EUROVELO IN SLOVAKIA

Interesting facts

Bratislava

The capital city of Slovakia, 420.000 inhabitants. Bratislava is situated on the river Danube on the crossroads of the trails EuroVelo 6 and EuroVelo 13. The town can be proud of its beautiful historical centre (bike entry on the pedestrian zone is allowed), but especially the surroundings of the city are favourable for cycling. High quality cycling trails in Austria and Hungary along Danube are a suitable place for recreational cycling and cyclotourism, whereas the area of Malé Karpaty provides a network of mountain bike trails and single tracks.
For any cyclist, the city is accessible by train from Prague (Berlin), Vienna and Budapest and from the whole territory of Slovakia.
There is a large number of bicycle shops, the majority of which provide servicing works. There are also a few bike rentals.
Detailed information for any visitor of Bratislava can be found on: http://visit.bratislava.sk

 

Devín Castle

The ruins of the Devín Castle are situated on the junction of the rivers Danube and Morava, approximately 12 kilometres from the centre of Bratislava. The place was settled in the era of Celts, i.e. more than 2000 years ago and a fortress is said to have been here as early as in the 9th century. The castle is worth visiting as it is a really nice place offering wonderful views over Austria and both of the rivers, Danube and Morava. The castle is not specially adapted to be visited by cyclists, it is therefore imperative to lock the bicycles as recommended by the castle personnel.

Below the castle, there are a few restaurants. The castle itself is accessible on the EuroVelo 13 Iron Curtain Trail on the Devín road or from Austria on the Cycling Bridge of Freedom from the castle of Schlosshof. Between Bratislava and Devín, there is also a regular ship connection.

 

Sandberg

Sand cliffs – the residue of cenozoic sea are several tens of metres high and represent an important paleontological site disposing of more than 300 kinds of fossils. The central part of this location is easily accessible by bicycle from the direction of Devínska Nová Ves. Its distance from Bratislava on the EuroVelo Iron Curtain Trail is approximately 16 km.

 

Cycling Bridge of Freedom

Though only a bridge, this is a popular trip destination. The bridge provides a suitable access point to Austria, directly to the Schlosshof Castle and offers great views over the river Morava and its surroundings. Furthermore, the bridge provides a variety of cycling tours connecting Slovakia and Hungary. The bridge got its popularity also due to the result of the public opinion poll on its name when it was suggested to be named as the Bridge of Chuck Norris. The Slovak part of the bridge provides a buffet. The total distance from Bratislava to EuroVelo 13 Iron Curtain Trail is approximately 17 km.

Schlosshof Castle

The grandiose baroque castle Schlosshof is situated in Austria, only a few minutes bicycle ride from the Cycling Bridge of Freedom. It was built in the 18th century, served as a country mansion of the emperor Francis Joseph and later as the seat of the army unit. Following its gradual drawbacks, it was reconstructed at the beginning of this century and ranks among the important tourist destinations nowadays. The Castle provides excursion into the emperor rooms, walks in the terraced gardens and visits to the idyllic country mansion with many animals bred here.
 

Bunkers

Bunkers are located along the EuroVelo 13 Iron Curtain Trail on the whole length of its Slovak passage. However, these bunkers are not the remains of the Iron Curtain. They were created much earlier, at the end of the 30´s of the 20th century. That time, Czechoslovakia decided to protect itself from Nazism ruling in the surrounding countries and built a sophisticated system of fortifications, many of which have been preserved on the Slovak- Austrian border. Many of them have disappeared; others are quietly crumbling under merciful greenery. The trail offers a view of several bunkers renewed into a very good state due to the volunteers who thus created a kind of museum in the country. The bunker BS -8 on the Slovak part of the border near Kittsee is worth visiting.

Crude oil extraction

Crude oil has been extracted in Záhorie for more than 100 years. The volume of crude oil extracted here represents approximately 1 % of the crude oil consumption in Slovakia, but it definitely is an attraction worth seeing. One of the extraction sites is located directly on the EuroVelo 13 Iron Curtain Trail near the municipality of Gajary. Several pumps keep pumping the oil from the ground and thus provide the demonstration of the technologies moving the world of these days.

 

Border triangles

The Iron Curtain Trail connects two border triangles – Slovak-Austrian-Czech and Slovak-Austrian-Hungarian.
The place, which is a meeting point of the Slovak, Austrian and Czech border, looks like an interesting gallery in nature. This location is easily accessible by bicycle, the exit from EuroVelo 13 Iron Curtain Trail is marked and the access road can be reached also on the dam of the river Morava.
The triangle Slovakia-Austria-Hungary is not allowed to be reached from Slovakia, as the access routes cross the protected area where cycling is prohibited, but it can be easily reached from the Austrian and Hungarian side.

 

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