Námestie Ľudovíta Štúra

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Ľudovít Štúr Square from the south with the Štúr monument erected in 1972

Námestie Ľudovíta Štúra is a square in the old town of Bratislava (German Pressburg, Hungarian Pozsony). It is named after the Slovak writer and politician Ľudovít Štúr . Until 1921 it was called "Coronation Hill Square".


There are only a few public spaces in the city that have such an eventful - and symbolic - past as this square. This eventful past can also be demonstrated by the frequent renaming of the square as follows:

  • 1709 "Königsberg versus Neustadt"
  • 1733 "Königsberg" (also "Monticulus regis")
  • 1773 "Königsbergerplatz"
  • 1798 "Königsgassen"
  • 1804 "Mons Regius"
  • 1807 "Danube Neustift"
  • 1880 "Coronation Hill Square" (also ung. "Koronázásidomb-tér")
  • 1921 "Korunovačné námestie"
  • 1931 "Námestie 28. októbra"
  • 1939 "Námestie 14th Marca"
  • 1940 “Námestie Dr. Budayho "
  • 1945 "Rooseweltovo námestie"
  • 1972 "Námestie Ľudovíta Štúra"

General and topography of the place

The square is located on the banks of the Danube in Bratislava. Three roads meet here: the Mostová (German Bruck Street ) north to National Theater (old building) and Hviezdoslavovo námestie ( Hviezdoslav Square until 1921 Kossuth ), Vajanského nábrežie (German Justilände ) and Fajnorovo nábrežie (German Fadrusz János Quai ) to the east and Rázusovo nábrežie (German Graf Batthyany Lajos-Quai , formerly Donauquai or even older Donaulände ) to the west. There are three palace-like buildings on the square: On the west side is the Esterházy Palace , which houses part of the Slovak National Gallery . North of the square is the Reduta ("Redoute", built between 1913 and 1915 by the Budapest architects Dezső Jakab and Marcell Komor ), the seat of the Slovak Philharmonic . Before, the 'Theresianische Schüttkasten', a granary that was demolished in 1911, stood on this spot. On the east side is the Lanfranconi Palace , until 2010 the seat of the Slovak Ministry of the Environment.

There is a tram junction on the square as part of the Bratislava public transport system . From 1914 to 1945 the Pressburger end (actually a loop) of the Pressburger Bahn existed here .


Until the beginning of the 18th century, a remnant of a side arm of the Danube ran on the current square. During this time this branch was filled in.

The Theresian Coronation Hill

One of the oldest representations of the Theresian coronation hill with the Danube river. In the background you can see the Aupark on the right bank of the Danube.
Emperor Ferdinand I after his coronation as King of Hungary on September 29, 1830 on the Coronation Hill in Pressburg.

In the second half of the 18th century, a coronation mound was built here, which previously stood at the now demolished fisherman's gate , where newly crowned kings of Hungary went up on horseback. On the hill, as a sign of readiness to defend the kingdom, they pointed with their swords in all four directions. This was also the end of the coronation ceremony. It only took place twice after the coronation hill was built: at the coronations of Leopold II in 1790 and of Ferdinand I in 1830. After that, no more coronations took place in St. Martin's Cathedral .

The coronation hill before 1870. The east side of the square can still be seen with the original buildings (Royal Salt Office), before the Lanfranconi Palace was built. The corner of the water barracks is visible on the left of the picture.

On August 3, 1773, the coronation hill began to be relocated to its present location (where the Maria Theresa monument later stood; Johann Matthias Korabinsky called the square “Königsbergerplatz”). From November 20 to 24, 1774, Maria Theresa was personally in Preßburg to examine the proposed site for the new coronation hill. According to Ortvay , the work appears to have been completed as early as 1775. This was a supra-regional monument, which had political and national significance for the whole of Old Hungary and should therefore be designed in a correspondingly complex manner. The empress commissioned the famous Viennese architect Franz Anton Hillebrandt with the design of the new hill (for this, too, earth was used to fill the hill from all the counties of old Hungary) . In the south, towards the Danube , an ornamental granite wall was built on the late Baroque hill, which was adorned with the crown of St. Stephen and the Hungarian national coat of arms. The three ramps (from the north, west and east) were made of stone and were bordered by hewn railing blocks, which were connected with heavy iron chains in the lower area (street level). The cost of the monument was approx. 40,000 guilders.

A wooden ship bridge to the suburb of Engerau (today Petržalka ) was built near the square . It was named after Karoline Auguste , who was crowned in St. Martin's Cathedral that same year. The bridge was not dismantled until 1891, when the fixed crossing (then Franz-Josephs-Brücke, today Alte Brücke ) was built.

