History, art, wine, and hipster cafes, Trnava has it all! This city might be one of the fastest-growing in Slovakia, but yet with a rich history. Trnava is called the "Little Rome" because of its many churches. One of the oldest universities in Slovakia is situated in this city. A lot of young people come here to study, and they fell in love with Trnava.
Trnava always had an excellent strategic location since this city is a crossroad between Hungary, Bohemia, Poland, and the Mediterranean. No wonder it became a center of trade, and many important political negotiations took place here. All the rulers agreed that Trnava would be an ideal place to establish the first university of the Kingdom of Hungary when the city was a part of this kingdom (Slovakia as an independent country exist since 1993). The Jesuit University was built between 1635 and 1777, and Trnava soon became not just a center of trade but also a capital of the Jesuit religion and education. This university was also very important for Slovak people since the Slovak language was recognized among academics. Since then, Trnava was continually growing and becoming more and more important. During the early 20th century, it was also the most industrialized city in Slovakia.
A walk around the photogenic old town gives you the right medieval vibes. Every little street looks like it belongs to a fairy tale. As I mentioned at the beginning, Trnava is often called the Little Rome because of its numerous churches and historical buildings. So, if you are a history fan, you won't be disappointed. Let me mention just a few important sights in Trnava such as the Katedrála Sv. Jána Krstiteľa, a baroque cathedral, and the Bazilika Sv. Mikuláša, the oldest church rebuilt in the Gothic style. To explore every church in the city, it would take more than a day for sure! But, you can see all of them at least from the bird's perspective, when you climb all 143 stairs of the renaissance tower, which dominates the city. Trnava had a significant Jewish community, and you can still visit two beautiful synagogues. Inside the Synagóga Status Quo Ante, you can find a contemporary art gallery. Trnava is also a home of the main museum that represents the whole region of Western Slovakia. As a bonus, this museum is situated in the protected building of the former monastery.
There is something fresh and exciting about Trnava. I am not quite sure what it is, but if you visit this city, you will understand what I am talking about. When you walk up to the main square of Trnava - Trojičné Námestie, you will see a nicely renovated space ideal for hanging out. There is always something going on, whether it is a performance, concert, market, workshop, or for example, a second-hand pop-up event. This cultural space is called Malý Berlín, meaning the Little Berlin. And what else is Berlin famous for? Yes, for its great hipster cafes. There is a high concentration of the photogenic cafes in this area. You should definitely visit Thalmeiner, that serves an exceptional coffee, and if you want something unique, then go to the Synagoga Cafe. It is a unique coffee place, situated in an actual synagogue. But, Trnava is not only about great coffee. This city also has a delicious wine. The region is very well-known for its vineyards, and one of the best winemakers, Mrva and Stanko, has its headquarters in Trnava. Many restaurants or wineries would be proud to serve you the local wine.
Trnava is just a short ride away from Bratislava, yet many tourists don't include this city in their itinerary. I hope this article made you fall in love with Trnava, just like I did. Once you visit this Slovak Rome and explore all its historical sites and cafes, don't forget to take a picture with a #TRNAVA sign. Fun fact: the letters change frequently and each letter is painted by a different Slovak artist.
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