakian Museum, continuing more than 100 years of museum tradition in Trnava. At the moment, the museum has 149,643 objects on its files, 65,970 of which are from natural history, 34,297 from etnography and 49,376 historic items and a historical library with 50,039 items.

On the front door is a sign posted door (red circle with the slash and a gun) No Guns).

I can't say that I've seen that on a museums front door but, once I started my tour, the first section of portraits on wood from the 17th and 18th centuries are riddled with bullet holes. They have all been restored within the last few years.

The museum houses a collection of 30 bells from all over Slovakia, the oldest of which is from 1491. There is 45,000 years of archeology showcased. There are folk costumes from the region, household pottery, and displays concerning flora, fauna, and geology. The last section showcases an exposition which offers a tour of interiors with historical furniture and accessories from the period of Classicism until the Secession period.

Trnava was surrounded by the town walls already in the 13th century, and in the 14th and 15th centuries it ranked among the biggest towns of the central Europe.

It was still raining when I was finished at the museum…..aarrgghh! I decided to make another round through the city and then head to the train station.

I stopped at the Synagogue Status Quo, whose gate was locked. It dates from the 19th century and has oriental design elements. In front, there is a memorial to the murdered Slovak Jews of World War II.

Just off the main town square is the late Gothic Basilica of St. Nicholas. It was built in 1380 and was enlarged in the mid 1600’s. There is a painting of Blessed Virgin Mary, known as The Merciful Virgin Mary of Trnava. It was painted in the beginning of the 16th century and is a copy of the painting of Virgin Mary from the Church of St. Alexei and Bonifacio in Rome. It’s dramatic twin helmeted towers are the most striking feature of Trnava.

I happened upon, in my opinon, the most beautiful door in Trnava. It is apart of the university that the Jesuits created in the 1600s.

Around the corner from that is the St. Joseph’s Group statue, 1731. It was created in memory of one of the many plague epidemics. St Joseph is at the top with many other saints around the base. The 16th century Archbishop’s Palace sits behind it.

Back to the main town square, the Renaissance town tower, built in 1574, and is 29 meters (87 ft) tall. There is a gilded statue of the Virgin Mary on top of the Baroque cupola and a sun dial on the southeast side of the tower. It reminds me a bit of the tower in the town center of Krakow, Poland. In the center of the square is the Statue of St. Trinity. It is a Baroque group of statues that dates to 1695.

The column is topped with a statue of the Virgin Mary and crowned by the Holy Trinity. You can also see that the National Theatre sit’s behind it. It is the fist stone theatre built in Slovakia, 1831.

Down an alley off the square is the Church of Senior Apostle St. Jocob. The current building, built in 1712, replaced an early Gothic church built in 1363. It has elements of Baroque and Neo-Classicism.

As a final stop, still raining, I found the oldest church in Trnava. The Gothic Church of St. Helen was built in the early 14th century. It is a small church with several original small Gothic towers.

I had to rush through my exploration of tiny Trnava but, found that there is much to see in this town. An afternoon is not enough time, even if it had not been raining.

It deserves to be enjoyed at a leisurely pace. I see why it stands out in this country of many interesting cities.

The train was packed back to Bratislava. I did learn that an “R” train is the express train and the “OS” train is the slow, local train.

Upon my return to Vienna, I took my multi-transport trek to the hotel. Rob was there and already packed. I packed and we took a few minutes to go across to the grocery store and pick up some snacks for the road trip. It would be a long drive and the fewer stops, the better.

We took a taxi to the airport and picked up our rental, a Mercedes Benz C-class, nice. The Sixt guy was unable to change the language on the car’s GPS so, he got us a Garmin to use. The piece of #%# took us through the center of Vienna as out route out of town…….

don’t have a clue why.

Once out of Vienna…it was really late. We drove across Northern Austria in the rain. As the light was dimming, we could get a view of the Monastery at Melk. This is one of the many places on my long list of must see’s. Someday, I will get back.

We made it all the way to Daggendorf, Germany before stopping for the night. We found a comfy NH Hotel to rest our weary heads.

We were now in Bavaria. I hoped for a sunny day, tomorrow, as there should be much beautiful scenery.

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