Bratislava - Several Interesting Facts

Bratislava belongs to the youngest capitals in Europe, it has the rich history tracing to the age of 2000 ago. Position of city is in the lonely heart of Europe on the bank of the Danube River on the SW edge of Carpathian Mountains.

The real door to the history opens the 2d century B.C. where Celtic residence was built up.

During the Roman period Bratislava and its surrounding on the both sides of the Danube River was direct on the boundaries of the Roman Empire.

In the 9th century the huge Slav roosts in Bratislava and Devin became centres of the common state of West-Slav tribes of so called Great Moravia Empire. In the next century Bratislava has integrated to the new established Ugrian Kingdom. In the end of the 13th century stone civic walls has become to build up and Bratislava became to spread. In the 14th and 15th century Bratislava became a prominent political and economical city in Ugrian Kingdom and in 1434 obtained its own sign.

In 1536 Bratislava became a capital of Ugrian Kingdom and was resident city, crowned city of Ugrian kings, resident of king, archbishop and of the most important institutions of a country. Its next boom spent in the 18th century, especially during the government of Maria Theresa. In these times Bratislava was not only the most important and the biggest city in Slovakia but also in the whole Ugrian Kingdom.

In the end of the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century Bratislava was the second industrial city of Ugrian Kingdom. To the industrial development contributed also building-up of the first bridge in 1891, which served to the railway and road transport and enabled a connection with Vienna and Budapest. The 19th century represented a time of economic development when significant factories and large enterprises were built. Cultural life was more and more distinctive, which gave way to the creation of the Slovak nation and renaissance in Slovak culture.

After 1945, Bratislava became an important European cultural centre. New theatre stages opened, with the most important today being the Slovak National Theatre with opera and ballet (1920), the P. O. Hviezdoslav Theatre (1955), Nová Scéna with musicals and plays, the Astorka, Korzo, Studio S and others. Bratislava was also famous for its music. There are The Slovak Philharmonic (1949) houses the National Symphony Orchestra, the Radio Symphony Orchestra and others. Since 1965, Bratislava has also been known for its International Music Festival. In foreign countries, Bratislava is also recognized for its folk dance groups such as LÚČNICA, SĽUK.

World famous treasures and fine art is on display throughout the town, but mostly at the National Gallery (1949) and the Town Gallery (1967).

University education is an old tradition in Bratislava. In 1465 was established the first university in Slovakia, the Academia Istropolitana, modelled after the University of Bologna. Comenius University, which was founded in 1919, includes the faculties of Law, Medicine, Philosophy, Pedagogy, Mathematics/Physics, Natural Sciences, Pharmacology and Management. In 1940, the Business School was opened, in 1949 the School of Fine Arts and the Conservatory. Bratislava's second university, the Slovak University of Technology, began in 1938. Religious schools include the Roman Catholic College, Cyril and Method College, and the Lutheran University.

From the 1st January 1993 Bratislava is the capital of Slovak Republic. It is a resident of president, parliament, government and all offices of state administration. With about 500,000 habitants it is the biggest city in Slovakia with very important political, economic, industrial, agricultural and cultural role. Nowadays it is an important intersection of road, railway, aerial and water transport and its position on the crossroad of commercial roads designates Bratislava to become an entrance gate not only to Slovak Republic but also to the whole middle European region.

Bratislava’s Castle

In the 9th century it was a Great Moravian fortress. In the 10th century, it was rebuilt to become the King's residence and a border post. During the reign of Maria Theresa (18th century) it became an imperial palace. Bratislava’s Castle is on the hill overlooking the Danube and is the town’s most prominent landmark.

The Devín Castle

The Devin Castle was a border fortification at the confluence of the Danube and Morava rivers. Celtic and Roman settlers inhabited it successively and it was also a key outpost guarding trading routes. In the 9th century it became a Slavic fortress. A Gothic castle was built there in the middle Ages and later rebuilt in the Renaissance. Since 1809, when Napoleon’s army destroyed it, it has been a ruin.

The National Theatre

The National Theatre on Hviezdoslav Square was built in 1886 in the spirit of the Neo-renaissance. In 1888, a fountain with a bronze Ganymede astride an eagle was constructed in front of the theatre. Today the building is home of the National Opera and Ballet.

St. Martin's Cathedral

St. Martin’s Cathedral is the most sacred and significant Gothic building in Bratislava. Construction began in 1221 and continued in the 14th and 15th centuries. Next to the cathedral are St. Anne's Chapel and a Baroque chapel to St. John Almužník from the first half of the 18th century. The cathedral was actually built into the town's outer walls as part of its fortification. On the top of the tower there is a large Ugrian crown from the 19th century. In 1536, when Bratislava became the capital of Ugrian Kingdom, the cathedral was used as the coronation chapel.

Grassalkovich Palace

It's one-story building with a central Spanish hall branching up into two staircases with statues depicting the four seasons. Behind it, there are beautiful French gardens. Nowadays it is the residence of incumbent president of Slovak Republic.

Slovak National Gallery

Slovak folklore

 Slovak National Museum


 Some interesting links on Bratislava:

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