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coat of arms map
Petržalka coat of arms Petržalka in Slovakia
Basic data
State : Slovakia
Kraj : Bratislavský kraj
Okres : Bratislava V
Region : Bratislava
Area : 28.68 km²
Residents : 104,174 (Dec. 31, 2019)
Population density : 3,632 inhabitants per km²
Height : 136  m nm
Postal code : 851 0X
Telephone code : + 421-2
Geographic location : 48 ° 8 '  N , 17 ° 7'  E Coordinates: 48 ° 8 '0 "  N , 17 ° 7' 0"  E
License plate : BA, BL, BT
Kód obce : 529460
Community type : district
Administration (as of November 2018)
Mayor : Ján Hrčka
Address: Miestny úrad Bratislava-Petržalka
Kutlíkova 17
85212 Bratislava
Statistics information on

Petržalka (German Engerau - also Audorf , Hungarian Pozsonyligetfalu - until 1907 Ligetfalu ) is a district of Bratislava . The western border of the district is identical to the state border with Austria with the border crossings Berg and Kittsee . It is the area with the highest population density in Slovakia .


View of the new buildings in Petržalka with the pylon of the New Bridge

Petržalka consists of the three main parts Háje (means "floodplain forest") in the northeast, Lúky ( meadow fields ) in the south and Dvory (means "courtyards") in the northwest. Other locations are Ovsište (German Habern ), Kopčany (German Kittsee ), Zrkadlový háj (German Spiegelhaufen ), Janíkov dvor (German Antonienhof ), Starý háj ( Alte Au ) and Kapitulský dvor ( Kapitelhof ).

Important objects

In the district there are five bridges over the Danube - from west to east these are Lafranconi Bridge , Bridge of the Slovak National Uprising , Old Bridge (currently being newly built), Apollo Bridge and Harbor Bridge . The highways D2 ( Prague - Bratislava - Budapest) and D1 (Bratislava - Žilina - Košice ) border the district from the west and north. Great racecourse. Veľký Draždiak swimming lake . Bratislava's exhibition center Incheba .

The Bratislava University of Economics and Business (Ekonomická univerzita, EU) has its headquarters here. In addition, for a few years there has been an important railway station specializing in international train connections ( Bratislava-Petržalka ) and in the south-eastern part the largest and newest hospital in Bratislava.

There are still alluvial forests along the Danube. On the banks of the Danube is the Janko Kráľ Park ( Sad Janka Kráľa ), one of the oldest public parks in Europe (1774). It contained and still contains numerous exotic trees and plants. It was named in 1945 after the Slovak poet and revolutionary leader Janko Kráľ , who liked to stay here. In addition to numerous statues (Petöfi, Kráľ and others), the center of the park features the original Gothic spire of the Franciscan church in the center of Bratislava .


The Slovak name Petržalka (officially since 1919), which is derived from the word petržal (German parsley, Highly Slovak petržlen), was probably not created until the beginning of the 20th century , because the local garden colonies supplied Bratislava / Pressburg with vegetables. The name can be translated as “parsley”.


Middle Ages - forerunners of Petržalka

An internationally important ford has existed in this area since time immemorial , which was part of the Roman border protection system in Roman times.

As far as we know today, this area, characterized by various branches of the Danube and floods, was not settled until the 13th century. At that time the area belonged to the Kingdom of Hungary (until 1919). First of all, the two Danube islands formed by the then large arms of the Danube are mentioned - 1225 Mogorsciget ( Hungarian island ) and 1225 Beseneusciget (Pötscheninsel in today's northwestern Petržalka). A few years ago, the Slovak name of a now dried up arm of the Danube - “Pečňa / Pečnianske rameno” (right next to the border with Austria , at the point of today's motorway between the New Bridge and the Lafranconi Bridge ) reminded the Pötschen .

In 1225 a document from King Andreas II mentions the Maierhof Fl (u) ecendorf / Wlocendorf . This is said to have originated in the municipality of a Pecheneg settlement on the banks of the Danube by the ferry across from Pressburg Castle (the Pechenegs were used in the Kingdom of Hungary as border guards for the Gyepű system ). It was probably settled by German settlers.

In 1278 the area with the name Flezyndorph was mentioned in a document from King Ladislaus IV , in which this area, depopulated by the devastation of the Mongols (1241/1242), was given to the cathedral chapter of Pressburg, which was then owner for several centuries stayed. In 1317, however, a "villa" named Flezyndorf is mentioned. Around 1400 some of the ferrymen lived in this area.

