It’s a bright sunny day as I walk down the main street(hlavná ulica), now a wide pedestrian walkway with large planters filled with greenery. The city clock tower acts as a guide post to Trojicne namestie (Trinity Square). My morning departure has deposited me in the city of Trnava, Slovakia(trnava.sk). Founded in 1238, it was the first city to receive a town charter and the concentration of churches has earned it the title “parva Roma” or “Little Rome”.
I began from my home base of Bratislava. By train I made my way North through a rolling countryside of almost endless fields of sunflowers. The travel time is just under an hour, giving me plenty of time before needing to make my return. The station lies to the south of the old town and is only a short walk through a park on your way to the square.
As you would expect, the streets are flanked with a combination of white and tan buildings. Almost all of them topped with red tile roofs, sweeping up to the sky. Various banners and flags float between buildings. The pedestrian level is lined with shoppes and small eateries. All leading toward the clock tower.
The Tower looks over the square and the Holy Trinity Statue. On days like today it’s possible to climb up the interior of the tower to observe the city from above, along with the inner workings of the tower’s clock movement. From the vantage you can see to the edges of the old village and the surrounding modern apartment buildings where the citizens, many of which commute to Bratislava during the week, live.
Off the Main Street narrower passages, shaded by the surrounding buildings, lead you through the town and conceal what is waiting around the next turn. It could be a church with rounded spires topped with a cross or maybe a small cafe with open tables waiting for a tired explorer, and even the remnants of the city wall, now only protecting the old town from the more modern architecture of the city.
On occasion small groups can be found performing music and dance around the city (see video below). The main square also doubles as a market on holidays and stage concerts through the year. If nothing is going on, then you can just sit and rest up before heading out to explore some more.
As the sun starts to pass behind the roofs, I begin the journey back to my temporary home of Bratislava. I pass again through the fields of yellow flowers, turned down with the setting of the sun. As I see the terraces of grape vines, I know I am almost back in Bratislava and will need to decide on my next days destination. But first a little food, drink and well needed rest.