The History of Bratislava from 1st to 21th century

Elaboration, 2008

9 Pages


Index of contents

1. 1st - 10th century

2. First Hungarian age

3. The beginning of Habsburg epoch

4. The uprisings an Napoleonic time

5. First Czechoslovak Republic

6. Bratislava during the world wars

History of Bratislava from 1st century – 21st century

The Slovak Republic with his capital Bratislava is located in central Europe, surrounded by the Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine, Hungary and Austria.

Bratislava ranks among the youngest capitals of Europe and at the same time among the towns with rich history dating back top the times of more than two thousand years ago.

1st century – 10th century

From the first century until 4th century river Danube was the border of the Roman Empire. (1)The defence system of roman limes should separate the

world of romans from that of the Free Barbaricum ( German tribes – Marco-

manni ). One of the roman quarters was Gerulata in the territory of the suburb of Rusovce, which was integral part of the defence system Limes Romanus.

During migration of nations, Slavs settled in the territory of present-day

Bratislava.Under the leadership of Frankish merchant Samo, who became

King of the Slaves in 623. His empire lasted after his death till 658.Samo´s

Empire disintegrated into principalities.By subsequent joining the principali-

ties, a state formation of Greater Moravia was founded. Fame of the empire

reached its peak in the reign of the most significant sovereign Svatopluk.The beginning of its gradual cessation is associated to the first written reference

to the castle of Bratislava in annals of Salzburg of 907, when a battle took place near the castle between Hungarians and Bavarian army. The Hungari-

ans won it, subsequently occupying eastern part of Greater Moravia. The Bavarian historian Johannes Aventinus was writing in the 16th century that in 805 the Bratislava castle was repaired during the reign of Prince Vratislav on the ruins of the old roman settlements and was named Wratisslaburgium. So

Vratislav is only after Samo the second Slavic historical figure known from the Middle Danube region.

First Hungarian age

In the end of 10th century, the Hungarian state was established. The territory of Bratislava today was annexed into the reign of Stephan I (1001-1038).

Bratislava became an important economic and administration centre of Hungarian borderland. Because of following advantages, represented by

the castle and its vicinity, next years are bringing negatives in the form of frequent military attacks. In 1042 German king Heinrich I destroyed Bratislava. And there were further unrests between 1074-1077 in relation to a dispute regarding Hungarian throne. In the 13th century , royal privileges

were granted to Bratislava. Many german colonists come to the town, till the late 19th century they are the largest ethnic group in the town. In 1271 and 1273 -76 the town was captured by the King of Bohemia, Ottokar II, fighting

with Hungary because of Styria.(Steiermark) In this connection the First Peace of Pressburg is signed in 1271.

One of the most important periods in life of the town was in 14th and 15th century under the government of Sigismund from Luxemburg.(2) Bratislava became one of the prominent and political towns of Hungary, ranking among the most significant towns that had been called royal towns since then.

The Hussites first appeared in 1428, when they burned down the suburbs of Bratislava. Negotiations held year later in Bratislava between Sigismund and the Hussites fail. Between 1432 and 1434 the Hussites tried to conquer the city but their attacks fail.

The first bridge over the Danube was built in 1434 , but floods are destroying the bridge only one year later.(3) In 1436 Sigismund from Luxemburg awards Bratislava to use its own coat of arms(4) and orders to improve the fortification of the castle. From 1439 – 1486 a new bridge over the Danube

existed, but was also washed away by flood in 1486.

The beginning of Habsburg epoch

Between 1440 and 1443 there was a battle between the castle of Bratislava, supporting king Ladislaus III of Poland , and the town of Bratislava below the castle hill, supporting queen Elisabeth. Ladislaus conquered temporarily the

town, but finally Elisabeth gets the town back. During this period till 1490 the

first university was founded in Bratislava, the Universitas Istropolitana. In the

same year the Austrian and holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I defeated the

Hungarians and drives them from Austria and occupies Hungarian frontier territories. But he is compelled by want of money to retreat and signs the

Treaty of Pressburg, its also called the 2nd Peace of Pressburg, with the Hungarian King Ladislaus II on November 1491.It was agreed that Hungary

renounces to lower Austria and Maximilian should succeed to the crown in case Ladislaus left no legitimate male issue.

Unexpected turn in the history of the town was brought by the 16th century.

In a tragic battle with the turks at Mohac in 1526 , the Hungarian king Louis II

perished. Ferdinand from Habsburg was elected new king in the Franciscan

church of Bratislava , despite his rival Jan Zapolsky and despite resistance of part of Hungarian nobility.

Turks were advancing very fast into the country. Hungarian nobility protected themselves by flight to the present territory of Slovakia, where state offices were moving, too. In 1530 Turks besiege Bratislava again, but fail to conquer it. Two years later churches and hospitals outside the town wall are deliberately destroyed so that the Turks are not able to see from there to the town behind the town wall. In the beginning of 1532 thousands of soldiers are sent to Bratislava as a protection against the Turks planning to attack Vienna.

Bratislava is temporarily turned to a military camp. The Turks, seeing the military force in Bratislava, decide to attack Vienna from the south. Because of the relative safety of Bratislava and the occupation of Buda, Hungarian nobility, secular as well as church dignitaries were looking for their refuge north of the Danube and as close as possible to where King Ferdinand was residing, so Bratislava became capital city of Hungary. It was decided by the Hungarian assembly at its session in 1536. The kingdom of Hungary was part of the Habsburg Monarchy from 1526 – 1918. Bratislava became an assembly town of the Kingdom and a coronation town of Hungarian kings, residence of king, archbishop as well as that of the most significant institutions of the country. Within 1536-1830 there were crowned 11 kings and 8 queens in the Martin’s cathedral, the first coronation is that of King Maximilian of Habsburg , the last one the coronation of Ferdinand V.(5)


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The History of Bratislava from 1st to 21th century
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History, Bratislava
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Heinrich Struck (Author), 2008, The History of Bratislava from 1st to 21th century, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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