Székesfehérvár/ Stuhlweißenburg

Probably founded by Grand Duke Géza in the last quarter of the 10th century, Székesfehérvár/Stuhlweißenburg was built on four hills that rise above the marshland; the city played an important role during the reign of Geysar’s son, King Stephen I (also known as Saint Stephen); it also housed the royal treasury, the royal archives, and frequently hosted the royal court. In 1249 king Béla IV awarded Székesfehérvár priveledges that became the model for the other Hungarian estates. From a symbolic point of view, Székesfehérvár is the most important city in medieval Hungary, although Ofen/Buda was undoubtedly the country’s political and economic center in the fifteenth century. Every king was crowned in Székesfehérvár/Stuhleißenburg in, to be exact, the Basilica of Our Lady with the Hungarian crown by the Archbishop of Gran/(Esztergom,Hungary). Until 1526 there were 43 coronations. Although the church was not the only official burial place for the Hungarian kings, a total of 15 kings were buried here.

The city’s geographic location made it difficult to enlarge the outer districts. So the city developed only slowly at the end of the thirteenth century. It was the surrounding marshland that saved the city from a Mongol attack the city in 1242; however, two-and-a-half centuries later, in 1490, the city was conquered by the troops of King Maximilian in the Hungarian War of Succession (1490-91). The soldiers pillaged both the city and the basilica.

In the summer of 1491 King Wladislav/ Vladislav II reconquered the city. After the Battle of Mohács in 1526, the citizens of Székesfehérvár/ Stuhlweißenburg sided with the Woiwod of Translyvania Johann Szapolyai/ Zpolaya. Székesfehérvár/ Stuhlweißenburg fell to the Ottomans in 1543, and was settled by Southern Slavs after the original citizens had fled.

Judit Majorossy

© KHM-Museumsverband, Wissenschaftliche Anstalt öffentlichen Rechts.
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