Bratislava - the capital


Bratislava was founded in the 13th century on the site of a Celtic settlement built on the bank of the Danube. It grew to become one of the most important cities in the Kingdom of Hungary and for 200 years it was the coronation place of its kings and queens. Nowadays it is the capital of the Slovak Republic, with more than 450,000 inhabitants. It is a city full of art, cultural events, a rich history and stunning monuments.


One of the youngest European capitals nevertheless has a history stretching more than 2,000 years into the past. In the Celtic ages, approximately in the 2nd century BC (as mentioned in the oldest written sources), the Celtic nation of the Boii came to this place and built a strategic base. Soon the settlement became famous for a mint – it minted highly valued golden and silver coins – BIATECs. Before Slovakia started using the EURO, the motif of the Biatec was used for the 5-koruna coin (around 17 euro cents), a sculpture of which stands in front of the National Bank of Slovakia.


Later, at the height of the Roman Empire, Bratislava stood on the LIMES ROMANUS – the border that separated the Roman Empire from the Barbarians. The remains of one of the Romans’ military camps - GERULATA can be found in Rusovce, a suburb of Bratislava. It was built in the 2nd century of our era.  In modern times, the camp has been extensively studied and at Gerulata’s site you can visit an exhibition of Roman artefacts discovered in Slovakia.


After the Slavic tribes moved into the Carpathian basin the area of Bratislava became one of their important settlements. It later became the part of the Great Moravian Empire.


After the old Magyars had conquered the Carpathian basin, the territory of Slovakia became an integral part of the Kingdom of Hungary for almost 1000 years. Bratislava was one of its leading cities. The first university in the kingdom, the Academia Istropolitana was established in Bratislava in the 15th century. Bratislava was also the seat of government and the place where Hungary’s kings and queens were crowned for over two hundred years. After the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918, Bratislava became the capital of Slovakia.


Bratislava has a lot of interesting monuments and sights to see. The Castle, the Old Town and its monuments, the Opera and the modern shopping malls make Bratislava a very attractive destination for travellers.

The castle is an ensemble of several buildings; the largest of these is the palace, standing on the top of the hill and a landmark everywhere in the city. Panoramic views from here look out over the city centre, three Central European countries, and Slovakia’s largest estate of concrete system-built housing – a thought provoking mixture. 

Another place worth visiting which offers splendid views over Bratislava is Slavín – the Second World War Memorial. It also has a second life as a romantic meeting place for couples. 


In the Old Town, you can find several interesting monuments: the Gothic Cathedral of St Martin, St Michael’s Gate, the Old Town Square with the Town Hall, the Primatial Palace (a treaty with Napoleon was signed here in 1805), the Opera House...

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