Bratislava Travel Guide

Etymology

The city received its modern name in 1919. Beforehand it was mostly known in English by its German name, Pressburg, as it was long dominated by Austrians and German speakers. This is the term which the German, the pre-1919 Slovak (Prešporok) and Czech (Prešpurk) names are derived from. The origin of the city's Hungarian name, Pozsony, is unclear: it might come from the Hungarian Poson (name of the city's first castellan), the Czech Pos or the German Poscho, which are personal names. Hungarian speakers still use the Hungarian name, Pozsony.

The medieval settlement Brezalauspurc (literally: Braslav's castle) is sometimes attributed to Bratislava, however the actual location of Brezalauspurc is under scholarly debate. The city's modern name is credited to Pavel Jozef Šafárik's misinterpretation of Braslav as Bratislav when analyzing medieval sources, thus coming up with the term Břetislaw, later Bratislav.

During the revolution of 1918–1919, the name 'Wilsonov' or 'Wilsonstadt' (after President Woodrow Wilson) was proposed by American Slovaks, as he supported national self-determination. The name Bratislava, which was used before only by some Slovak patriots, became official in March 1919.

Other alternative names of the city in the past: Greek: Ιστρόπολις Istropolis (meaning "Danube City", also used in Latin),,,, . The name Pressburg was also used in English-language publications until 1919, and it is occasionally used today. In older documents, confusion can be caused by the Latin forms Bratislavia, Wratislavia etc., which refer to Wrocław (Breslau), Poland – not to Bratislava.


source: Wikipedia

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