Petržalka was first cited in the 13th century, namely the long-lost settlement of Flocendorf. A turning point - or beginning - was the 1770s, when after a major flood Maria Theresa ordered the Danube’s regulation.
Following which a public park (Sad Janko Kráľ) was founded (1776) as a recreation area, which is the oldest public park in Central Europe. A village also slowly grew. Historian Ľuboš Kačírek identifies the next big step as the construction of a permanent road/rail bridge over the Danube, which opened on New Year's Eve 1890. Businesses took note of the transport opportunities and built nearby factories, such as Matador and its residential area for the burgeoning workforce.
The village’s allegiance was contended in 1918 when Czechoslovakia was created and the border with Hungary ran along the Danube: although Petržalka was part of Hungary, Sad Janko Kráľ belonged to Bratislava. In August 1919 Vavro Šrobár agreed to modify the border to give Bratislava better geographical protection, and Engerau became part of Czechoslovakia. As a result of the Munich Agreement Czechoslovakia had to withdraw from the Sudetenland, the Czech border area, and Bratislava, while Devín and Petržalka were ceded to the strengthening German Third Reich on 10 October 1938. The Soviet army liberated Bratislava on 4 April 1945 and rebuilt the river crossing.