System of Fortifications at the Confluence of the Rivers Danube and Váh in Komárno - Komárom
Institut of Monuments Preservation, Bratislavae-mail: email@example.com
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The fortress is situated on the advantageous strategic place - the confluence of the rivers Váh and Danube with a ford, on the crossroads of the merchant roads. The strategic importance of the respective locality was supposedly appraised by the Romans, who had built the fortifications along the Danube Limes Romanus. The location of the present fortress Komárno, its settlement or use for the defensive purposes is mentioned in Anonymous work Gesta Hungarorum, from the time of the rule of Belo Ill. During the Tartar invasions, when a great part of this territory was plundered, only a few strong castles were able to defend themselves. They also included Komárno, that is mentioned by one of the letters of Belo IV from the year 1245. After the retreat of the Tartars from Hungary, the king, supporting the flourish of the medieval towns, in a short time granted to the 25 towns great privileges. In the year of 1265 the privileged were granted to Komárno as well. The rebuilding during the rule of Matej Korvin, made by the Italian masters, gave the representative look of the renaissance palace to the Komárno castle. Bastion fortifications in Komárno were being built from the half of the 16th century until the end of the century. The first fortress of this type in the Central Europe was the so-called Old Fortress that was extended with the so-called New Fortress. Both of them, together with the pushed out bridgeheads of St. Nicolaus and St. Peter, formed an undivided system, resisting to the Turkish conquering wars. Under the influence of the Napoleon wars, in the beginning of the 19th-century, the fortification system of Komárno was started to be rebuilt - the fortifications had be extended and the builders began to build the ramparts and the redoubts from Danube to V6h, 3 km far to the west from the central fortress. Later the fortifications Were improved, rebuilt using firm building materials and the exterior defensive circle, consisting of two bastion lines - Palatine and V6h - and also of four pushed out forts - of the so-called V5h bridgehead on the other side of the Váh and the Danube bridgehead, the Fort Sandberg and the Igmand fortress on the other side of the Danube, currently on the territory of Hungary, was thus created. The Palatine line was built in the first half of the 19th century and the building of the Váh line was conditioned by the Prussian-Austrian wars in the 60's of the 19th century. Both lines represent a peak in the building of bastion fortifications of the new Prussian type, In the 70's, this system was finished as the largest fortress of the Austrian-Hungary empire capable to be settled with two hundred thousand men army. But in the end of the 19th century the fortifications buildings did not fulfil the demands of -a new era and they became obsolete from the point of view of the effective defence.
The central fortress (citadel) - the old and the new fortresses:
In the year 1541,, Pietro Ferrabosco who designed the polygonal bastion system was supposedly encharged with elaboration of the, plan of the Komárno fortress. Testo, Castaldo and Decius are considered to be the architects of the Komárno fortress. On the 23rd March 1546 the building of the bastion_pa began. The spr flood, in the ear 1570 aused a huae damages. Under the leadership of U.Süess the fortress was rebuilt in the years 1572-1592. The further fortification activity came during-the rule of Leopold 1. (1658-1705) who ordered the building of the fortress-Leopoldov and the so-called New Fortress in Komárno. The Works had been carried out on the basis of the projects of the French engineer Franz Wymes leaned o the proceeding proposals of Carlo Theti with the use of the knowledge of the most advanced Italian and French fortification architecture. "The New Fortress" built in the 17th century fulfilled the older idea of the reinforcement of "The Old Fortress". It was on a larger extent, in the shape of a pentagon and its two East bastions very loosely connected behind the water ditches to the two back bastions of the "Old Fortress ". In the 19th century the central fortress was rebuilt. -The New Fortress was rebuilt to the crown rampart of the huge size and in its internal place th6 b;4Treiclks were built in the U-shape in the year 1810 and also the commander building in the year 1815. The casemates were built around the whole circumference of the Old Fortress in the years 1827-1839.
The Palatine line:
The first step to the building of the Palatine line was the building of the pushed out temporary fortification line, consisting of the 6 reduits connected with banks that were pushed out approximately 3 km from the central fortress. The fortification work was directed-by the palatine Jozef and to his honour it was named the "Palatine line". On its place in the years 1839-1847 a defensive chain of the new Prussian type - an important article of the forted fortress - was built from the firm building material. The author of this project was the captain Pflügl. The line consisted of the 5 pentagonal: bastions, connected with other fortification articles in one continual chain. It is an example of the culmination and the dying away of the bastion system with the use of all the experiences and the forms of fight. For instance, these parameters of the bastion II refer to the monumentality of the building: the mouth of the bastion (width) 21 0 m, side of the bastion (length) 60 m, the face of the bastion (length) 108 m, height of the escarp 7 m, the faces on the peak form an angle of 1456 and the corner of the bastion has got the 1 1 00 angle. The closed circle of the casemated communications of one bastion is approximately 720 m. When the communication galleries leading in the body of the curtain, the length of which is approximately 360 m, are counted to this, so only in the Palatine line the length of the casemated communications is 5000 m. The interconnection between the internal space of the defensive line and the territory outside the town was secured by the perfectly protected gates.
The Váh line:
The Prussian-Austrian war in the year 1866 determined the building of the Váh defensive chain, The line consisted of six fortification objects (VI.-XI.) of which the two ones - VI. and VII are bastions. The sobriety of this line in opposition to the Palatine line is a result of its situation - oriented alongside the river Váh, it means that it had its clearway partly secured by the wide water stream. The architecture determines the maximum purposefulness of the simply composed buildings with an accent on the tectonics of the building which also visually works firm and monumental as to its skeleton. It is a result of the human activity, supplementing even the medieval character with the new technological solution.