Slovakia has a tremendous variety of fascinating and unusual museums on everything from art and history to puppets, clocks, spas, music and the cultural traditions of different ethnic groups. You’ll find museums with gleaming icons from Eastern Slovakia, carved Gothic altarpieces, colorful peasant costumes and modern art, including Andy Warhol (whose family came from Slovakia). Som museums showcase the history and unexpected creations of a particular craft or trade — from wire-bending tinkers to bee-keeping, mining and glassmaking. Be sure to visit at least one “open-air museum” with collections of centuries-old peasant homes, sometimes complete villages.
* Bratislava Museums
* Museums at Bratislava Castle
* In Bratislava suburbs/Outlying towns
* Outside of Bratislava area
o Art/Art Plus
o Ethnic interest
o Special interest/crafts/trades
o Historical museums
o Castle museums
Note: To check on opening hours of any museum in Bratislava go to http://www.bratislavaguide.com/muzea-a-galerie-v-bratislave
Municipal Museum St. Michael´s Tower (in Old City Hall)
Highlights are instruments of torture from medieval times (“Exhibition of Feudal Justice”) and exhibit of paintings and photos of the city that document how the city has changed in the last 150 years. You will come away with an appreciation of just how much of the Old Town (and the whole Jewish Quarter) were destroyed during the Soviet period.
More info: http://www.muzeum.bratislava.sk/ (coming soon in English)
Slovak National Gallery
Housed in two historic buildings along the river, this is the best collection of Slovak art in the city. See the exhibits on applied arts, naïve/folk arts and crafts, and medieval ecclesiastical statues and carvings, especially carved altar panels by Slovakia’s most famous Gothic artist, Master Pavol of Levoca; also paintings by 19th c. expressionist Slovak painter Ladislav Mednansky, one of Central Europe’s most important artists.
Museum of Viticulture/Wine Production
Museum of Historic Clocks
Below Bratislava Castle, this pretty Rococo wedding-cake slice of a building (just 6 ft wide) is worth a quick look.
More info: http://www.citylife.sk/miesto/muzeum-hodin-mmb
Museum of Jewish Culture
History and culture of Jews living in the territory of Slovakia, also information about the 70,000 Slovak Holocaust victims. More info – (There are also exhibits on Slovak Jewish culture in Presov, Zilina and Trnava http://www.slovak-jewish-heritage.org)
Bratislava City Gallery (Galeria Mesta Bratislava)
Housed in two palaces from the 18th and 19th centuries – worth seeing themselves – are permanent collections of baroque art, gothic paiting and sculpture, and 19th and 20th century art. The Palffy Palace houses temporary exhibits also.
Mirbach Palace http://www.gmb.sk/en/content/mirbach-palace
Palffy Palace http://www.gmb.sk/en/content/palffy-palace
Chatam Sofer Memorial
The grave of this famous Talmudic scholar and founder of Bratislava’s yeshiva (1806) was bulldozed in the 1970s to make way for a tramline; a dramatic new memorial was erected in 2002.
NOTE: The memorial is not a museum – it is a funerary shrine and place of worship. Visitors must contact the Jewish Community in Bratislava to arrange a visit
More info or http://www.chatamsofer.com
Part of the Slovak National Museum, which manages many Museums around the country.
Includes 22,8000-yr old Venus from Moravany and exhibit on 1,000 years of history of Bratislava Castle.
History of the city, art history, historical exhibit of furniture (especially Art Nouveau pieces), silver artifacts, handicrafts, clocks in a vault originally used to store the crown jewels. Great view of the city from Crown Tower.
Museum of folk music
In Luginsland Tower (Dedicstvo hudobnych) wonderful collection of traditional folk music instruments.
Gerulata in Rusovce (Rusovce is a suburb)
Exhibition of finds from the oldest structure in Slovakia — a 2,000 year old Roman fortress (1st – 4th century A.D.).
http://www.castles.sk/?castle=53 and http://www.bratislavaguide.com/rusovce-bratislava
(A short drive outside the city) Slovakia’s premier modern art museum in a striking building.
(Museums with diverse collections)
Oravska Gallery and Slanicky Art Island (Dolny Kubin, near Orava Lake and Castle)
Imagine the pleasure of viewing art on an island in the middle of a lake! Traditional folk art, art from 15th-19th centuries (including icons), and Slovak 20th century art are the three themes of exhibits in two locations – one in town at the baroque County Hall (Zupny Dom) and the other on the island. (Note: boat to island operates late May-mid-September only).
More info: www.oravskagaleria.sk
East Slovak Museum (Svidnik, near Kosice)
Exhibits include: Gold Treasure of Kosice – nearly 3,000 valuable gold coins from 15th-17th centuries, minted in Kremnica, but hidden during a rebellion in 1670, discovered in 1935; outstanding paintings; jewelry; coins and wooden Greek Catholic church in the back of the museum, originally standing in a village near Svidnik
More info: http://www.vsmuzeum.sk/
Spiss Museum (Levoca)
Located in three historic buildings in the picturesque Renaissance town of Levoca are exhibitions showing the history, art history and folk arts/crafts traditions of the Spiss area, and of the town of Levoca in particular.
More info: http://www.muzeum.sk/default.php?obj=muzeum&ix=spism
Andy Warhol Family Museum (Medzilaborce)
The only museum in the world dedicated to the work, life and family history of this famous American pop artist. Warhols’ parents emigrated to the US from the nearby town of Mikova. Collection of 23 original masterpieces.
