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The End of the Upper Castle

The end of the upper castle relates to the defeat of the Imperial Austrian Army at Wagram by Napoleon in 1809, after which the territory of today’s Bratislava was temporarily dominated by French. Although the castle had no military importance and no garrison was situated there either, it was blown up by the French troops. The reason is still unknown; French probably wanted to show force and to humiliate their rival.

After the decision of the Hungarian Assembly in 1896, the Millennium Monument was built on the castle ruins in memory of the arrival of Hungarian tribes in the Carpathian Basin. The Monument had the massive octagonal pedestal with the writing 896 – 1896 on which the column with a statue of a warrior from the Hungarian Conquest Period was standing. The author of the Monument with the height of 22m was the architect Gyula Berczik, the sand statue was made by Gyula Jankovich and the entire construction was performed by the famous Bratislava-based builder Alexander Feigler. To have enough space for it, they had to flatten remains of the castle buildings.

The Monument was destroyed in 1921 within the secret operation of Slovak legionaries who had blown it up as a symbol of the “Hungarian yoke”. During the explosion, the column with the statue fell down and the pedestal was used for paving the area which remained at the place of the destroyed upper castle.