Petržalka

IT MAY be hard to believe, but Bratislava's Petržalka district was once a picturesque small town full of gardens and fruit orchards. That was before the 1970s, when construction turned it into the largest cement-block settlement in Slovakia, with bleak grey apartment buildings and a high crime rate.

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IT MAY be hard to believe, but Bratislava's Petržalka district was once a picturesque small town full of gardens and fruit orchards. That was before the 1970s, when construction turned it into the largest cement-block settlement in Slovakia, with bleak grey apartment buildings and a high crime rate.

Even earlier, before colonists settled the banks of the Danube, Petržalka was an "island", where nomadic Romas used to camp. They lived precariously, though, under constant threat of floods.

Petržalka area witnessed a number of important historical events. For example, Napoleon's army pitched camp there to bombard Bratislava, which was called Pressburg at that time. Royalty attending the coronation ceremonies of Hungarian kings also used to camp there.

This postcard from before the Second World War shows that Petržalka was actually quite a nice town half a century ago.


Prepared by Branislav Chovan

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