Bratislava Castle on the Prints

from 1. 1. 2014

The invention of the printing press enabled a significant expansion of graphical material besides the written word. At large began the publishing of engravings celebrating kings, mythological scenes, social events or views of the cities. In the 16th century travelogues with a lot of illustrational figures depicting the countries and cities came into fashion, allowing a wider population to visually explore distant lands. One such major publication, which dealt with the territory of Slovakia, is Civitates orbis terrarum by G. Braun and F. Hogenberg from 1572. Thanks to this book we can for the first time encounter the Bratislava cityscape, realistically depicting buildings and the city. Since the 17th century the number of graphical views of Bratislava Castle gradually increasing and reaching the climax in the 19th century. Then, in addition to traditional whole−city vedutas, are emerging detail views of different parts of the city and of important buildings. Graphics depicting Bratislava Castle allow us to follow the transformation of the castle from the 16th century. They are showing reconstructions made by Ferdinand I, Palffi family, Maria Theresa, and the condition of the castle complex after a fire in 1811. From 19th century the Bratislava Castle ruin is often depicted as a romantic memory of the glorious past. Nostalgia for some of the vanished corners and details of the castle buildings are obvious in the works of K. Frech. With the invention of photography the interest in the publishing of the engravings is gradually declining. However, nowadays they are a valuable testimony of the times and are valued by collectors as historical and artistic document.