Information and navigation system
In 2023, the Devín Castle site is subject to great “cleaning” of words, signs, and boards. The new information/guidance system will guide the visitors through the castle site in a more fluent, comprehensive, and understandable manner. It will accompany them to the important monuments which were missed by many people, and everything will be in three languages. English and German will be added to Slovak.
The new system also takes into account the audience with sight or movement disabilities. And since the original system dates back to 2004, new texts about the latest research results will be added.
It was an interesting challenge for the architects and designers from the MAPA architekti and Hungry studios. On one side, to squeeze first-quality and relevant information in three languages in the space of a narrow plate, and, at the same time, to design the entire system so that the visitors are guided from the entrance at the western Gothic gate step by step through the entire castle site in a single line, both in a noticeable and discreet manner within the whole duration of the visit. This is so that people can ignore the guidance system when they do not need it, but at the same time, find it when they do need it.
Finally, it was important both from the form and used materials points of view to integrate new information plates so that they do not interrupt the views and scenery. It was necessary to implement them empathetically in the castle area in which historical, natural, preservation, and landscape values are overlapping. However, it’s not possible to integrate notes of every valuable attribute of the Devín Castle in several boards, so the curious audience who are eager to get more information will be directed by the system to the new website.
An important goal of the new information/guidance system was to fasten attention to the things that have been overlooked so far. Most of the people visit just the Upper Castle with nice views and go back the same as short as possible way. It’s a pity, because they pass other valuable monuments situated in the south-eastern part of the site without notice. For example, the place where a small church was built at the times of Great Moravia. A former ammunition storage from the 17th century and the Gate of Pressburg in the very end can be found here too.
A side purpose is to spread out the visitors even more over the castle site in a playful manner. In the summer season, the minimum daily number of visitors is 500, but the maximum number sometimes reaches 3,500 and it is quite a strain for the entire area.
Two new relaxation zones, two pavilions will be added in the south-eastern part of the site. The first, smaller one is sheltered, situated in a calm place with a smaller stage for comments or lectures or smaller cultural events. The second, larger one offers a space for spontaneous picnics and various performances or can be used as a shelter in the event of a storm or summer rain shower.
The new miniature architecture is made of wood, information and guidance panels are made of stainless plates on concrete footings.
Naturally, the original information boards with various designs added in various periods will be removed. Blocking posts will be added on the access road towards the western Gothic gate which is currently used as the only entrance to the castle since, during the spring and autumn seasons, some visitors happen to miss the prohibitory sign and try to drive their vehicles up to the gate. And then they back their cars and it is neither safe nor comfortable for the coming visitors.
Ticket offices will be redesigned too, a larger digital panel will be added. The Bratislava City Museum is also working on enabling advanced online purchasing of tickets in the near future. Within three years, a new main ticket office including the information centre of the Bratislava city part Devín could be in operation in the parking area under the castle.