Bratislava is the capital of Slovak Republic, it has the largest population (about 430,000 people) in Slovakia, is located in south-western part of the country and lies on both banks of Danube river. It borders directly with Austria (Petržalka-Berg and Jarovce-Kittsee border crossings) and Hungary (Rusovce-Rajka border crossing) and is the only capital in the world which borders with 2 states at the same time. Bratislava is located only 60 km far from the Austrian capital Vienna and that makes them the closest capitals in Europe.
Bratislava is one of the most important destination points in Slovakia, as long as it is the capital of the state and the gates to a small European country. The city is a major centre of history, culture, tourism, cuisine and wines of the Western Slovakia. It's also the youngest capital in Europe.
Bratislava is young and old at the same time. The history of the city begins more than 2000 years ago. At that time the area located in the strategic place where the Little Carpathians border the bank of the Danube was settled by Celtic tribes who found there the first local settlement and Romans who built there a border defence system. The territory of present-day Bratislava connected two worlds — Roman and Celtic, the Southern and the Northern one. Lately, in the XXth century, the city became the symbolic border again: it was a border between the East and the West since the infamous Iron Curtain laid there.
Bratislava is proud of its "provincial world" but has all the features of the modern metropolis at the same time. For most inhabitants of Slovakia Bratislava is located very far, geographically much further than such cities as Kraków, Budapest or Uzhgorod. On the other hand, from Bratislava you can get faster to Vienna, Budapest or Prague than to the second largest city in Slovakia — Košice. Vienna city is closer to Bratislava than such frequently visited by Ukrainians towns in Slovakia as: Michalovce, Prešov, Poprad and Liptovský Mikuláš. After the accession of Slovakia to the EU Bratislava became an attractive destination for inhabitants of Austrian and Hungarian villages near the Slovak border.
Bratislava is a city with a thousand years of history, there is a great reconstructed historical centre with Baroque palaces, fountains and romantic streets. As Budapest and Vienna, Bratislava was a coronation town. Almost 300 years, from the middle of the XVIth century, was a period of the greatest prosperity, when Hungarian kings were coronated in the city. There was a place of residence of important aristocratic families of Hungary. The crafts were developed there. The city was visited by such famous composers as W. A. Mozart, J. Haydn, Ludwig van Beethoven and F. Liszt. The alternative names of Bratislava in the past: Pressburg (German), Prešporok (Slavic), Pozsony (Hungarian). The city got its official modern name in 1919.