Coronation Celebrations, Bratislava, June 2015
July 23, 2015
There was the 13th year of Coronation Celebrations taking place in our capital city Bratislava between June 27 and June 29. The Celebrations belong to the prominent cultural events of every summer season here. All coronated monarchs, counts, countesses, earls, soldiers and vassals are played by slovak starting and volunteer actors and actresses. In addition to coronation of one of the Hungarian kings, queens or emperors you can also see demonstrations of historical dances and fights, production of crafts and arts, but also a street market or a historical military camp and much more within the three days.
The celebrations have the power to immerse the audience into its unique atmosphere so you can really feel the spirit of the past times. The whole event was taking place across the old town; in the streets and on the squares. The city walls and Bratislava castle hosted some parts of the event, too. Every year Coronation Celebrations include coronation of one king, queen or emperor; one of those who were coronated also in St. Martin’s Cathedral in Bratislava during the 1000 years of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. Bratislava, the then Pressburg, was for 300 years the capital and coronation town of the Monarchy since the half of the 16th century. It was also its most important economic and administrative center at the times. This year’s monarch to be coronated as a Hungarian king was emperor Karol VI. He was born on October 1, 1685 during the ongoing several years of war against the Turks. He was coronated on May 22, 1712 in Pressburg in St. Martin’s Cathedral where 11 kings and 8 queens were coronated in total.
The coronation ceremony took place on the Town Hall square which was full of locals and tourists enjoying this unusual event. After a while of waiting the Royal procession with the king to be rolled in. The coronation ceremony began and was performed according to the standards from the Middle Ages. The Coronation Mass was accompanied by excellent Slovak Chamber Orchestra and Bohdan Warchal Slovak Philharmonic Choir.
The coronation was followed by a feast on Hviezdoslav’s square in front of the Slovak National Theatre. People could savour tasty ox which had been baked since morning. The Royal procession on horses had a walk around the city centre and moved to the squre near Academia Istropolitana, the oldest Slovak university established by Hungarian king Matthias Corvinus in 1465. There is the so called Bird Fountain from which wine is served every year as a part of Coronation Celebrations there.
Wine served from the fountain was a tradition of coronated kings. This was to show generosity of the newly coronated king or queen and to express his/her promise of good times that lay ahead. For this year red “Račianska Frankovka” wine had been chosen and there were 500 liters at our disposal. Of course, before the king arrived, his dignitaries had to taste in person if the wine was OK and ready to be served 🙂
Finally, after the Royal procession had finished their horse procession around the city centre, they arrived to the fountain. The king repeated his promises of good times and officially commenced serving red wine from the fountain. As I saw the people around me everyone enjoyed it a lot! And we drank all 500 litres.
An interesting part of the Celebrations was introduction of the well-known highwayman leader Juraj Janosik and a demonstration of his execution. He and his squad were something like Robin Hood and his squad; they took from the rich and gave to the poor. Juraj Janosik and his men became highwaymen because they had refused to join the imperial army after Rakoczi uprising. And since they could not or did not want to return home, where they would have been sentenced to harsh serf work, they opted for the profession of highwaymen. Juraj Janosik was born in village Terchova in the north of Slovakia and was executed, by hanging below his rib, as a leader of bandits in March, 1713.
Many people came to enjoy baroque dances on Hviezdoslav’s square and some of them even had enough courage to go through a few-minute course of baroque dancing led by one of the dancers afterwards. Eventually, the people showed us what they had just learnt and we really enjoyed their semi-professional performance 🙂 This was a big fun and a lot of entertainment. I personally did not join the course of baroque dancing but it was because I wanted to shoot these short videos 🙂
Demonstration of Baroque Dancing in Bratislava, Slovakia
A funny performance of Baroque dance in Bratislava, Slovakia
Next year Coronation Celebrations will come to town again. The queen to be coronated is Maria Theresa, one of the most important monarchs of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and daughter of now coronated emperor Karol VI. Maria Theresa undertook a lot of reforms in Pressburg and in the Monarchy, which, under her reign, experienced a period of great economic expansion.
I highly recommend coming to see this event. All tourists were really happy and fully enjoyed the atmosphere and every single bit of it. I will be there.
Have a great day folks and don’t forget: Visit Bratislava – Visit Slovakia