Bratislava #3: Bratislava City Museum and Underground Tearoom


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January 15th 2020
Published: January 28th 2020
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I am in wind-down mode, since my trip is almost over. Getting up and motivated is becoming more of an effort. The sky was grey and overcast again. After a late breakfast, I headed out. I made my way to the Old Town and to the Bratislava City Museum, which is housed in the former Town Hall. The Old Town Hall building dates back to the 14th century and the tower was built around 1370. The Old Town Hall was originally three different buildings that were people's houses; Jacobus' house with a tower, Pawer's house, Unger's house and the Apponyi Palace. The museum is also the oldest in Bratislava and was founded in 1868. The entrance is through the courtyard and it was 5 euros to visit the museum. After ditching my coat, I made my way into the exhibits. I was shown in the direction of the tower first. I climbed the stairs and each small floor has a small exhibit on it. There was information about the tower and its history, some beautifully intricately decorated bells that I couldn't manage to capture a good photo of. There was also the study of, I think, the man who set up the museum or at least put in motion efforts to preserve the city's history. The top floor of the tower was rather cold (but not as cold as the dungeon) and going outside, I was treated to some great if rather grey views of the Old Town. I think in summer the views would be much better as Bratislava Castle and the views further in the distance were hidden by the cloud.

Going back down the tower, I headed into the other part of the museum. This was very comprehensive and showed different aspects of life in Bratislava. It was interesting to read about he different guilds, which I have seen in different museums throughout Europe. Before I just thought that it was something that people had to join due to their occupations. However, I found out that they also offered apprenticeship schemes. I really liked the old clothes on display, too. It was a really good glimpse into the past. There were so many things on display, i particularly liked the old boots that had been made my the local shoemakers. There were also exhibits about free time activities such as cycling clubs. Next, I made my way down to the basement, which was filled with torture equipment. It was bloody freezing in the basement and this really hampered my enjoyment, as I couldn't really linger. I had to hustle my way around to try and stay warm. There was quite a lot of different torture equipment on display. Some I had seem before, touring sights in the UK when I was younger and stuff I had learnt about at school. However, there were other items on display that I hadn't seen before and the accompanying text about how they worked was rather graphic. There were also some ice stores that were cool to see. I liked finding out how things were kept cool in the warmer months and judging by how cold it was now in winter, I could see it working well in warmer temperatures. Also, a couple of the ice pits had been converted into prison cells. I wouldn't have fancied being held in one of those.

After exiting the museum, I went to Čajovňa v Podzemí, an Underground Tearoom, which I had passed several times and was quite intrigued by. It is in an old underground bunker. I really didn't know what to expect as I made my way down the stairs. The cafe was cute with an Indian/Nepali/East Asian vibe to it. It was also rather cavernous and seemed to extend to lots of smaller rooms, giving it a quite intimate feel. I love places that have small tables that you have to take your shoes off to sit at. It reminds me of living in Korea. The tea menu was very extensive and I ordered a pot of tea. I forget the name now, it was tasty, but a bit too delicate for me. I really like strong, vibrant flavours. However, I was content to sit in the cafe reading and writing postcards. It is nice to get snail mail every now and again. It was a little cold in there, but there were blankets and lots of cushions to get you warm, cosy and comfortable.

Since I hadn't had any lunch, it was time for a late dinner. I had wanted to go to the Mexican restaurant that was just off the main square, but when I got there, it was closed and I couldn't wait another hour or so, for it to open. So I set off in search of somewhere else. I ended up picking a Hungarian place that I had walked past a few times on my explorations of the Old Town. Pozsonyi Csárda is close to Michael's Gate and it was pretty empty when I walked in, I think there was only one other table taken. I had a look over the menu, there were quite a few different dishes that looked good. I decided to start with duck pate, which had a really unappetising name on the menu, but it did look good in the pictures. The pate, which was served with toast, was really nice, beautifully presented and tasty, too. I continued with the theme of duck pate for my main course. In hindsight, I probably should have went for something else for one of the courses to add more variety. However, the fried chicken stuffed with duck pate and served with roast potatoes, I had was utterly delicious. It was covered in breadcrumbs which I didn't expect, but it was really, really good. I even had some room left for dessert. There weren't many dessert options on the menu (or starters for that matter), so I went for the pancakes with chocolate, walnuts and cream. It was really yummy.


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Duck PateDuck Pate
Duck Pate

Pozsonyi Csárda


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