Starý most, in English Old Bridge, is a bridge in the Slovak capital Bratislava. Despite its name, it’s actually nowadays is the city’s newest bridge across the Danube. However, it is not the first bridge standing on this very spot. Starý most is one of three bridges connecting the center of Bratislava with the neighborhood of Petržalka on the right bank of the river. It also offers one of the best views of the Danube and gives a possibility to see both Most SNP and Bratislava Castle at the same time – two of the most famous sights in the city. In other words, this is the place you should head to if you want some good photographs.
We still remember the wooden planks that made the walking path along the bridge while we lived in the neighborhood of Petržalka. Back then (in 2012-13) only pedestrians could use the bridge, but the old train tracks were still there then. Today it connects Petržalka with the city’s tram network.
Starý Most: a Bit of History
There have been a few predecessors to the current Starý most. To start with there were a few short-lived wooden bridges crossing the Danube. Bad weather often destroyed the wooden constructions. The first steel bridge saw its light in 1891 and its name was Franz Josef Brücke. During that time Slovakia was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire, so German names were not uncommon. The Hungarian version was Ferenc József híd. This bridge became an important part of the Bratislava-Szombathely railway. It was later renamed Štefánikov most before it was partly destroyed during World War II. Milan Štefánik was a Slovak politician and diplomat. The Soviet army and German prisoners of war rebuilt the bridge after the end of the war.
The bridge was closed to cars in 2009 and all non-pedestrian traffic in 2010. A major reconstruction began in 2013. The whole bridge was actually dismantled. At that time it was the oldest still-standing bridge in Bratislava. The new bridge opened in 2015, this time only for pedestrians, cyclists, and trams. As far as we know, the bridge has not changed its name although it’s no longer old.
As you can see, the views from the bridge are quite fantastic. The castle watches over the river and Most SNP. It was quite surprising one day when we were passing by and noticed that half of the bridge was missing.
Starý Most: How to Get There?
It is easy (and quick) to walk to the bridge from the city center. The closest tram stop is the one at Šafárikovo námestie, only a few hundred meters away. Shopping mall Eurovea is very near, and so is the Slovak National Theater (Slovenské národné divadlo, abbr. SND).