BRATISLAVA INSIGHT by Karin Sawetz, January 2012

Postcard from Bratislava

On Sunday 21 January 2012, I visited Vienna's 'Twin'-city Bratislava, the capital city of Slovakia. The term 'Twin'-city references the close cultural and economical relations of the two cities which have only ca. 60 km between them; it's the smallest distance between capital cities in Europe, and probably worldwide.

On my way up to the Bratislava Castle, I came along a sculpture of a woman with long hair surrounded by ravens (they are cute; on the picture you can see me beside the ravens). This sculpture is one of the rare objects without historical link on this page (more pictures below).

The 'Rabenmutter'-sculpture remembers not the legend of the 15th century Hungarian King Matthias Corvinus ('corvus' is the Latin word for raven) and his mother who has sent ravens with messages to him to stay in contact with her son; albeit King Matthias Corvinus - it is said that he has thrown Vlad III. Dracula (the one from the Hollywood movie 'Dracula') into the dungeon, deserves attention as he has founded in 1465 in Bratislava the first university on the ground of today's Slovakia. The 15th century building of the 'Academia Istropolitana' still exists; it houses the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava.

The sculpture is according to my research nothing more than the presentation of a 'Rabenmutter'. The word 'Rabenmutter' means in German not 'mother of ravens' but 'bad mother'.

fig. original: The red retro kid's bike is the third piece on this page without serious link to history. I have found it on the street, protected with a metal chain.

fig. original: Panorama view over the Old Town of Bratislava from the tower of the Old Town Hall to the St. Martin's Cathedral (in the middle, the white church with green roof) and the Bratislava Castle. Can you imagine history lessons in schools in Austria, Slovakia, Czech and Hungary and what kids have to learn? The region was in former times part of Hungary, later reigned by Austrian Empress Maria Theresia (to name only one historical person per name), became as Slovakia part of Czechoslovakia and since 1992 Slovakia is an independent country (Slovak Republic).

fig. original: The 1st image shows the Presidential Palace in the Grassalkovich Palace. Impression of a graffiti styled deli hut. On my way up to the Bratislava Castle.

fig. original: 'Rabenmutter'-sculpture. Bratislava Castle. View from the castle to the Danube river.

fig. original: Statue of Svatopluk in front of the Bratislava Castle. Austrian empress Maria Theresia with the Hungarian crown. She wears a dress which is decorated with pearls; the corsage ends in the middle with an imperial crown and a picture of her husband; portrait by Daniel Schmidelli, 1741; exhibited at the Museum of the City History which resides in the Old Town Hall (photo left).

fig. original: The Museum of the City History gives insights into the history and the lifestyle of the people in Bratislava - even with costumes and fashion pieces from former centuries.

Source: Original article with images on


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