After the Hungarian Chamber was relocated to Pest - Buda , later Budapest , which was to become the up-and-coming Budapest , in the Josephinian era in 1783, and further parts of the state administration responsible for state and government affairs , the Coronation Hill in Pressburg also lost its original location Meaning. And since in 1870 - in the course of the Danube regulation work - further filling of the area on the left bank of the Danube was to be started, in a meeting on May 4, 1870 the City Council of Pressburg, headed by Mayor Heinrich Justi , decided to demolish the coronation hill, after the approval of the ku interior ministry was obtained in advance in 1869 . At the same time, the city council decided to place a worthy memorial on this spot as a reminder of the coronation celebrations, which was also realized with the erection of the Maria Theresa memorial. The hill was removed from 1870-71 on the occasion of the city council.

Maria Theresa Monument

In 1896 the millennium celebrations were celebrated in all regions of the country on the occasion of the 1000th anniversary of the Hungarian Kingdom (land grabbing).

Maria Theresa monument on Coronation Hill Square in Pressburg

At the suggestion of the member of the Hungarian Reichstag, Károly Neiszidler , a monumental, oversized memorial was to be erected in connection with the city council's resolution dating back to the 1970s to decorate the coronation hill square , which was to commemorate the former coronation hill on the one hand and the millennium on the other. And so on June 8th, 1892, for the 25th anniversary of the coronation of Emperor Franz Joseph I as King of Hungary, a “memorial committee” was founded, to which numerous public figures belonged.

After a limited artist competition, the sculptor Johann Fadrusz, born in Pressburg, was entrusted with the execution of the monument by the city council in December 1892 . Fadrusz suggested an equestrian statue of Empress Maria Theresa as the theme. For the monument he created a design (with a model) for which he was awarded the Grand Prix in Paris.

The theme of the monument was supposed to remind of the hardest hour of Maria Theresa during her entire reign, namely an event in the castle in Pressburg on September 11th, 1741. The empress, who was militarily in dire straits, asked the Hungarian estates for help and assistance . Hoping for the chivalrous spirit of the Magyars, she was forced to place herself under the protection of the Hungarian nation, which she personally called to arms. This call evoked enthusiasm from the stalls and they paid homage to the queen with the exclamation “Vitam nostram et sanguinem consecramus” (We consecrate our life and blood).

In the middle of the monument - carved in the most expensive white Carrara marble - sits, on horseback, the slim, youthful and graceful figure of the queen in the side saddle. She is dressed in Hungarian coronation regalia with the St. Stephen's crown on her head. As a sign of her royal dignity, she holds the imperial scepter in her right hand. The equestrian statue was flanked on both sides by symbolic figures.

The words were written in large letters on the front of the monument base

"VITAM ET SANGUINEM" (Our life and our blood)

in memory of that memorable event of September 11, 1741 in the Pressburg Castle.

On the back of the pedestal made of Mauthausen granite , facing the city , the following inscription could be read in Hungarian:

"For the 1000th anniversary of the Hungarian Empire and to commemorate the coronation celebrations, it was erected by the Free Royal City of Pressburg in 1896"

In the marble quarry of Carrara , however, unforeseen delivery problems suddenly arose for the marble blank. The unveiling of the monument, originally planned for September 11, 1896, could therefore not take place on schedule. The work was delayed until 1897.

The 4½ meter high base made of Mauthausen granite was supplied by the Salzburg company Marmor Industrie Kiefer . The marble parts of the sculpture weighed about 860 centimeters ; the total height was eleven meters. At the suggestion of Fadrusz, the monument committee decided to surround the monument with a wrought-iron grating made by the Bratislava art blacksmith Ludwig Marton & Sohn. The design for this neo-baroque railing came from Wilhelm Marton.

Destruction of the Maria Theresa monument in October 1921

Emperor Franz Joseph I was also present at the ceremonial unveiling of the monument on May 16, 1897 . He appeared in dress uniform in the presence of the entire court. Numerous dignitaries and public figures also appeared. Archduke Friedrich von Habsburg, who lives in Pressburg, is also present with his entire family.

Destruction of the Maria Theresa monument and the later fate of the square

This monument did not last long after the collapse of Austria-Hungary and the emergence of Czechoslovakia . Immediately after the city was occupied by Czechoslovak legionnaires in early 1919, the city ​​magistrate had the monument encased with wooden planks for “security reasons”. However, this measure was of no use, as it was destroyed by Czech legionnaires on the night of October 20-21, 1921, as it was an object from the time of the Danube monarchy. It also played a role that during this time the former Emperor Charles I (in the Kingdom of Hungary King Charles IV) tried to take power in Horthys Hungary. Part of the statue fell into the Danube, the rest was used for other statues.

