Michael's Gate

Bratislava, Slovakia

Michael's Gate

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In Bratislava, Slovakia, Michael's Gate (Slovak: Michalská brána, German: Michaelertor, Hungarian: Mihály kapu) is the only city gate that has been preserved of the medieval fortifications and ranks among the oldest town buildings. Built about the year 1300, its present shape is the result of baroque reconstructions in 1758, when the statue of St. Michael and the Dragon was placed on its top. The tower houses the Exhibition of Weapons of Bratislava City Museum.

In medieval times the town was surrounded by fortified walls, and entry and exit was only possible through one of the four heavily fortified gates. On the east side of the town, it was the Laurinc Gate, named after Saint Lawrence, in the south it was the Fishermen's Gate (Rybná brána, Fischertor, Halász kapu). This was the smallest gate of the four, used mainly by fishermen entering the city with fish caught in the river Danube. On the west side it was the Vydrica Gate (Vydrická brána, Weidritzer Tor, Vödric kapu), also called the Dark Gate or Black Gate, since it was like a tunnel — dark and long. In the north, there was St. Michael's Gate named after St. Michael and the St. Michael church that stood in front of it (outside the town wall). Later on it was put down and materials gained from it were used in the building of additional town walls.

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