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Bratislava Petrzalka R01.jpg
Country Slovakia
Region Bratislava
District Bratislava V
Elevation 126 m (413 ft)
Coordinates 48°08′00″N 17°07′00″E / 48.13333°N 17.11667°E / 48.13333; 17.11667Coordinates: 48°08′00″N 17°07′00″E / 48.13333°N 17.11667°E / 48.13333; 17.11667
Area 28.7 km2 (11.1 sq mi)
Population 114,862
Density 4,002 / km2 (10,365 / sq mi)
Postal code 85XXX
Area code +421-02
Car plate BA, BL
Location of Petržalka in Slovakia
Location of Petržalka in Slovakia
Wikimedia Commons: Petržalka

Petržalka (Slovak pronunciation: [ˈpɛtrʒalka]; German: Engerau / Audorf; Hungarian: Pozsonyligetfalu) is the largest borough of Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. Situated on the right bank of the river Danube, it is home to approximately 120,000 people.


Historical records of Petržalka exist from 1225. The settlement was originally inhabited by Pecheneg mercenaries on guard duty near the river Danube.[citation needed]

  • In 1493, the village Ungerau was mentioned in the area.
  • In the 1750s, the maps of the show two German villages in the area, Flocendorf and Engerau. During this period, the neighbouring Pressburg (Pozsony, today Bratislava) was the capital of the Habsburg Kingdom of Hungary.
  • Later, it became a recreation area famous for its gardens. The Hungarian name, Ligetfalva, (later Pozsonyligetfalu, literally "parkland village") originates from the 1860s. In 1866, the village had only 594 inhabitants and 103 houses.
  • 1891 – Pozsonyligetfalu becomes permanently connected with Pressburg when the first railway bridge, 460 meters long, is built for the Pressburg-Csorna-Szombathely railway. Before this date only wooden bridges existed, but they were often damaged by frost and floods.
  • 1910 – Of its 2947 inhabitants, 1997 speak German, 495 Hungarian, and 318 Slovak as their native language.
  • 1920s - Petržalka is the largest village in Czechoslovakia.[1] By the migration of Slovaks, the village loses its former ethnic German majority.
  • 1938–1945 – Petržalka is annexed by Nazi Germany on 10 October 1938 on the basis of the Munich agreement. It is renamed Engerau, and the Starý most bridge becomes a border bridge between the First Slovak Republic and Nazi Germany. Several thousand inhabitants of Slovak, Czech, and Hungarian ethnicity have to stay in Petržalka. They are considered citizens of Nazi Germany but are persecuted. The occupiers close down all Slovak schools, and the German language replaces Slovak. Non-Germans are not allowed to participate in public life, and the Gestapo arrest citizens who promote ideas opposing Nazism, including those active before the occupation.[2]
  • November 1944 – March 1945 – Petržalka (Engerau) is the site of a labour camp for Hungarian Jews, who were deployed at the construction of the Südostwall. Out of 2000 prisoners, at least 497 die from inhuman treatment and during the death march to Bad Deutsch-Altenburg. [3][4][5]
  • 1945 – Petržalka is, along with the rest of Bratislava, freed from the Nazis on April 4. It is returned to Czechoslovakia after World War II.
  • 1945 – On 5 May, 90% of the Hungarian population of Bratislava is forced into internment camps in Petržalka. Murders of Hungarians are also reported.[6][7]
  • 1946 – Petržalka officially becomes a part of Bratislava on 13 February.
  • 1977 – Construction of the housing blocks known as "panelák" begins.


The name Petržalka first appeared in the 1920s and refers to vegetables and herbs that were grown there (petržlen means "parsley"). The older German name is Engerau or Ungerau. The Hungarian name is Pozsonyligetfalu, short form Ligetfalu.

Local parts[edit]

Petržalka is divided into three official parts, Dvory, Lúky and Háje, and further into unofficial parts, Ovsište, Janíkov dvor, Kopčany, Zrkadlový háj, Starý háj, and Kapitulský dvor.


Sad Janka Kráľa, one of the oldest municipal parks in Europe

As of 2008, Petržalka is connected to Bratislava by five bridges. It is the most densely populated residential district in Central Europe.[8]

Petržalka is primarily a residential area, with most people living in blocks of flats called paneláks, a neologism for buildings built from concrete panels joined together to form the structure, which were widely deployed throughout the Eastern Bloc during the communist era. As the borough was built primarily as a residential area, it has no clearly defined centre.

