GREETINGS FROM NITRA

Mother of Slovak towns

NITRA, the fourth-largest Slovak city, claims the title of 'the mother of Slovak towns'. The first church in Slovakia was consecrated here in 830 during the reign of Prince Pribina.
Despite its long history as a stronghold against Hungarian and later Turkish invaders, this city - with the Danubian plains to the southwest and Tribeč mountains to the northeast - sees surprisingly few tourists.
Most visitors to Nitra come for business rather than pleasure - visiting Agrokomplex, one of the largest exhibition venues in Slovakia, which holds an international agricultural trade fair of the same name every August and other exhibitions throughout the year.


photo: Conrad Toft

NITRA, the fourth-largest Slovak city, claims the title of 'the mother of Slovak towns'. The first church in Slovakia was consecrated here in 830 during the reign of Prince Pribina.

Despite its long history as a stronghold against Hungarian and later Turkish invaders, this city - with the Danubian plains to the southwest and Tribeč mountains to the northeast - sees surprisingly few tourists.

Most visitors to Nitra come for business rather than pleasure - visiting Agrokomplex, one of the largest exhibition venues in Slovakia, which holds an international agricultural trade fair of the same name every August and other exhibitions throughout the year.

However, Nitra has a lot more to offer than exhibitions. It is especially worth visiting at the end of September, when the mild climate makes walking a real pleasure on the tourist paths around Mount Zobor, and when the annual international theatre festival Divadelná Nitra is held in the monumental Andrej Bagar theatre.

The walk up to the castle, which dominates the town, takes visitors from the Nitra Art Gallery through cobbled streets past the seminary in the old town square, with its large collection of books, some dating back to the 15th century.

In this square there are two statues of particular note: One of Prince Pribina and the other, in a corner, of Atlas holding up a building, instantly recognisable as Corgoň, the figure gracing bottles of the local beer of the same name.

The views of Mount Zobor from the castle are breathtaking, but the views to the south show the two concrete jungles of Klokočina and Chrenová, revealing where Nitra hides its population of 90,000.

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