Slovak in Slovakia

Bratislava - the Capital City

A street in Bratislava

Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, lies on the river Danube about 60 miles north of Vienna, the capital of Austria and has a population of over half a million. Bratislava's history dates back to the 9th century when one of the main fortresses of the Great Moravian Empire was established on one of its hills. During the Austro-Hungarian period (10th-20th century), Bratislava was called Presburg in German, Poszony in Hungarian, and Prešporok in Slovak. The city became a significant European political and cultural center. St. Martin’s Cathedral served as the coronation place for Hungarian kings for almost 300 years, and the city hosted performances by such world celebrities as Mozart and Haydn. In 1918, Bratislava became the administrative, economic, and cultural center of Slovakia as part of the newly-created Czechoslovakia state. During Communism, Bratislava suffered much destruction in historical downtown. After the defeat of Communism, prodigious restoration helped to save the remains of that part of the city.

Currently, Bratislava is once again the site of a vibrant international cultural scene, hosting numerous international art festivals and exhibits as well as open-air performances during the summer months.