More Info: http://www.muzeum.sk/default.php?obj=galeria&ix=mmuawm
Saris Regional Museum (Bardejov)
Slovakia’s largest collection of icons is housed in a separate building from the main museum. Focus is on the art and artifacts of Eastern Slovakia, particularly the Ruthenian/Rusyn people and their Greek Catholic religion. Nearby is an open-air museum of traditional Ruthenian buildings at Bardejov Spa (Muzeum L’udovej Architektury).
More info: http://www.muzeum.sk/default.php?obj=muzeum&ix=sarm
Museum of Ukrainian – Ruthenian Culture (Svidnik)
Arts, crafts and open-air museum of architecture of this fascinating people living in eastern Slovakia
More Info: http://www.muzeum.sk/default.php?obj=muzeum&ix=murk
Museum of Magyar [Hungarian] Culture and the Danube (Komarno)
Traces history of the Hungarian people within the territory of modern-day Slovakia
More Info: http://www.muzeum.sk/default.php?obj=muzeum&ix=mmkap
Carpathian Germans – Museum of Carpathian German Culture (Bratislava)
Germans were purposely invited to help settle and develop much of central Slovakia after the native Slav population was devastated by Tartar raids (12th c.). This museum documents the daily life and history of this ethnic group that had a profound influence on Slovakia for 900 years.
More Info: http://www.muzeum.sk/default.php?obj=muzeum&ix=mkkn_snm or http://www.snm.sk/?lang=svk§ion=home&org=15
Museum of Jewish Culture (locations in Bratislava,Presov, Zilina and Trnava)
More info at: www.snm.sk/?lang=eng&org=14§ion=home&show and
Ethnography Museum of Slovak National Museum (Martin)
Best collection of folk costumes and other folk arts.
More info: www.snm.sk/?lang=eng§ion=sidl&org=5&id=21
More folk and open-air museums in Folk Traditions Section
Tinkers exhibit in Povazie Museum (Zilina)
Until you see these creations, you won’t know why you should go. Tinkers create decorative and practical objects out of metal wire, which can be gold- and silver-plated and as intricately woven as lace. More than 300 items of this unique Slovak folk art are housed within a giant birdcage-like structure (made out of wire, naturally). Life-size human figures, birdcages, jewelboxes, baskets, fairy tale creatures, animals and birds. Tinkers of this area invented the modern shopping cart!
More info: http://www.muzeum.sk/default.php?obj=muzeum&ix=pvm
Puppets and Marionette Museum (Modry Kamen castle)
One of the most charming Slovak museums, located in a gothic castle in south central Slovakia, near the Hungarian border.
More info: www.snm.sk/?lang=eng&org=12§ion=home&show
Mining Museum (Banska Stiavnica)
The rich mines of Central Slovakia have been famous for millenia. Many important technical innovations were developed here hundreds of years ago. This museum – fascinating even for those who know nothing about mining – documents the history of mining and the history of the Banska Stiavnica region.
More info: http://www.muzeum.sk/default.php?obj=muzeum&ix=sbm
Bee-keeping Museum (Kralova pri Senci)
More than just about the techniques of caring for bees, this museum includes folk art objects — carved wooden decorations for beehives, often representing the owners.
More info: http://www.muzeum.sk/default.php?obj=muzeum&ix=mvns
Music and Literary Museum (Banska Bystrica)
Interesting exhibits of folk music instruments and folk puppetry. Also exhibits on the history of the area and literary figures.
More info: http://www.muzeum.sk/default.php?obj=muzeum&ix=lhm
Museum of coins and medals (Kremnica)
Part of the Kremnica Mint, in continuous operation since 1328 when it was founded by the Hungarian crown.
More info: http://www.muzeum.sk/default.php?obj=muzeum&ix=mmm
Glass Museum (Lednicke Rovne)
History of glass-making and beautiful collection of glass objects in a restored 16th c. Renaissance-style manor house.
More info: http://www.muzeum.sk/default.php?obj=muzeum&ix=sskm
Wine-making Museum (Bratislava and Presov)
Vineyard Museum of Male Karpaty Region? Referred to in Slov Culture brochure as one of best museums.
More info in Presov http://www.muzeum.sk/default.php?obj=muzeum&ix=mvp and in Bratislava http://www.muzeum.sk/default.php?obj=muzeum&ix=mmba
Spa (Balneological) Museum (Piestany)
Most interesting is not so much the history of spas (in a separate building) but artifacts from the local area, including folk costumes and a peasant house. Also, archeological finds from a nearby 9th c. castle.
More info: http://www.muzeum.sk/default.php?obj=muzeum&ix=bm
Beethoven memorial (Dolna Krupa)
Beethoven is said to have composed the Moonlight Sonata here.
More info: http://www.muzeum.sk/default.php?obj=pamiatka&ix=plb_hudm_snm
Museum of Slovak National Uprising (Banska Bystrica)
In August 1944, 60,000 Czech, Slovak and Allied soldiers joined by 12,000 local partisans gained control of the city of Banska Bystrica from occupying German forces. Two months later, the Germans retook the city at a cost of tens of thousands of lives. Survivors scattered into the nearby Low Tatra mountains. German retaliation destroyed more than 90 villages and killed more than 5,000 civilians. This museum, in the shape of a traditional Slovak hat, is a tribute to courage and memory of those who fought and died in the struggle against fascism.
More information: www.muzeumsnp.sk
Almost all of Slovakia’s castles/chateaux/manor houses include museums. Here are the castles with the best museums:
* Spis Castle
* Bojnice Castle
* Orava Castle
* Cachtice Castle
* Betliar Chateau
* Svaty Anton Chateau
* Strazky Chateau
* Topolcianky Chateau