This morning we decided to go for a walk along the Morava River and check out the area around Devin Castle. We wanted to avoid the buses so we took a train from Hlavná stanica (main railway station) to Devínska Nová Ves. The ride costs around 85 cents and the trip only take around 15 minutes or so. You can also get to the castle via the 29 bus that originates at Most SNP station underneath the “UFO Bridge”.
Devínska Nová Ves is probably best known as the home of Volkswagen Slovakia, one of the largest automobile plants in Europe.
Walking from the train station, we headed west toward the trail. On the way, we approached the Bicycle Freedom Bridge. This bridge is known by the locals as the Chuck Norris Bridge. The locals voted for this name but at the end of it the authorities would not honor their wishes. The bridge is for walking and cycling and crosses the Morava River into Austria.
We wanted to walk over and check out Schloßhof (Schloss Hof) which is a Baroque-style castle with beautiful gardens on the Austrian side. Unfortunately, the bridge was closed due to the Corona situation. We decided to walk south along the river through the alluvial forest towards Devin Castle instead. Unfortunately it was also closed!
The site has been settled since prehistoric times and fortified since the Bronze and Iron Age and later by the Celts and Romans.
The 212 meter cliff is an ideal place for a fort due to its position at the confluence of the Danube and Morava rivers. This area is part of an important trade route along the Danube as well as a branch of the Amber Road.
The castle stands just inside Slovakia. The border runs from west to east along the Morava River and subsequently the Danube. Before 1989, the Iron Curtain ran just in front of the castle. Although the castle was open to the public, the area surrounding it constituted a restricted military zone, and was heavily fortified with guard towers and concertina wire. Since 1989, the area is demilitarized. A few remnants of this era remain visible along the trail.
The most iconic part of the castle is the tiny watchtower, known as the Maiden Tower. Separated from the main castle. According to legend, a princess jumped to her death from the tower after her family killed her groom because they did not approve of him.
Inside the castle is a sprawling landscape of walls, staircases, courtyards and gardens in various states of disrepair. A restoration project is ongoing since the end of WWII.