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The coronation city of the Kingdom of Hungary

Bratislava's fortunes took an unexpected turn in the 16th century. In a pivotal battle with the Ottoman Turks at the Battle of Mohacs in 1526, Hungary's King Louis II was killed. Despite the candidature of John Zapolya and resistance from a large part of the Hungarian nobility, it was decided in Bratislava’s Franciscan church that Ferdinand Habsburg would be appointed the new king.


Meanwhile, the Turks advanced swiftly into the heart of the country. The Hungarian nobility fled to the territory of present-day Slovakia, to which they also moved the state administration. In 1530 the Turks also threatened Bratislava and partly destroyed the city by cannon fire. The catastrophe that struck the Kingdom of Hungary after the Battle of Mohacs paradoxically worked in Bratislava's favour. After the Ottoman occupation of the capital, Buda, the Hungarian nobility, along with secular and clerical dignitaries, sought refuge north of the River Danube, but as close as possible to Vienna, the seat of King Ferdinand. The advantageous position and relative safety of Bratislava meant that the Hungarian Diet decided in 1536 to make it the kingdom's capital. This small city of traders, craftsmen and winemakers became the centre of the country, and the seat of lords and the church. Bratislava became the site of parliament, the coronation city of Hungarian kings, and the seat of the king, the archbishop and the country's most important institutions. Between 1536 and 1830 some 11 kings and queens were crowned in St Martin’s Cathedral in Bratislava.

Responsible: Nina Turčanová
Created / changed: 24.7.2006 / 11.7.2008


Placing: Document folders > History

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