The ancient Nitra, ruled by mighty kings and princes once in the past, is nowadays a modern centre of culture and economy in western Slovakia. It is known as the “Mother of Slovak Towns”, not only because it is the oldest city in the country, but also because it was connected with the earliest beginnings of Slovak history and the likes of Pribina, Svätopluk, and saints Cyril and Metod. Nitra was where the first Christian place of worship was built in Slovakia, and it was Nitra where the Slovak alphabet first began to be used. From the earliest settlement 30,000 years ago to the arrival of farming people 6,000 years ago to take advantage of its fertile land and mild climate, Nitra today remains the economic, cultural, religious and educational center of the region that surrounds it.
In Nitra there are almost 60 sights to be taken in, including major archaeological digs from the period of the Great Moravian Empire. You can go for a hike or take in theatre plays, concerts and exhibitions. Nitra has something for every kind of tourist.
The Old Town is dominated by Nitra Castle, built during Svätopluk’s reign. The famous Gothic St Emmeram Cathedral is also in the downtown core. For a long time, people believed that the remains of a church found beneath the cathedral was the first Christian church founded in Central and Eastern Europe.
Nitra vies with Trnava for the title of the “Slovak Rome”, because it was built on seven hills, as Rome was reputed to be. The favorite among locals is the limestone Zobor hill fort (588 meters elevation). After 45 minutes’ walk you will reach the Pyramid peak and a beautiful view of the whole city
Nitra is a city of young people, many of whom are not locals but easterners who come to study at the University of Constantine the Philosopher or the Slovak Agricultural University. Many concerts and other events are geared towards the younger generation. Those who prefer chamber concerts in a quiet and magical atmosphere will appreciate the synagogue in the center of the pedestrian zone on Ulica pri Synagóge.