1. It has gone by many a name
The Slovak Republic capital has seen many names over the years, often dependent on who is calling speaking about it. Pressburg is one that pops up a lot and in many English and German texts this is still prominent. Latin, Greek, Czech, French, Italian, Croatian, Hungarian, Slovak all have their own versions of the city but as of 1919, Bratislava officially became Bratislava.
2. Andy Warhol’s family came from Slovakia
It’s not technically Bratislava but it’s worth mentioning anyway because it’s something not very people know. The famous American pop artist Andy Warhol made Slovakia famous for more than 15 minutes because his parents were originally from Miková, which is on the very opposite side of the country to the capital.
3. A very wealthy capital
Bratislava is nothing like the rest of Slovakia in terms of Gross Domestic Product. It’s about three times higher than throughout the rest of the country and is one of the highest in the whole of Eastern Europe at a wealthy 30% above EU average.
4. The inventor of the parachute
Štefan Banič was born about 10 kms north of Bratislava in a town called Neštich in 1870. He is the man who invented the parachute. He immigrated to the United States, where he worked as a coal miner for a while but then built a prototype for a harnessed umbrella-like parachute and tested it by jumping out of an airplane and surviving in 1914. He sold it to the US military but received very little money and next to no fame for what would go on to save the lives of countless individuals.
Photo by R.Melero