Modern times - creation of Petržalka

Today's community emerged as a new settlement at the beginning of modern times , while Flezyndorf continued to exist. Its name was German and was Engerau , ie "the narrower Au ", in contrast to the wider Au, from which it was separated by the so-called Kapitelarm of the Danube ( Kapitulské rameno , no longer existent since the 19th century). In 1493, the oldest version of Engerau is the form Ungerau , which either has the same meaning as the later Engerau or simply meant "Ungarau" ("Hungarian village").

Engerau was probably initially settled by Germans in the 16th century , but most likely in the same century - as in other suburbs of Pressburg at the time (Jahrndorf / Jarovce , Karlburg / Rusovce , Kittsee , etc.) - the Croats fleeing from the Turks also settled here .

1596 Engerau is mentioned as a part of the manor of Devín ("Thebes") comprising about 30 farmers' settlements . In the second half of the 17th century it was part of the manor of the Pálffys of the Bratislava Castle, and part of the manor of the Bratislava Cathedral Chapter, which had a meierhof here. Later the inhabitants of Engerau bought the Pálffys' share.

A church building is mentioned for the first time in 1672, on a hill on the above-mentioned Pečianske rameno. Maps from 1753 and 1763 show two communities in the area of ​​today's Petržalka - Flocendorf and Engerau. Behind the dams built by the City of Pressburg in 1771 at the behest of Maria Theresa to protect against the annually recurring floods , the Stern-Allee (later Au , Aupark , since 1945 Sad Janka Kráľa ) was laid out. The park emerged from an alluvial forest. It served recreational but also military purposes (as it was surrounded by a dam). In 1786 Engerau is mentioned as a German village (probably including Germanized Croats) that belonged to the Pálffys of Pressburg and was connected to Pressburg with a "flying bridge". Most of the residents were ferrymen and gardeners who sold vegetables in Pressburg.

19th century

During the Napoleonic Wars , Engerau was seriously affected by the siege of Pressburg in 1809. From June 3 to July 12, Napoleonic troops occupied Engerau and, from here, shot at Pressburg, among other things, which was then (temporarily) handed over to the French on July 12.

After that, Engerau became more and more a place of relaxation for the Pressburgers, so several restaurants, the famous Au-Café (1826) and the Arena (1828, an open summer theater in which actors from Vienna and Budapest also played) and others were established.

Engerau / Ligetfalu and the south-eastern area (top left) around 1873 (recording sheet of the state survey )

The Hungarian name Ligetfalva appears for the first time in 1863 , from which the later form Ligetfalu (i.e. about Audorf) developed. In 1866 the German-speaking and rather poor town had only 594 inhabitants and 103 houses. The steel bridge into the old town of Bratislava was opened in 1891 after the previous bridges had always been made of wood and had repeatedly been threatened or destroyed by ice rushes or floods. The place got a railway connection on the route from Pressburg to Szombathely that year . This was followed by rapid and intensive industrialization (steam sawmill - Harsch company, factories for enamel goods - West family, hoses, bricks - Durvay company, rubber products - 1905 Gumon Avenarius company - today Matador and others), through which the farming and trading population predominantly moved into Worker walked.

Early 20th century

In 1890 (census) the place had 905 inhabitants, of which 87.8% Germans, 6.0% Slovaks and 3.9% Hungarians. Due to the mass immigration of Slovak farmers in particular who became industrial workers soon afterwards, the ethnic situation changed dramatically. In 1921 (census) there were 3861 inhabitants, of which only 52.9% were Germans, 32.4% Slovaks and 14.5% Hungarians.

In 1914, the Bratislava Railway created a direct connection between Petržalka and Vienna . A rail connection between Pressburg and Vienna had existed since 1848 via Marchegg (north of the Danube).

After the First World War , the place was connected to the newly founded Czechoslovakia on August 14, 1919 (see Bratislava bridgehead ), after the (old) city council and the (new) clan of Bratislava from the Czechoslovakian responsible for Slovakia on January 7, 1919 Ministers personally requested the connection of this area, as the citizens of Bratislava had their property here and the residents had their jobs. In 1923, after a border correction, part of the Austrian town of Kittsee (Kittsee and the connected part are called Kopčany in Slovak ) was attached to the place.

