Bratislava - the Capital of Slovakia

Bratislava - the Capital of Slovakia

According to the latest statistics, over 200,000 Slovaks live in the Czech Republic. They are among the most favored ethnic minorities by the Czechs. It's no surprise. The Czech Republic and Slovakia were part of the same country until 1993.

But how well do you know the capital of Slovakia? When was the last time you visited?

We have a few interesting facts for you that you might not know about Slovakia's capital.

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.

Bosonium or Istropolis?

Did you know that Bratislava has had a variety of both official and unofficial names throughout history? Among them are the previously mentioned Wratisslaburgium, Brezalauspurc, Presburch, Prešporek, Poson, Bosan, Bosonium, and Istropolis.

In gratitude for the recognition of the new state by the United States of America, there was also consideration to name it Wilsonovo. However, the name Bratislava, coined by Pavel J. Šafařík from the name Brecisburg, eventually prevailed.

How to make the most of your time in Bratislava? Perhaps with the team GPS game Treasure Hunt Bratislava.