The interior of St Martin’s Dome looked different during coronations

Pressburg replaced the occupied coronation town of Székesfehérvár.

Coronation of Leopold II in St Martin's Dome redesigned in the baroque style.Coronation of Leopold II in St Martin's Dome redesigned in the baroque style. (Source: GMB)

“It was not the merit of Pressburg that made it the coronation city,” said historian Štefan Holčík. Then Pressburg, today’s Bratislava, became the coronation city of the Kingdom of Hungary after the coronation town of Székesfehérvár found itself under the rule of the Ottoman Empire after the Battle of Mohács in 1526.

Pressburg served as a substitute city for the coronation of Maximilian II Habsburg, held on September 8, 1563. However, Pressburg remained the coronation city for the next 300 years, even after Székesfehérvár was liberated.

“The coronations could no longer take place in Székesfehérvár because the coronation church was destroyed,” Holčík explained.

The last ruler crowned in Pressburg was Ferdinand V, on September 28, 1830. The next coronation, in 1867, was held in Buda, now part of Budapest.

Read also:Coronations return to Bratislava Read more 

Holčík claims that becoming a coronation city did not bring the city any significant benefits. Coronations were expensive and the money invested was never returned. Moreover, during the coronations, fires that devastated the city often broke out.

What was of great importance for the city was its declaration as the capital city of Hungary in 1536. Subsequently, it became the seat of the most prominent Hungarian authorities. The castle became the official residence of the Hungarian monarch, and its biggest tower became home, in spite of some breaks, of the Hungarian coronation insignia.

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