In the interest of expediency, here are some excerpts from the Lonely Planet – Central Europe chapter on Slovenia:
Slovakia’s capital city is a host of contrasts: the charming Starý Mesto (Old Town) sits across the river from a communist, concrete-block apartment jungle. The age-old castle shares a skyline with the startlingly UFO-like ‘New Bridge’ from the 1970s.
Narrow pedestrian streets, pastel 18th-century buildings and sidewalk cafes galore make for a supremely strollable – if tiny – historic centre.
You may want to pop into a museum or climb up to the castle for views, but the best thing to do with a day here is meander the alleyways, stopping in as many cafes as you dare.
Founded in AD 907, by the 12th century Bratislava (then known as Poszony in Hungarian, or Pressburg in German) was a large city in greater Hungary. King Matthias Corvinus founded a university here, Academia Istropolitana, that is still evident today. Many of the imposing baroque palaces you see date to the reign of Austro-Hungarian Empress Maria Theresa (1740–80), when the city flourished.
‘Bratislava’ was officially born as the second city of a Czechoslovak state after WWI. Post WWII, the communists did a number on the town’s architecture and spirit – razing a large part of the Old Town, including the synagogue, to make way for a new highway. Today, the city is under construction once again.