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The first written reference to a settlement named "Brezalauspurc" dates to 907 and is related to the Battle of Pressburg, during which a Bavarian army was defeated by the Hungarians.It is connected to the fall of Great Moravia, already weakened by its own inner decline In the 10th century, the territory of Pressburg (what would later become Pozsony county) became part of Hungary (called "the Kingdom of Hungary" from 1000).The dominant Hungarian and German population tried to prevent annexation of the city to Czechoslovakia and declared it a free city.

In 1843 Hungarian was proclaimed the official language in legislation, public administration and education by the Diet in the city.

In 2017, Bratislava was ranked as the third richest region of the European Union by GDP (PPP) per capita (after Hamburg and Luxembourg City).

GDP at purchasing power parity is about three times higher than in other Slovak regions. Until then, it was mostly known in English by its German name, Pressburg, as it was dominated by Austrians and other German-speakers.

It was granted its first known "town privileges" in 1291 by the Hungarian King Andrew III, Owing to Ottoman advances into Hungarian territory, the city was designated the new capital of Hungary in 1536, becoming part of the Austrian Habsburg monarchy and marking the beginning of a new era.

The city became a coronation town and the seat of kings, archbishops (1543), the nobility and all major organisations and offices.

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