After 1918 the place recorded a rapid development - 1918–1928 the population increased by 200%. In 1930 there were 14,164 inhabitants in Petržalka, 55% of them Slovaks , 22% Germans and 14.3% Hungarians . In 1918 only 3000 people lived here, most of them were (Germanized) Croats who also lived in neighboring Kittsee , Rusovce (Karlburg) and Jarovce (Croatian Jahrndorf).

In the 1920s, Petržalka was the largest village in Czechoslovakia, but had only one (elementary) school, which had been built in 1848. This fact was soon remedied by the construction of new schools (three state elementary schools, a community school and a Protestant elementary school). The development of this important industrial location was supported by its favorable location as a transport hub. Petržalka was also an important center of the labor movement (strikes, many voters of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, etc.).

Belonging to the German Reich (1938–1945)

Mass grave of Hungarian-Jewish forced laborers from the Engerau concentration camp in the Petržalka cemetery

As a result of the Munich Agreement , the place was attached to Lower Austria (from 1939: Reichsgau Niederdonau ) on October 10, 1938 (like Devín , German: Theben ) , so that it became part of the German Empire and, after its German name, Engerau ( an renamed the Danube ). The occupation of these areas took place a little later than that of the German-speaking peripheral areas of Bohemia and Moravia .

Hitler never visited Bratislava, but did visit Petržalka (in November 1938), where he looked across from the Danube bank to Bratislava (i.e. into the territory of Czechoslovakia ). There on the other bank (as part of the Milan-Rastislav-Štefánik monument) stood a lion, the heraldic animal of Czechoslovakia, standing on a high pillar.

After he was informed of the meaning of the lion, he is said to have said: "The cat has to go!". Seven months later the pillar with the lion was removed. Today it is part of the new Štefánik monument (copy of the original Štefánik statue) on the banks of the Danube at the new Eurovea shopping center , but the lion is turned by 90 degrees compared to the original monument.

During the affiliation to the German Reich, large arms factories were established here (the two largest factories, Matador and Kovosmalt , were connected to the Semperit factory in Vienna and had to switch to arms production). Their suppliers and the need for transport grew considerably, so that in 1941 the route of the Pressburgerbahn, which had not led directly to the town since 1919, was again extended to Engerau station. At the end of November 1944, the Nazi rulers set up a camp for Jewish forced laborers in Engerau, which existed until the end of March 1945. Of the roughly 2,000 prisoners who had to carry out digging work on the so-called Südostwall , several hundred died of exhaustion, hunger, or the cold or were mistreated to death, beaten to death and shot by the Austrian SA guards or political leaders. On March 29th, the Engerau camp was evacuated and the surviving inmates were driven on a "death march" from Engerau via Wolfsthal and Hainburg to Bad Deutsch-Altenburg / Lower Austria . More than 100 Hungarian Jews were killed. Bad German-Altenburg, the prisoners were loaded onto ships and up the Danube into the Mauthausen concentration camp / Upper Austria spent.

From this time there are still the two border houses, to the right and left of the old iron bridge. The twin buildings now serve as a gallery or as an inn.

After the Second World War

On April 4, 1945, after the Red Army took the place, the place became part of Czechoslovakia again. A Slovak investigative commission exhumed the remains of more than 400 prisoners, who had been buried in five mass graves on the north-eastern wall of the city cemetery, at the Engerau cemetery, and erected a memorial in memory of the Hungarian-Jewish slave laborers. Numerous Austrian SA men and political leaders were tried in a total of six “Engerau trials” by an Austrian people's court between 1945 and 1954, nine of them received the death penalty and were executed. Every year, the "Association for Research into National Socialist Violent Crimes and Their Approach" from Vienna organizes a commemorative trip around the anniversary of the "Death March" from Engerau to Bad Deutsch-Altenburg.

The German population was expelled from Engerau after 1945. Immediately after the end of the fighting of World War II , the reinstated President of Czechoslovakia Edvard Beneš declared the "necessity of resettlement" of the Germans and Hungarians. The communist politician Gustáv Husák put it even more blatantly; In June 1945 he said in Poprad regarding the expulsion of the Germans: “I want to see German concentration camps and not German villages!” In April 1945, a “reception camp” (concentration camp) was set up in Engerau (Slov. Petržalka) that were to be evacuated. The detainees were obliged to work free of charge until they were relocated. As early as September 1945, the local administration of Petržalka ( NV v Petržalke) sent the Slovak National Council ( Slovenská národná rada ) a memorandum in which it says: “The camp is inadequately hygienic, which causes infectious diseases on a massive scale. The lack of medical workers and disinfectants causes epidemics that spread not only in the camp but also in the locality outside the camp. So far we have had 92 deaths caused by the epidemic. Since the situation is getting worse every day and more deaths are to be expected every day, we demand the dissolution of the concentration camp. ”During this time there were 1637 people in the camp. The resettlement of the Germans lasted until the end of 1946; During this time, 3730 Germans were resettled from the Engerau camp.

