Bratislava

Bratislava
Bratislava montage. Clockwise from top left: View of Bratislava from the castle, St. Michael's Gate in the Old Town, Eurovea shopping complex, Primate's Palace, Hviezdoslav Square, Bratislava castle and the Danube riverbank at night.
Bratislava montage. Clockwise from top left: View of Bratislava from the castle, St. Michael's Gate in the Old Town, Eurovea shopping complex, Primate's Palace, Hviezdoslav Square, Bratislava castle and the Danube riverbank at night.
Nicknames: 
Beauty on the Danube, Little Big City
Bratislava is located in Bratislava Region
Bratislava
Bratislava
Location of Bratislava in the Bratislava Region
Bratislava is located in Slovakia
Bratislava
Bratislava
Bratislava (Slovakia)
Coordinates: 48°08′38″N 17°06′35″E / 48°08′38″N 17°06′35″E / 48.14389; 17.10972UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
8XX XX
Area code(s)421 2
bratislava.sk

Bratislava (ə/, also US: t-/,[2][3] Slovak: [ˈbracislaʋa] (About this soundlisten); German: Preßburg or Pressburg [ˈprɛsbʊrk] (About this soundlisten); Hungarian: Pozsony) is the capital of Slovakia. With a population of about 430,000, it is one of the smaller capitals of Europe but still the country's largest city.[4] The greater metropolitan area is home to more than 650,000 people. Bratislava is in southwestern Slovakia, occupying both banks of the River Danube and the left bank of the River Morava. Bordering Austria and Hungary, it is the only national capital that borders two sovereign states.[5]

The city's history has been influenced by people of many nations and religions, including Austrians, Bulgarians, Croats, Czechs, Germans, Hungarians, Jews, Serbs[6] and Slovaks.[7] It was the coronation site and legislative center of the Kingdom of Hungary from 1536 to 1783,[8] and has been home to many Slovak, Hungarian and German historical figures.

Bratislava is the political, cultural and economic centre of Slovakia. It is the seat of the Slovak president, the parliament and the Slovak Executive. It has several universities, and many museums, theatres, galleries and other cultural and educational institutions.[9] Many of Slovakia's large businesses and financial institutions have headquarters there.

In 2017, Bratislava was ranked as the third richest region of the European Union by GDP (PPP) per capita (after Hamburg and Luxembourg City). GDP at purchasing power parity is about three times higher than in other Slovak regions.[10][11] Bratislava receives around 1 million tourists every year.[12]

Etymology

The city received its contemporary name in 1919. Until then, it was mostly known in English by its German name, Pressburg, since after 1526 it was dominated mostly by the Habsburg Monarchy and the city had a relevant ethnic-German population. That is the term from which the pre-1919 Slovak (Prešporok) and Czech (Prešpurk) names are derived.[13]

The city's Hungarian name, Pozsony, was given after the castle's first castellan, "Poson".[citation needed] The origin of the name is unclear: it might come from the Czech Pos or the German Poscho, which are personal names, or by important noble family Poznan.[citation needed]

The medieval settlement Brezalauspurc (literally: Braslav's castle) is sometimes attributed to Bratislava, but the actual location of Brezalauspurc is under scholarly debate. The city's modern name is credited to Pavel Jozef Šafárik's misinterpretation of Braslav as Bratislav in his analysis of mediaeval sources, which led him to invent the term Břetislaw, which later became Bratislav.[14]

During the revolution of 1918–1919, the name 'Wilsonov' or 'Wilsonstadt' (after President Woodrow Wilson) was proposed by American Slovaks, as he supported national self-determination. The name Bratislava, which had been used only by some Slovak patriots, became official in March 1919 with the aim that a Slavic name could support the demands that the city should be part of Czechoslovakia.[15]

Other alternative names of the city in the past include Greek: Ιστρόπολις Istropolis (meaning "Danube City", also used in Latin), Czech: Prešpurk, French: Presbourg, Italian: Presburgo, Latin: Posonium, Romanian: Pojon and Serbo-Croatian: Požun / Пожун.

In older documents, confusion can be caused by the Latin forms Bratislavia, Wratislavia etc., which refer to Wrocław, Poland, not Bratislava.[16]