Bratislava is home to many intriguing museums, including the expansive collection at the famous Danubiana Meulensteen Museum of Modern Art. But Slovakia’s capital also has several smaller art galleries in the vicinity of the historic Old Town that offer different types of art, from medieval religious pieces to trendy contemporary works. Here’s our guide to the top art galleries in Bratislava.
Slovak National Gallery
The Slovak National Gallery‘s impressive collection is so large that the organization now has buildings housing treasures from centuries of art in Slovakia in five different cities throughout the country. In Bratislava, visitors can view the permanent collection and two floors of current exhibits on display at the neo-Renaissance Esterhazy Palace. If you’re interested in seeing the evolution of art in Slovakia over several centuries, as well as seeing the very best contemporary work, the Slovak National Gallery should be your first stop in Bratislava.
The Galeria Nova is a smaller space near the St. Michael’s Gate that offers several short term temporary exhibitions throughout the year. The Gallery is closed for about two weeks between each exhibition, so make sure to check the schedule before you go. Admission for most exhibitions is free and features recent work from artists working in Slovakia, including students from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava.
Bratislava City Gallery
The Bratislava City Gallery is the second largest gallery dedicated to Slovak art and includes two large palaces in Bratislava’s Old Town. At the Rococo Mirbach Palace, visitors can admire a large collection of Baroque prints and 18th-century sculptures. At Palfy Palace, visitors can admire the Book Wall and colorful Gothic stained glass windows.
The interior of the Nedbalka Gallery may be most famous for closely resembling the Guggenheim Museum in New York, but the gallery earns its fame for much more than its architectural value. The gallery features a permanent collection entitled The Turn of the Century – The Origin of Modern Fine Art in Slovakia, as well temporary exhibits of accomplished Slovak artists. Paintings, sculptures, and prints from artists working in Slovakia during the 19th-21st centuries are displayed on four gallery floors, so allow a couple of hours to leisurely browse the Nedbalka collection.
Zahorian & Van Espen Gallery
This unique contemporary art collection features two gallery locations; one in Prague and the other in Bratislava. Both galleries cycle through several different temporary modern art exhibitions each year. The themes and artists vary greatly, but you can get a preview online before deciding whether or not to visit the gallery when you’re in town. If you’re interested in recent developments and current works by Slovak artists, this small gallery offers an excellent sampling.
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