We took a half day trip up the Danube to Castle Devin. It’s about a two hour boat trip up stream and half hour back on one of the little boats that regularly cruise the river.
Castle Devin is set on a cliff at an altitude of 212 meters and sited where the Danube and Morava rivers meet and has served as a fortification since a stone castle was first built on the site in the 13th century
The castle is in ruins these days, partly due to Napoleon blowing it up in 1809.
Here is the tiny watchtower, known as the Maiden Tower. Separated from the main castle, it balances on a rock and has plenty of legends around it featuring imprisoned lovelorn daughters leaping to their deaths.
Before 1989, the Iron Curtain between the Eastern Bloc and the West ran just in front of the castle.
The area surrounding it constituted a restricted military zone, and was heavily fortified with watchtowers and barbed wire. After the Velvet Revolution the area was demilitarised.
Nearby the castle is a memorial to those who lost their lives from 1945 to 1989 under the Communist Regime.
Many people lost their lives trying to cross this spot on the Danube river to get to Austria.
The memorial shows how many victims died under the communist regime in different circumstances.
According to the memorial, 2,200,000 people were deported from Slovakia from 1945 to 1989. 20,000 Slovaks were also sent to gulags from this period.