On April 1, 1946, Petržalka officially became a district of Bratislava, then - and 1985–1990 again - as the 5th district (obvod) .

Typical view of the new buildings in Petržalka

As a result of an ambitious building project by the socialist state, Petržalka was expanded into a socialist planned town between 1973 and 1985, dominated by prefabricated concrete buildings surrounded by greenery. The old place disappeared almost completely due to the construction projects, instead of prefabricated buildings , hospitals, schools and shopping centers for the city in the city. Spatially dominates today a city motorway connection (D 1) along the Danube. This directs the traffic in a south-north direction around the city. A modern glass facade architecture with higher services was created on it between the right bank of the Danube and the prefabricated housing estate. By 2005 the fifth bridge, the Apollo Bridge (Most Apollo), was also built over the Danube. The completed bridge was pushed across the Danube in a spectacular action between September 16 and 21, 2004. It is the largest bridge that humans have ever moved in one piece.

Shortly before the end of socialism in Slovakia, the construction of the first subway line from Petržalka to the city center began (near the Danube) - the first subway in Slovakia. After the Velvet Revolution , however, it was no longer possible to raise the necessary money and all attempts to build at least a "light" subway failed and were completely abandoned in 2003.

Instead of the underground, a "Schnellstraßenbahn" (express tram) was built to expand the urban tram network on the right bank of the Danube. The first part from the Old Bridge to Jungmannova Street was completed in 2016. A continuation to the Janíkov dvor district at the southern end of the district is planned, with completion planned for 2023.

Population development

Ethnic structure
year Residents Slovaks German Hungary Others
1880 819 55 693 24 47
1910 2,947 318 1.997 495 137
1921 4,282 1,251 2,043 563 425
1991 128,251 117,786 244 5,643 4,578
2011 105,842 97,654 155 3,512 4,521



  • Detlef Brandes : The way to expulsion 1938-1945. Plans and decisions to “transfer” Germans from Czechoslovakia and Poland. 2nd revised and expanded edition. Oldenbourg, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-486-56731-4 ( Google Books ).
  • Theodor Schieder (ed.): The expulsion of the German population from Czechoslovakia . 2 volumes, dtv, Munich 1957; unchanged reprint 2004, ISBN 3-423-34188-2 [47]
  • Helmut Matejka: The integration of the Sudeten and Carpathian Germans in Austria after 1945. Innsbruck 1983. (Phil.Diss.)
  • Ján Čomaj: Petržalka - Engerau - Ligetfalu . Albert Marenčin Vydavateľstvo PT, Bratislava 2008. ISBN 978-80-89218-72-1 .
  • Martin Hutter: Bratislava - Boomtown ante portas? In: Hitz H., Helmut Wohlschlägl , ed. Eastern Austria and neighboring regions. A geographical excursion guide to Dt. Geographers' day in Vienna. Pp. 408-420 (Verl. Böhlau Wien, 2009), ISBN 978-3-205-78447-0
  • Claudia Kuretsidis-Haider: “The people sit in court.” Austrian justice and Nazi crimes using the example of the Engerau trials 1945–1954. Innsbruck, Studienverlag, 2006, 496 pages. ISBN 978-3-7065-4126-8 (6 people's court proceedings against more than 70 of the Austrian SA men responsible for the crimes and political leaders in Vienna)

Individual evidence

  1. 10th commemorative trip to Engerau from accessed on August 30, 2010
  2. In Bratislava there were two more concentration camps and those were the camps on the “cartridge factory” and the camp “Weinernstrasse”. Quoted from Anton Klipp: Pressburg. New views on an old city. Karpatendeutsches Kulturwerk, Karlsruhe 2010, ISBN 978-3-927020-15-3 , p. 38.
  3. quoted from (source in Slovak)
  4. quoted from Anton Klipp: Preßburg. New views on an old city. Karpatendeutsches Kulturwerk, Karlsruhe 2010, ISBN 978-3-927020-15-3 , p. 38.

Web links

Commons : Petržalka  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files