CORONATION festivities have become a regular event in Bratislava, re-enacting the ceremonies that took place in Bratislava between 1563 and 1830 when nineteen kings and queens of the Great Hungarian Empire were crowned at St Martin’s Cathedral because of the threat of an Ottoman invasion of Vienna, the capital of the empire. Coronations were returned to Vienna by Joseph II, the son of Empress Maria Theresa.
The re-enactment of the coronation of a Hungarian monarch has been presented annually since 2003 – first inside the cathedral and later in the open air in front of a backdrop depicting the cathedral.
On June 24, 2012 a re-enactment of the crowning of Hungarian Queen Eleonore was held, based as much as possible on historical documents. The actual coronation took place in 1655. Eleonore was the third wife of King Ferdinand III and was 24 years old when she was crowned, having already had two daughters by Ferdinand.
The SITA newswire wrote that the re-enacted coronation procession included 120 actors in costume and moved from Bratislava castle, where St Stephan’s Crown, the symbol of the empire was kept, to St Martin’s Cathedral and then moved in all its splendour to Bratislava’s Main Square. In the re-enactment, an archbishop held the crown over Eleonora’s right shoulder, not on her head as this gesture indicated that she was the right hand of the king and not the actual ruler, then crowned her and handed her a sceptre and an apple, the national symbols of the Hungarian Kingdom.
The ceremony also included a holy mass. When Archbishop Ján Püsky crowned the queen all those present knelt down but the queen laid down with her face on the ground. Later soldiers who had fought in the battle at Veľké Vozokany three years before the coronation were knighted as part of the re-enactment.
Other events included craft demonstrations and the recreation of an old-time market. As wine was usually poured into the town fountains during coronations, this year’s re-enactment included an offer of Blaufränkisch, also known as Frankovka, the popular red wine made in the region.
“We tried to make the script and costumes for our coronation festivities conform to historical reality as much as possible,” stated Miroslav Vetrík, one of the organisers, as quoted by the TASR newswire.
16. Jul 2012 at 0:00 | Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská