Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia. It has about 452 000 population and it is the biggest city in Slovakia. The name Bratislava is the official name from march of 1919. Before that, there were different names - from the German Pressburg, Latin Posonium, Hungarian Pozsony, to the old Slovak form Prešpork. Bratislava, the old name of the town and castle was first mentioned in The Salzburg Chronicles in 907.
After the 1st century, the Romans set up fortifications on both sides of the Danube, which became their northern border. They called the northern settlement Posonium, from which came Pozsony, the Hungarian name for Bratislava.
During the reign of Svätopluk, the Great Moravian empire (833-907) united most of present-day Slovakia and the Czech Republic with bits of Austria, Poland, Hungary and Germany. But the arrival of the Magyars (Hungarians) in the Danube Basin led to the empire’s downfall. For more than 1000 years Bratislava would be ruled by a foreign power, as Slovakia became part of the Hungarian Kingdom.
Hungarian rule wasn’t all bad. In 1465, King Matthias Corvinus set up Academia Istropolitana, the first university in Slovakia, here in Bratislava. The Turkish invasion of Buda in 1529 then forced Hungarian royalty to move their capital here.
Over the next three centuries, the Hungarian Diet crowned 19 kings and queens in Bratislava’s St Martin’s Cathedral. This period established Bratislava as one of Europe’s great centers with the largest population in Hungary.
Bratislava continued to thrive, particularly under Maria Theresia,s reign. However the Hungarians attempted to forcibly assimilate the Slovaks and other non-Magyar nationalities into a single nation-state. This policy, known as ”Magyarization”. In response Ľudovít Štúr codified the Slovak language in1848, and lead a nationalist movement.
After the World War I accrued the Czechoslovak Republic.
During the World War II Hitler encouraged the Slovaks to secede from the union and from an ”independent” state which they did in1939. Bratislava then became the capital of a Slovak fascist state until 1945.
After the World War II, the Czechoslovak union was restored. It was seceded on January 1,1993. Then Bratislava became the capital of Slovakia. Bratislava Castle
The Gothic castle was rebuilt into a four-wing Renaissance palace in time for King Maximilian’s coronation ceremony in 1563.
Then between 1635 and 1649, Nicolaus Pálfy added third flour above all four wings, and erected pointed turrets of uniform facades on all four corners. This gave the castle its characteristic present-day look.
Up on the hill is Slavín, a striking monument to the nearly 7000 Russian soldiers killed liberating Bratislava during World War II.
Grassalkovich palace on Hodžovo square, where newly-elected President lives.