The rich collection of the Archaeological Museum contains many rare finds from various Slovak regions from prehistory to modern times. The majority of them come from museum’s own archaeological research and through them you can learn about the craftsmanship, social organization and spiritual life of our ancestors.
The Archaeological museum is located at the foot of the Bratislava Castle in a Renaissance building from 16th century. The easiest way to get there is to walk from the New Bridge. It will take you not more than 10 minutes and you will have a walk with a great view on the UFO bridge and Castle along the way.
Walk from the New Bridge along the Danube bank until you get to this pedestrian line. Cross the road and go straight. You will pass by an old pension which is out of use. Turn left to a small street.
A long white building is the official seat of the museum but the main entrance is through the exhibition pavilion Podhradie at Žižkova street 16 (a few more meters further).
WHAT TO SEE IN THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM?
From the reception where you purchase the ticket, take one of the doors (in the right corner) that will lead you to the exposition of this museum. It is a bit tricky to know where to go as in this corridor there are stairs up, down and also other door – so make sure you take the stairs up to the first floor:
This part of the exposition is quite well explained in English as well. That means you will find notes near each object with a descriptive text which we believe will be helpful as the whole exhibition includes archaeological finds from the early Stone Age up to the end of the Middle Ages on the territory of Slovakia.
Start to walk from the left corner around the whole room and finish the walk at the door you arrived through. This is the direction of the exposition. There are many cabinets with objects from skulls through vessels, animal figurines and various fragments.
This small cube which you will see in the middle of the room illustrates a burial place of an adult woman. Swords, lances, arrowheads and other weapons of medieval warriors are exposed here, too, and you will also find samples of containers used in households.
On the wall next to the front door there is a display of objects coming from different time periods, such as a ceramic bowl with a modelled snake image inside, a bronze age sword or Celtic coins from Bratislava.
In the back of that floor there are stairs leading to a lower floor where a temporary exposition is usually held. You might want to check it out once you are already here :)
When you walk back to the main reception (cash desk), you need to take the same door as you took when entering this room from outside. Get to this outside corridor (left picture) and take the door opposite you (right picture) to continue the exposition. If you went left and took the door in that corner, you would get to the Museum of of Carpathian German Culture – that’s an interesting story, too :)
There will be more rooms in this part of the exposition. Unfortunately unlike the first part, the museum misses English explanations of major objects so you might have problems understanding what you see if you don’t speak Slovak, Hungarian or German. Some of the objects are however worth of seeing so it will be up to you if you want to spend some extra time walking around.
The first room is about the so-called „Zuckermandel“ which can’t be translated literally – it is from German language and would mean „sugar & almond“ :) In fact it is a metaphoric title for the section under the Bratislava castle. The exhibition consists of many photographs that document this part’s development.
Some exhibits used in household are to be found here, too.
In the next room there is the Cabinet collection of the Evangelical Lutheran Lyceum in Bratislava which belonged to the most important schools in town with its traditions at the beginning of the 17th century.
This collection contains more than 1 000 Egyptian and Ancient (Greek and Roman) objects – different amulets, pearls and sculptures. Relics from the Stone, Bronze, Iron and Middle Ages are not missing either.
When walking further, you will find some paper documents (unfortunately again not explained) hanging on the walls and a cabinet with old globes, maps and telescopes.
The bronze copy of the marble statue of Octavian Augustus is standing in one of the last rooms. The original of this statue is stored in the Vatican Museum.
There will be another stairs in the left corner. Take them to arrive to the second floor (a big, almost empty room) where the Column of Marcus Aurelius is exposed.
The column will be in the right corner next to the window.
Opposite the windows there is another door which when you enter, you will find yourself in a long corridor with an entrance to an outdoor balcony.
That’s the end of the exposition, now you can walk back to the main reception :)
If you want to visit all the museums of the Slovak National Museum, it is cheaper to buy a joint ticket for 10 €. It will entitle you to visit permanent and temporary exhibitions in these additional museums: Natural History Museum, Museum of History (castle), Music Museum, Museum of Carpathian German Culture, Museum of Hungarian Culture in Slovakia, Museum of Jewish Culture in Slovakia and Museum of Croatian Culture in Slovakia.
OPEN HOURS: Check the official site
TICKETS: 3 € per person – valid also for other 3 museums on Zizkova street: Museum of Hungarian Culture in Slovakia, Music Museum and Museum of Carpathian German Culture in Slovakia
ADDRESS: Žižkova 12 (but entrance through Žižkova 16)