THE SLOVAK capital will once again recall its history as the most important coronation city of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. On September 6, the coronation of King Ferdinand II (performed by Slovak actor Maroš Kramár) will take place once again. The monarch was originally crowned at St Martin’s Cathedral on July 1, 1618, the SITA newswire wrote.
It’s all part of the popular Coronation Celebration, an event now in its sixth year that stages the coronations in the order they occurred during Bratislava’s time as the empire’s coronation capital from 1563 to 1830.
The programme will start at 14:00, when the future king will lead a procession from Bratislava Castle to the Main Square, where the coronation will take place. Afterwards, the procession will move to a coronation hill at Hviezdoslavovo Square, where the monarch will glide his sword in all directions to symbolise his promise to be a fair emperor. He will then knight significant aristocrats. The programme will then move to Petržalka’s Danube embankment close to the Starý (Old) bridge.
Since Ferdinand II was one of main figures involved in the Thirty Years’ War, visitors will see infantry and cavalry being trained, get information about the function of vivandieres, watch officers duel, and witness a deserter’s execution.
Two battles – one between cavalry and infantry, the other between the Swedish and King Ferdinand's infantry – will be the highlights of the programme. At Hviezdoslavovo Square, performers will re-enact the execution of 27 Czech noblemen in Prague that ended the Bohemian revolt. A fireworks show at 21:30 will cap the event.
The Coronation Celebration started in 2003 with the re-enactment of Maximilian II’s coronation at St Martin’s Cathedral. Since 2007, re-enactments have taken place on the Main Square. The event traditionally draws tens of thousands of Bratislavans and tourists.