Pomp and Circumstance – Coronations in Bratislava/Pressburg, 1563-1835

28.05.2016 - 14.08.2016

Many Hungarian Kings crowned in Pressburg/Bratislava were also emperors of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, the coronations of which were held in Aachen.

After the Hungarian defeat in the Battle of Mohács against the Turks in 1526 and following the disintegration of Hungary, Pressburg was made capital of the Habsburg-administered part of the country in 1536, and secular and religious leaders decided it should be the new seat of the Landtag parliament and royal power, as well as the place where coronations would be held. Between 1563 and 1830, 18 Hungarian kings and queens were crowned in Pressburg. These political events brought about economic and cultural rise of the city.

This exhibition introduces one of the most glamorous episodes of Pressburg’s history through 100 valuable items from Bratislava’s collections: Drawings, oil paintings and painted historical marksman targets displaying coronations, portraits of the crowned rulers, coronation medals and jetons as well as other artistic memorabilia will allow you to immerse yourself in Hungarian coronation ceremonies. Visitors will also learn about the peculiarities of the coronations and the commonalities and differences of these coronations and the ceremonies in the Holy Roman Empire held in Aachen and Frankfurt. Hungary and Aachen are connected historically in many ways. To date, the Chapel of Hungary next to Aachen’s Cathedral bears witness to the historical pilgrimages of Hungarians, Slovenians, Slovaks and Croats to the Emperor’s city. Pilgrimages to Aachen saw their heyday during the Late Middle Ages and resumed following the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989 after several decades of discontinuity.