A battle for Bratislava needs to be fought again
The rattling of sabres, din of battle, fierce clashes, cannon salvos, gunpowder cloud… the enemy parties will cross their weapons in the Battle of Bratislava
On the first Saturday in October, the Janko Kráľ Park in Bratislava will be revived by the re-enactement of fighting during the cultural and historical festival Battle for Bratislava. The main part of his programme will be an engaging depiction of a military clash from the first half of the 17th century set in the historical scenes of the Kingdom of Hungary.
If you are a lover of history, look forward to period crafts and refreshments, period costume accompaniment of the performers with accompanying drum sound and after that commented demonstrations of training of pikemen, musketeers and other combat units in the Janko Kráľ Park on the Petržalka side of the Danube, ceremonial salvo of muskets in selected places, cannon salvos, demonstrations of military maneuvers or fencing and thrilling battles in the reconstruction of the siege.
In the seventh edition, you will again move in time – in a reconstruction of the battle, or a short siege, which took place in front of the city gates in October 1620. At that time, weapons clanged repeatedly in front of the Hungarian coronation city. In 1619, it was first conquered by the rebellious Prince of Transylvania, Gabriel Bethlen, and this time the imperial army will unsuccessfully attempt to conquer it.
The seventeenth century was a period of struggle for Slovakia. It was marked by several wars and many anti-Habsburg aristocratic uprisings, especially Bocskay, Bethlen, George Rákóczi I, Thököly and Francis II Rákóczi ones. The fighting events of the turbulent period of Hungarian history caused great damage mainly to the territory of today’s Slovakia, which mainly affected the people.
The rebellious Bethlen had Bratislava in his power from 1619 to 1621. At that time, the whole of Slovakia was in Betlen’s hands, and in August 1620 he was even elected king of Hungary. However, after the Battle of White Mountain, the imperial troops had the opportunity to reclaim the lost territories and unleashed fierce fighting in Slovakia again. One of the military clashes of this period was the Battle of Pressburg.
The Imperial Commander, Count Henri de Dampierre, attempted an unexpected attack on Bratislava, the then Pressburg, still controlled by Bethlen’s men. The fight lasted from early in the morning to 4 p.m. Imperial soldiers fired against the city walls and field marshal Dampierre himself took the lead of three attacks on the walls. In the last one, however, he was hit by a lethal shot and his mercenaries were forced to retreat as far as Vienna.
The festival under the direction of the historical fencing group Banderium and the Manu Forti group will be opened by the cannon salvo at 10 a.m. You can then visit the camp with period crafts, enjoy the passing period costume procession of performers through the Old Town at 1 p.m. and from 4 p.m. look forward to the reconstruction of the siege, which took place in front of the city gates in 1620.
The final ceasefire between Emperor Ferdinand II. and Prince Gabriel Bethlen occurred only by the conclusion of peace on December 28, 1626 in Bratislava, the reconstruction of the battle of 1620 for the then Pressburg will end on October 1 at 7 p.m.