Capital of Slovakia
|Bratislava is a town on the Danube river on the SW edge
of Carpathian Mountains. It was built on the rests of old Celtic habitations by Slavs that
arrived in the 5th century. In 16-18th century, it was the capital of Hungarian Kingdom,
in 1969 it became the capital of the Slovak Socialist Republic (part of Czechoslovakia)
and in 1993 the capital of the Slovak Republic. With over 450,000 habitants it is the
biggest city in Slovakia with very important political, economic, industrial, agricultural
and cultural role.
Bratislava has the Central-European biggest habitation (a large part of town called Petrzalka was built within a few years and now over 150,000 people live in its huge blocks of flats, moving to the other side of Danube every morning for work and school), the narrowest house in the Central Europe.
Some of these historic names are obsolete. The Slovak name Bratislava should be used in most languages to avoid confusion.
The name was derived from Braslav, the name of a medieval Slavic price (duke) century. The Germanized version Braslavesburg or Bräslavesburg (Braeslavesburg) appears in 907 also as Brezalauspurc, Brezalauspurch (Salzburg Annals), Braslavespurch. Later it was shortnened to Pressburg. ("P" and "B" are very often interchanged in Austrian and Bavarian local and family names.) In years 1000-1038 coins with words "Breslava Civitas" (City of Bratislava) were minted. The German version was then again Slovakized (Slovacized) to Presporok (Prešporok). (In certain German dialects "sp" and "st" in every position is pronounced like "schp" and "scht".)
In 1918 the name was officially changed to Bratislava, however, Braslava would have been more correct. Some even suggested the name "Wilson" to express the thankfulness for the U.S. President's support of Slovak independence from Hungarians.
The name of another price (duke), Bozan (Božan) was Latinized to
Posonium and Magyarized (Hungarized) to Pozsony. It persisted also as a name of Bratislava's
suburb Posen (Pošeň).
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