Štefánik monument on the former coronation hill square

On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Czechoslovakia in 1928, the wish was expressed to decorate the square with a monument again. After an artist competition, the Prague sculptor Bohumil Kafka was commissioned on October 28, 1928 to erect a monument in honor of General Milan Rastislav Štefánik . The original conception of the monument envisaged a larger than life - cast in ore - figure of Štefánik in a pilot's uniform, which was surrounded by four huge pillars (pylons) - which were supposed to be crowned by lions. The four lions were supposed to hold the four coats of arms of the countries that formed the Czech Republic at that time in their paws. According to the original schedule, the monument was to be unveiled on October 28, 1935. As the work was repeatedly delayed, the deadline could not be kept for various reasons. However, in circles of nationally conscious Slovaks, the monument - the "Czechoslovakist" Štefánik - met with increasing resistance. A second variant was therefore presented, which now only provided for a pillar with lions. In 1938 the monument was realized in a modified form. In June 1940 the statue of the lion was removed; Shortly after the occupation of Petržalka by the Third Reich in 1938, Adolf Hitler himself allegedly exclaimed: “The cat must go!” (According to other sources: “The cat must go!”). The statue of Štefánik itself was removed around 1954 and melted down in the 1970s.

In 1972 a monument to the codifier of the Slovak literary language denudovít Štúr was erected on the former coronation hill. The design came from the sculptors Tibor Bártfay and Ivan Szalay .

On the day Slovakia joined the European Union on May 1, 2004, the so-called integration hill, based on the coronation hill, was inaugurated, symbolically created using soil from the 25 EU countries at the time. However, it was not in the place of the original hill, but more on the edge of the square on the promenade. After the completion of the construction of the flood protection wall and the construction of the new promenade, the hill will no longer exist.


  • Emil Portisch: History of the City of Pressburg - Bratislava. 2 vols. Pressburg - Bratislava 1932/1933
  • Štefan Holčík: Pozsonyi koronázási ünnepségek 1563-1830. Budapest 1986, ISBN 963-07-4218-7
  • Vladimír Horváth: Bratislavský topografický lexikon. Bratislava 1990, ISBN 80-222-0229-0
  • Anton Klipp: The Coronation Hill in Pressburg. Story of an old place. In Carpathian Yearbook 2005, Stuttgart, ISBN 80-88903-60-2
  • Anton Klipp: Pressburg. New views on an old city. Karpatendeutsches Kulturwerk, Karlsruhe 2010, ISBN 978-3-927020-15-3 .

Individual evidence

  1. Bratislavský topografický lexikon, p. 286f
  2. The German names given here come from the beginning of the 20th century (ie from the period up to around 1920), unless otherwise stated.
  3. Klipp: Pressburg, New Views on an Old City, p. 63.
  4. Klipp: Pressburg, New Views on an Old City, p. 59.
  5. Klipp: Pressburg, New Views on an Old City, p. 64.
  6. The ship's bridge of the fourth wife of Emperor was on the occasion of the coronation of Carolina Augusta, Francis I . to the Queen of Hungary, donated by the rulers of the city of Pressburg with a deed of gift dated December 13, 1825. In her honor it was named "Karolinen Bridge". The Preßburger Zeitung No. 70 from 1825 reported: “The new and unknown type of this means of communication and the fact that one could walk from one bank to the other without hindrance attracted innumerable curious people from all walks of life. The bridge rested on 32 "ships", was 148 fathoms long and 24 fathoms wide and was built very neatly. " (Quoted in" Portisch ", vol. 2, p. 433). The Karolinen-Brücke could be opened in the middle to allow the steamship traffic that was starting at that time. The Karolinen Bridge was last in operation until December 13, 1890. Since the Danube was usually frozen over during the winter months, the Karolinen Bridge could not be used during this time of year. It was dismantled before the beginning of the frost period and deposited in a specially designated place on the fishing grounds by the spring of next year. See “Portisch”, vol. 2, p. 433
  7. V Prešporku bol kedysi kyvadlový aj loďkový most , Bratislava noviny, accessed 20 August 2010
  8. ^ PT (Ed.): Ulice a námestia Bratislavy; Mesto Františka Jozefa - Franz Josefstadt - Ferencz-József-város . 1st edition. Bratislava 2005, ISBN 80-88912-78-4 , p. 58-60 .
  9. Clip: Pressburg. New views on an old city. P. 74.
  10. a b S dobou sa na námestí menili aj sochy , SME, accessed on August 15, 2010
  11. That was 1. Bohemia, 2. Moravia ( with Silesia ), 3. Slovakia, 4. Carpathian Ukraine
  12. ^ "Czechoslovakism" was an ideology that was mainly widespread in Bohemia , according to which there was not an independent Slovak nation, but only a "Czechoslovak" nation speaking different languages ​​("language dialects"). (Clip: Pressburg. New views on an old city. P. 33).
  13. Bratislava plans to rebuild the destroyed Maria Theresa monument ( memento of the original from November 1, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , wieninternational.at, accessed on October 5, 2010 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.wieninternational.at
  14. Integračný kopček vyzerá ako zanedbaný, prázdny kvetináč. Radšej ho zrušia , SME, accessed September 11, 2010
  15. ^ Rudolf Jaworski Peter Stachel: The occupation of the public space , page 210 ISBN 978-3-86596-128-0
  16. [1]

Web links

Commons : Námestie Ľudovíta Štúra, Bratislava  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Coordinates: 48 ° 8 '24.8 "  N , 17 ° 6' 35.4"  E