History of the Name
Did you know that Bratislava has had its name for just over a hundred years? The Hungarians always called it Poszony, for Germans it was Pressburg, Slovaks referred to it as Prešporok, and in Czech, it was known as Prešpurk.
It was only on March 27, 1919, shortly after the Czech Republic and Slovakia became independent countries, that Prešpurk was renamed Bratislava. Today, Slovaks affectionately call it Blava.
Interestingly, in 1919, only about twenty percent of Bratislava's population were Slovaks. Therefore, the first president of the Czechoslovak Republic, Tomáš Garigue Masaryk, considered whether to annex Prešpurk to Czechoslovakia at all.
The city was predominantly German with a strong Hungarian minority. Eventually, on January 1, 1919, the Czechoslovak army occupied Prešpurk, and the city became part of the newly formed state.
History of the City
The most famous landmark of Bratislava is Bratislava Castle. Founded in the 9th century AD, a small town emerged around it. It was named Wratisslaburgium or Vratislav's Castle.
Between 1563 and 1830, Bratislava was the coronation city for Hungarian kings, traditionally held in St. Martin's Cathedral.
However, when Joseph II demoted Bratislava to a provincial town, Buda became the capital of Hungary, and the coronation jewels were transferred to Vienna.
Why Visit Bratislava
In modern Bratislava, about half a million people currently reside. You'll find dozens of interesting places worth visiting in Bratislava.
Among the most attractive tourist spots are:
- Bratislava Castle – the city's most famous landmark,
- Main Square – often referred to as the "heart of Bratislava",
- St. Martin's Cathedral – the most significant religious monument,
- Slovak National Theatre – an architectural gem with elements of Baroque and Renaissance by renowned Viennese architects,
- Bratislava UFO – a dominant feature of the Slovak National Uprising bridge.