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Fortification system in Komárno

Category: Walks through region

District of Komárno, town of Komárno

Fortification system in Komárno was the biggest fortification system of Austro-Hungarian monarchy. Beside old and new fortress it consists of fortification lines of Palatín and Váh enforced by bastions. Advanced smaller fortresses were built on the other shore of Danube and today they are in town of Komárom in Hungarian Republic.

Fortress is built on place of original Komárno Castle guarding confluence of Váh and Danube and later ford across Váh.

The building of old fortress started in period of Turkish threat, in the 16th century. In 1594 it went through first testing times when it was besieged by Sinan pasha with army of one hundred thousand soldiers. After a month he understood that the building is impregnable. The fortress was in the 17th century extended by new fortress on order of the emperor Leopold I. Huge defensive walls from stones and bricks with five bastions in between them capable of individual spot defense grew up slowly. New fortress went without harm also through siege of Imrich Tökölyi, allies of Turks. It had defended the town perfectly and subdued attacks of enemies from Žitný ostrov on the central fortress.
Two big earthquakes, in 1763 and mainly in 1783, when epicentre was situated directly under the fortress, were fatal for fortification proud of monarchy. Repair would be too expensive, so armies were transfered, the town got the land and buildings were sold in auction.
But Napoleon has changed destiny of fortress and during Napoleonic Wars the Imperial court of Vienna started with renewal of fortress in Komárno and they have extended fortification system suitable for 2000 soldiers. Fortress served for defense once again during war of Austria with Prussia in 1856 - 1857. It is a paradox that the biggest damages of fortification system were caused by Soviet army who had their garrison in Komárno during socialism until 1990.
Today there is an exposition of Museum of Hungarian Culture and Danube region in reconstructed bastion VI - Roman lapidarium. It is the biggest collection of Roman relics in Slovakia. In reconstructed bastion V there is a private gallery - Gallery of Nations, statues park and 1,3 km long counterscarp (underground tunnel) with unique installation of collection of photographies of Slovak and Hungarian part of the fortification system and photo copies of original maps from period of preparation and building of this system. In fortress premises there is a reconstructed ammunition storage. Fortress is recognised as national cultural monument because of its historical and architectonical value.
Open seasonally from 15.3. to 31.10.

Visitors days:
Tuesday – Friday from 09.00 h 11.00 h and 14.00 h

Contact:                                 
Tourist Information Office

Župná č. 5, 
945 01 Komárno
Tel.: 035 7730 063  

www.infokomarno.sk