After the liberation of the country in spring 1945, the Red Army found it difficult to impose Communist rule as easily as in the neighbouring countries. The intervention of Moscow in the Marshall Plan in 1947 and the “Czech Coup” put an end to the social liberal government of EdvardBeneš in February 1947 and a Communist government was installed which signed the Warsaw Pact in 1955. As a neighbour of the neutral Austria, Slovakia had an Iron Curtain border. Nowadays, the Austrian-Slovakian section of EuroVelo 13 is totally on the Slovakian side of Iron Curtain Trail and most of it is located on the banks of the Rivers Morava and Danube.
The Iron Curtain Trail passes next to some reminders of the past.
Starting on the Morava River, between forests which have been preserved by the absence of human activity along the border for almost half a century, the Iron Curtain Trail passes next to some reminders of the past. The first attraction is a complex defensive system of 100 bunkers and fortifications next to the Czech-Slovak-Austrian border built against Hitler’s Germany. Further along the route are more former barracks for border troops and some other reminders of the Communist era, such as the villages of Suchohrad or ZáhorskáVes which were places “with no prospects of development” during the period of Communist rule.
The major draw on this section of EuroVelo 13 is the historic center of Bratislava, which is well worth a visit. There are reminders of the country’s recent history here. It first became a Federal Republic within Czechoslovakia as a consequence of the Prague Spring of 1968 before becoming a fully independent country in 1993, three years after the quiet and peaceful Velvet Revolution of 1989 which had put an end to the Communist rule in Czechoslovakia.
EuroVelo in Slovakia
EuroVelo in Slovakia gathers all relevant and useful information for cyclists willing to ride their bikes on Slovak EuroVelo sections. The website includes maps, stages description, public transport information, and different cyclists-friendly services.