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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 medieval settlement Brezalauspurc (literally: Braslav's castle) is sometimes attributed to Bratislava, but the actual location of Brezalauspurc is under scholarly debate.The city's modern name is credited to Pavel Jozef Šafárik's misinterpretation of Braslav as Bratislav in his analysis of mediaeval sources, which led him to invent the term Břetislaw, which later became Bratislav.As a response to onslaughts by Avars, the local Slavic tribes rebelled and established Samo's Empire (623–658), the first known Slavic political entity.In the 9th century, the castles at Bratislava (Brezalauspurc) and Devín (Dowina) were important centres of the Slavic states: the Principality of Nitra and Great Moravia.The greater metropolitan area is home to more than 650,000 people.
The first known permanent settlement of the area began with the Linear Pottery Culture, around 5000 BC in the Neolithic era.
It has several universities, and many museums, theatres, galleries and other cultural and educational institutions. Until then, it was mostly known in English by its German name, Pressburg, since after 1526 it was dominated mostly by the Habsburg Monarchy and the city had a relevant ethnic-German population.