Petržalka was sometimes referred to as the Bronx of Bratislava[9] because of a high crime rate and drug dealing, but as of 2008 the crime rate had become similar to that of the other boroughs.[citation needed] It has the highest suicide rate in the country.[10]

Important institutions include the congress and exposition centre Incheba and Petržalka railway station. Sad Janka Kráľa is one of the oldest municipal parks in Europe.[11] There is also the Arena Theatre, established in 1828, one of the oldest theatres in Bratislava.

Education and sport[edit]

The University of Economics is based in Petržalka, with campuses situated in different locations around Bratislava.

There are 11 elementary schools and 19 kindergartens administered by the borough.[12][13] Gymnasium high schools include the state-administered Albert Einstein[14] and Pankúchova 6 gymnasiums[15] and the private Mercury Gymnasium.[16]

The borough is also known for its football club, Artmedia Bratislava, a participant in the 2005–06 UEFA Champions League.

Train station in Petržalka linking Bratislava with Vienna



Petržalka is connected to the rest of Bratislava by five bridges, of which three are used for local traffic (Nový Most, Starý most and Most Apollo) and two for international traffic (Lafranconi Bridge and Prístavný most). Starý most, from the first of January 2009, was closed to all traffic except for public transport, bicycles and pedestrians. Currently (as of August 2010), the bridge is completely closed off to all traffic due to an ongoing reconstruction.

Petržalka is located near a major international motorway junction, where the D1 and D2 motorways meet.

There is a road border crossing into Austria along Viedenska cesta near the intersection of the D1 and D2. The Austrian crossing is called Berg after the nearby town of the same name. There are no more border checks from December 21, 2007 with Slovakia joining the Schengen Area.


Bratislava-Petržalka railway station is located in the western part of the borough and is used primarily for international traffic and for trains to and from Vienna.

Public transportation[edit]

Public transportation uses buses, which connect Petržalka with the other boroughs. In 1989, construction of a subway began, but it was stopped shortly after the Velvet Revolution broke out. Instead, a high-speed tram (light rail) line is planned but its construction has been postponed multiple times because it involves a complete reconstruction of Starý most bridge. The most recent date to begin is set to summer 2013.[17][18][19]


  1. ^ Interesting facts about Petržalka (Zaujímavosti o mestskej časti Petržalka)
  2. ^ Occupation of Petržalka by the Nazi Germany (Okupácia Petržalky hitlerovským Nemeckom (10.10.1938 - 3.4.1945)). Jaroslav Gustafik at
  3. ^ Petržalka Holocaust Memorial
  4. ^ Vorstellung der Dissertation von Claudia Kuretsidis-Haider (in German)
  5. ^ Engerau-Prozesse (review article, in German)
  6. ^ "Transindex" (in Hungarian). n.d. Retrieved 23 March 2008. 
  7. ^ Dunabogdány honlapja
  8. ^ "Bratislava Projects at MIPIM 2007 – Petržalka City" (PDF). City of Bratislava. 3 January 2007. p. 8. Retrieved January 23, 2008. Petržalka City will definitely change the face of the largest and most densely populated housing estate in Central Europe: the network of grey prefabricated buildings will be transformed into a full-fledged town with a self-contained multi-purpose centre. 
  9. ^ Shake & Slovak, The Sunday Herald, January 23, 2000
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Environment". City of Bratislava. 26 February 2007. Retrieved January 23, 2008. 
  12. ^ "Elementary schools directory (Adresár základných škôl)" (in Slovak). Petržalka. n.d. Retrieved January 23, 2008. 
  13. ^ "Kindergartens directory (Adresár materských škôl)" (in Slovak). Petržalka. n.d. Retrieved January 23, 2008. 
  14. ^ Albert Einstein Gymnasium website
  15. ^ Pankúchova 6 Gymnasium website
  16. ^ Mercury Private Gymnasium website
  17. ^ "Petržalka South City Development Area". City of Bratislava. 1 March 2007. Retrieved January 23, 2008. 
  18. ^ "Starý most by mohli začať rekonštruovať na jar". Slovak Newspaper SME. 16 August 2012. Retrieved January 26, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Starý most stále nemá povolenie". Slovak Newspaper SME. 11 January 2013. Retrieved January 26, 2013. 

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