|• Total||2,052.60 km2 (792.51 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||754 m (2,474 ft)|
|Lowest elevation||123 m (404 ft)|
|Population (2011 census)|
|• Density||290/km2 (760/sq mi)|
|ISO 3166 code||SK-BL|
The Bratislava Region (Slovak: Bratislavský kraj) is one of the administrative regions of Slovakia. Its capital is Bratislava. The region was first established in 1923 and in its present borders exists from 1996. It is the richest region in Slovakia, the region with the highest level of urbanisation, 85% and according to 2010 Eurostat statistics it is with €43,100 GDP per capita the seventh richest EU region.1 It is also the smallest of the eight regions of Slovakia.
The region is located in the south-western part of Slovakia and has an area of 2,053 km² and a population of 622,706 (2009). The region is split by the Little Carpathians which start in Bratislava and continue north-eastwards; these mountains separate two lowlands, the Záhorie lowland in the west and the fertile Danubian Lowland in the east, which grows mainly wheat and maize. Major rivers in the region are the Morava River, the Danube and the Little Danube; the last of these, together with the Danube, encircle the Žitný ostrov in the south-east. There are three protected landscape areas in the region: the Little Carpathians, Záhorie and Dunajské luhy. The region borders Trnava Region in the north and east, Győr-Moson-Sopron county in Hungary in the south, Burgenland in Austria in the south-west and Lower Austria in the west.
The first known permanent settlement of the area of today's Bratislava was the Linear Pottery Culture, around 5000 BC in the Neolithic era. Around 200 BC, the Celtic Boii tribe established an oppidum on the site of today's Bratislava Castle. The Romans established their camp Gerulata on the right bank of the Danube in the 1st centuryclarification needed and remained there until the 4th century. The area was part of the Principality of Nitra and later, in the 9th century, of Great Moravia. From the 10th century onwards, it became part of the Principality of Hungary (later the Kingdom of Hungary) and almost the whole area was part of Pozsony county (the exception being three villages south of Bratislava which were part of Moson county). After the break-up of Austria-Hungary in 1918, region was newly defined in 1923 and present Bratislava region approximately copies its 1923 borders. Bratislava Regio was abolished in 1928 and replaced by a new territorial unit called the "Slovak Land". During the WWII Slovak Republic, Bratislava county was restored, albeit with somewhat modified borders. After the restoration of Czechoslovakia, the pre-breakup status was restored. From 1949–1960 a unit named Bratislava Region existed, but it was replaced in 1960 by the Western Slovak Region (exceptclarification needed from 1 July 1969 to 28 December 1970; Bratislava was partly separate from 1968, and from 1971 it was a separate region). After abolition of the regions in 1990, the current system was introduced in 1996. Since the administrative regions became autonomous in 2002, it has been governed by the Bratislava Self-Governing Region.
Although it is the smallest region of Slovakia by area, it does not have the lowest population. The largest city is Bratislava (425,459) and the second largest is Pezinok (21,334). The region has a high level of urbanization (83.2%). According to the 2001 census, there were 599,015 inhabitants in the region, with most of them being Slovaks (91.2%), with minorities of Hungarians (4.6%) and Czechs (1.6%).2
The economy of the Bratislava Region accounts for about a quarter of the Slovak GDP. It is marked by a strong tertiary sector, while the primary sector has a share of only around 1% and the secondary sector around 20%.3 Important branches include chemical, automobile, machine, electrotechnical and food industries.4
There are 73 municipalities in the region, of which 7 are towns (in bold).
- Kopa, Ľudovít et al. (2006). The Encyclopaedia of Slovakia and the Slovaks. Bratislava, Slovakia: Encyclopaedic Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences. ISBN 80-224-0925-1.
- Bratislavský samosprávny kraj Official website