Devín Castle are the ruins of Gothic – later with several style changes – castle majestically standing above the village bearing the same name that is the city part of Bratislava. Owing to its strategic position, the cliff (altitude of 212 meters) at the confluence of the Danube and Morava rivers was an ideal place for a fort. Its owner could control the important trade route along the Danube as well as one branch of the Amber Road. That is why the site has been settled since the Neolithic and fortified since the Bronze and Iron Age. Later, both the Celts and the Romans built strong fortresses there. In the Roman ruins, the first Christian church located North of the Danube has been identified.
Devín castle likely is first mentioned in written sources in 864, when Louis the German besieged Prince Rastislav in one of the frequent wars between the Franks and Great Moravia respectively in the “castle of Dowina”. During the Moravian period, a Christian church had been built in the complex. Its distinct style was probably inspired by similar churches in Byzantine Macedonia, from where Saints Cyril and Methodius came to Great Moravia.
On the other hand, the identification of Dowina with Devín Castle has been under debate based both on linguistic arguments and the absence of convincing archaeologic evidence.