The Museum of Carpathian German Culture is located in Bratislava, Slovakia, and is famous for its collection of artifacts and objects that paint a clear picture of Carpathian German history, the tale of a national minority that lived in Slovakia for almost a thousand years.
The museum highlights clothing samples, photographs, and utilities and tools that these people used over the years. All objects are interestingly and clearly displayed in various cabinets and they are offering a colorful and pretty complete picture of the way how these „Slovak“ Germans lived in the country, their evolution, and the challenges they faced over the centuries.
The Bratislava Museum of Carpathian German Culture is situated in a beautifully restored 16th-century building next to the Bratislava Castle and the probably easiest way of getting to the museum is by walking there from the city’s New Bridge. This won’t take you longer than some ten 10 minutes on foot while, at the same time, you can marvel at the city’s impressive UFO bridge as well as the mentioned Castle along your way.
Just walk a while from the city’s New Bridge alongside the Danube River until you reach a pedestrian line. Then you need to get across the road and continue straight ahead. After you’ve passed by a former but now unused pension, make a left onto a small and narrow street. Then you’ll see a green long building, which actually is the museum’s official address but you need to go a little further to reach the entrance (via the Podhradie exhibition pavilion at 16 Žižkova street.
After you’ve entered the building through the museum’s main door, you can buy a ticket from the reception desk located just behind a door on the left after which you’ll have to get back to the corridor to go to its end. Here you’ll find a tiny glass door where you’ll have to ring a bell (strange but true). After you’ve rung the bell, you hear will “yes?” (a doorbell machine) and when you’ve said you want to visit the museum, a guy on the door’s other side will be opening the doors for you. Interesting, isn’t it?
After walking up a few flights of stairs, you’ll get to a narrow corridor with maps and documents hanging from the walls. At the end of the corridor, there are a few exhibition rooms but before you’ll enter these rooms, you can learn all about how the Carpathian Germans settled in the Slovak region. The rooms offer a fine display of ceramic art, photographs, and samples of objects of everyday life such as household and agricultural working tools and shoes.
You can learn a lot from old papers and documents that document the political turmoils and the life of the Carpathian Germans in the period 1918-1938 and you can also marvel at the glass and ceramic plates and learn how, for example, coffee was cultivated in those days. There is a gentleman that will guide you through the museum who doesn’t speak English. If you master German to some extent, you’ll manage to pick up a few things. You can read more about the museum in this article.
One minor aspect of this interesting museum is the fact that there are no descriptions in English. Everything is in German and Slovak. Maybe it’s a good idea for the museum to provide some sort of English guide for people who don’t master the two offered languages.
The education system used by the Carpathian Germans is highlighted through various boards, booklets, and stationery and on one of the walls, you can see some examples of German language newspapers like the paper Karpathen Post. For those wishing to learn more on the Carpathian-German history in Slovakia, interesting booklets may be purchased.
The second room is full of interesting paintings, a gramophone, sewing machine, some cameras, and more interesting artifacts and historical objects that all give a clear picture of the culture and the almost one thousand years long history of Carpathian German life in Slovakia. If you want to learn more about Germans that emigrated to America, read this chronological overview.
The exhibition also features an old lady who holds a broom and a mother holding her child which gives a nice impression of a historical living room in those days. There are also some very interesting sacral objects on display and particularly noteworthy is the impressive home altar where the people in those days used to say their prayers.
If you want to visit more sites of the Slovak National Museum in Bratislava, you can buy a pass for 10 Euros. This way you can visit all exhibitions in the following museums: Natural History Museum, Music Museum, Museum of Jewish Culture, Archaeological Museum, Museum of History (Castle), Museum of Hungarian Culture (in Slovakia, and Museum of Croatian Culture (in Slovakia). Admission to the Museum of Carpathian German Culture is only 3 Euros a person and this is also good for three more museums on Zizkova street, the Music Museum, the Archaeological Museum, and the Museum of Hungarian Culture in Slovakia.
Address: Žižkova 14 but the entrance is via Žižkova 16.