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Maria Theresa’s City

Mária Terézia
In the 18th century Bratislava became not only the largest and most important city in Slovakia, but in the whole of the Kingdom of Hungary. This century saw the construction of many splendid palaces by the Hungarian aristocracy, as well as numerous churches, monasteries and other clerical buildings. The castle was extended and new streets appeared as the population of the city quadrupled. The Hungarian Diet held its meetings, kings and queens were crowned here, and the city's cultural and social life thrived.


The greatest boom experienced by the city occurred under the reign of Maria Theresa (1740-1780). After ascending the throne she began directing construction and development in the city.  The building office of the chamber of the Kingdom of Hungary, which managed the construction of government buildings, ordered a series of major projects including palaces and waterworks. Major construction work was also carried out on the castle, which became a royal seat (occupied by the monarch's local governor) and a centre of social and political life at the highest level. The subsequent rule of Joseph II spelled decline for Bratislava, which lost its position as the capital of the Kingdom of Hungary. In 1783 Joseph ordered the governor’s council and other central authorities to relocate to Buda and on 13 May he took the royal crown, which till then had been guarded at Bratislava Castle, to Vienna. The relocation of the central administrative authorities led to a mass exodus of nobles from the city. Bratislava went from being the capital of the country to a provincial city once more.

Responsible: Nina Turčanová
Created / changed: 24.7.2006 / 11.7.2008


Placing: Document folders > History

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