Last modified: 2011-04-01 by andrew weeks
Keywords: bratislava | slovakia |
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Bratislava is the capital city of the Republic of Slovakia since the split of the former Czechoslovakia into the Czech Republic and the Republic of Slovakia in 1992. It is "a fantastic small big city" (official tourist slogan for 2006), with 425,208 inhabitants and an area of 367.9 sq. km.
The castle of Bratislava was built near the Danube; it was mentioned
in 907 as Brezalauspruch in the Solnohradske papers. In the Xth century,
the castle became the border guard of the newly established Hungarian kingdom
as well as the king's residence. The village located at the foot of the
castle became the city of Bratislava, known in German as Pressburg and
in Magyar as Poszony. In 1291, King Andrew II granted a special status
to the town, then already famous for its markets, traders, craftsmen and
wines. King Sigmund of Luxembourg (1368-1437; King of Hungary in 1387;
King of the Romans, 1411-1433; German Emperor in 1433; and King of Bohemia
in 1419) fortified the castle in the XVth century; in 1430, the town was
granted the privilege to mint coins. The oldest university of Slovakia,
Academia Istroplitana, was founded in Bratislava in 1465; its building
can still be seen along with other noble palaces in the Venturska street,
one of the oldest streets of the town.
From 1536 to 1830, Bratislava was the capital city of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which had there the seat of the king, the archbishop and most institutions of the country. During that period, eleven kings and eight queens of Hungary were crowned in the St. Martin's cathedral. Since 2003, a coronation celebration has been organized in Bratislava on the first weekend of September; in 2006, the town will commemorate Mathias II's coronation, the fourth in the line. A 1 m high replica of the royal crown can be seen in the cathedral, where Beethoven's Missa Solemnis was played for the first time.
The Main Square of Bratislava is decorated with Maximilian II's fountain,
locally known as Roland's Fountain. The legend says that once per year
at midnight, the statue of Sir Roland turns around its axis. However, this
can be only seen by true virgins.
The modern symbol of the city is the controversial new bridge built over the Danube, the seventh largest suspended bridge in the world. The bridge is surmonted by the UFO restaurant.
Sources: Enjoy Bratislava - January 2006
Bratislava unofficial website.
The official municipal website of Bratislava is still <http://www.bratislava.sk> but the flag-related page given on the FOTW website is no longer there.
I have not seen any other municipal flag in the city, but this was probably not the best season for displaying flag.
The iStockphoto website shows a picture taken by Aurélien Kermarrec on 7 November 2005. The picture is labelled city hall but it is indeed the Primatial Palace. The flag display is there different from what I have seen: I saw vertical flags (with the national coat of arms properly rotated on the national flag) whereas Kermarrec saw horizontal flags (with the coat of arms not rotated) displayed vertically, and a fourth flag I cannot identify.
The coat of arms of Bratislava can be seen everywhere in town. The aforementioned
unofficial Bratislava website says that the coat of arms of Bratislava
was granted by King Sigmund in 1436.
Ivan Sache, 30 Jan 2006
The city flag version from the 19th century with baroque ornaments.
Source: 'Klíc k našim mestum' by Karel Liška and LudvíkMucha, ed. Práce in Prague, 1979
Jan Kravcik, 16 June 2000
The flag of the Slovak capital in 1979.
Source: 'Klíc k našim mestum' by Karel Liška and LudvíkMucha, ed. Práce in Prague, 1979 and 'Városaink neve,címere és lobogója' by S. Széll, Budapest1941.
Jan Kravcik, 13 June 2000
The coat of arms is gules, a tower argent (more or less)
Željko Heimer, 11 Jan 1998