Bratislava city has the popultion of 490.000 people. It is on the Danube river and near the Austrian and Hungarian borders. It is the capital and largest city of Slovakia. Bratislava is an important road and rail center and a leading Danubian port.
The first known permanent settlement of the area began with the Linear Pottery Culture, around 5000 BC in the Neolithic era. About 200 BC, the Celtic Boii tribe founded the first significant settlement, a fortified town known as an oppidum.
They also established a mint, producing silver coins known as biatecs. The area fell under Roman influence from the 1st to the 4th century AD and was made part of the Limes Romanus, a border defence system. The Romans introduced grape growing
to the area and began a tradition of winemaking, which survives to the present.
The cityscape of Bratislava is characterised by medieval towers and grandiose 20th-century buildings, but it has undergone profound changes in a construction boom at the start of the 21st century. Most historical buildings are concentrated in the Old Town. Bratislava's Town Hall is a complex of three buildings erected in the 14th–15th centuries and now hosts the Bratislava City Museum. Michael's Gate is the only gate that has been preserved from the medieval fortifications.
One of the most prominent structures in the city is Bratislava Castle. The castle hill site has been inhabited since the transitional period between the Stone and Bronze ages and has been the acropolis of a Celtic town, part of the Roman Limes Romanus, a huge Slavic fortified settlement and a political, military and religious centre for Great Moravia. The castle was converted into a Gothic fortress under Sigismund of Luxemburg in 1430, became a Renaissance castle in 1562 and was rebuilt in 1649 in the baroque style.
The ruined and recently renovated Devín Castle is in the borough of Devín, on top of a rock where the Morava River, which forms the border between Austria and Slovakia, enters the Danube. It is one of the most important Slovak archaeological sites and contains a museum dedicated to its history.
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