Text Box:

History of Bratislava

Slovakia was for centuries under the regimes of other stronger powers, such as the Magyars, the Ausro-Hungarians and of course the Czechs. Slovakia was part of Czechoslovakia until 1993, where it became a self-governed nation, the Slovak Republic.

The history of Slovakia is very old but officially and in a national level it is only 15 years old.

Bratislava and the Romans

Bratislava is located in a very strategic position, so the Romans installed there a part of their armed forces and controlled the commerce of the area.

Throughout the Roman occupation, the Romans broaden the viniculture and Bratislava became a wine trade city that covered the needs of many populated regions. Eventually viniculture apart from Slovakia was spread in many other European countries, like France, Germany and Spain.


Bratislava and the Dark Ages

Around the end of the 10th century Bratislava was occupied by the Hungarians and the city became a trade centre due to its location. But unfortunately the fact that Bratislava has a strategic location and it had become a commercial centre meant that many other forces would try to occupy the city. There were continuous battles with enemy forces in order to conquer Bratislava, and there were times that the city was almost destroyed. The city held on many difficult years and combats. Between the 14th and the 15th centuries the King of Bratislava was Sigismund of Luxembourg who vested Bratislava with many benefits so that it would become a leading node. Bratislava was from that time considered an outstanding and prominent city. And finally in 1436 Bratislava was allowed to have its own emblem.

The coronation of Bratislava as the capital city of the Kingdom

In the 16th century and while the Hungarian King Louis II died in battle with the Turks and Ferdinand Habsburg taking his place, the Turks kept moving further in to the country. The Hungarian aristocrats in order to avoid being captured or killed from the Turks moved to Bratislava. The city of Bratislava became then the capital of the Hungarian Empire because Buda the capital of Hungary was occupied by the Turks. It was chosen by the aristocrats because of its neuralgic position, but it was also attacked by the Turks in 1530 and was almost destroyed. Bratislava was known as a commercial city with merchants and wine producers but after that it became the coronation city for the Hungarian kings, the parliament city, and the city where the nobles and members of the church found refuge. Many kings and queens where crowned in Bratislava between 1530 and 1830.

The Napoleonic expeditions and the abolition of slavery

Napoleon tried to occupy Bratislava in 1805, but instead he signed a treaty with the Hungarians, which did not last for long since he attacked the city one more time in 1809.

The 19th century brought many changes in the world as well as in Bratislava, which experienced a huge growth in economy. There was an industrial growth and the appearance of new transportation means on the Danube River.

Another important event that took place in the 19th century was the abolition of slavery. In 1848 the Parliament voted the annulment of oppression. 

After that the Hungarian Parliament took its rightful place in Hungary and Bratislava lost a bit of its status and of its political power.  

The first Czechoslovakian Republic

During the First World War there were many changes in the life of the city, as in all the cities of the world. Although it was not occupied it faced hunger since provisions were hard to find or reach the city and even if they were found their prices were unapproachable.

By the end of the First World War, the Austro- Hungarian Empire was over and the first Czechoslovakian Republic materialized. Part of the Czechoslovakian Republic was Bratislava, with the name Pressburg. Therefore in 1919 Pressburg- Bratislava made its initial appearance on the chart of Europe.

Between Wars

In the interval between the end of World War I and the beginning of Word War II life in Bratislava took its natural course. The city kept blossoming, cultivating arts and developing in the industry and architecture. Bratislava became a strong bourgeois city were many scholars and scientists moved there from other countries such as Germany, Croatia, Hungary and many others. This situation lasted until the break of World War II, where everything changed once more.

Bratislava and the Second World War

Although Bratislava was a flourishing, Hitler’s troops were invading Central Europe and by 1939 the Czechoslovakian Republic was separated in two regions. The first region, the Czech, became a Nazi settlement region and Hitler forced the Slovak politicians to come to a decision between two choices about Slovakia.

One choice was to divide Slovakia in many regions that would be part of Hungary, Poland, Moravia and Bohemia. The second choice was the creation of a self governed nation. The second choice prevailed and the creation of a new independent nation began. It took more or less six years for the completion of the creation of the new country and it remained in history as a very important event. Bratislava then became the capital city of Slovakia. Unfortunately the US armed forces bombed the city at the end of the Second World War due to the fact that it was the capital city of a country that was Hitler’s ally. After that in 1945 Bratislava merged into the Soviet Union.  


Bratislava Travels