Szekesfehervar History, Hungary
Szekesfehervar is a city situated in Central Hungary with a population of 106,346. It is the capital of both the Fejer County and Central Transdanubia Region. The city is not only significant at present but also during the Middle Ages. Szekesfehervar used to be the most important city in the country and was once a royal residence of the monarchs.
Szekesfehervar History – An Era before the Magyars
The start of Szekesfehervar History can be tracked when the region where it is currently located has been settled in since the 5th century BC. When the Romans occupied the town, the villages they established were known as Herculia and Gorsium. Around the 5th century AD, Slavic tribes started to inhabit the territory and they called it Belehrad. This region became a capital throughout the Moravian era.
By The Middle Ages, the town grew to be a significant connection between the Velencei and Balaton lakes. A number of trade routes connected the area to Italy, the Balkans and Vienna.
Szekesfehervar History – Rise of the Magyars
In 972 AD, High Prince Geza established Szekesfehervar and ordered a small castle made of stone to be constructed on it. In 1009, the town was initially cited in a document written by the Bishopric of Veszprem.
Geza’s son, Stephen accorded Szekesfehervar with town privileges, bordered it with a wooden wall, and ordered the construction of a school and a basilica. During this period, the town had around 3,500 residents and was the royal capital for centuries. Throughout The Middle Ages, Szekesfehervar flourished. When the Mongols invaded Hungary, they were not able to occupy the town.
Szekesfehervar History – Ottoman Era
In 1543, the Ottomans were able to occupy Szekesfehervar after a lengthy siege. The siege only failed after almost all the guards of the city were imprisoned by well-off residents. The Ottomans ruled over Szekesfehervar for 145 years. During the course of the occupation, many edifices were demolished such as the royal palace and the cathedral. The Ottomans transformed Szekesfehervar into a Muslim city.
Szekesfehervar History – 18th Century
After the Ottomans left in the 1680s, the city’s prosperity started only in the 18th century. At that time, its population was consisted of Moravians, Serbs, Hungarians, and Germans. The Habsburgs took over the government and placed the royal seat in Vienna.
In 1703, although losing its capital status, Szekesfehervar recovered its free royal town position. Buildings such as palaces, churches, and public structures were constructed. In 1777, Maria Theresa turned the city into an Episcopal seat.
Szekesfehervar History – 19th and 20th Century
After the War of Independence in the 19th century, Szekesfehervar lost its value to the country and diminished into an agricultural city. It was only after the Second World War that the city experienced new developments through industrialization. Factories and different industries were established in the city and as a result, its population grew to more than 100,000 residents.
All the bad and good things that took place in Szekesfehervar History brought the city to where it is now. With this, it can be said that it is one of the most successful cities in Europe just like Bratislava.
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