Komárom / Komárno
Komárom (Hungary) / Komárno (Slovakia)
Located on the two banks of the Danube River, Komárom and Komárno share a common historical past. After World War I, under the terms of the Trianon Peace Treaty, the settlement, which formerly functioned as a single administrative unit, was divided in two. Today the southern part belongs to Hungary and the northern one to Slovakia.
The area has long been inhabited; traces of human life have been found here from as early as the Stone Age. Later the Celts, then the Romans fortified the line of the river with military camps and fortifications. Brigetio, built on the right bank, served as a legion camp along the limes (border), and the adjacent civilian settlement was a flourishing town in the Pannonia province. King Béla IV of Hungary raised Komárom to the rank of municipality, granting the citizens equal rights with those of the citizens of Buda, the royal capital. In the 16th century the Turks laid siege to Komárom’s castle twice, but failed to capture it on both occasions.
Large-scale development started in the early 18th century, as a result of which in the 19th century the town became a major commercial and shipping centre. It played an important role during the Napoleonic wars, whereas in the Hungarian revolution and war of independence of 1848–9 it became an emblematic venue of decisive events.
The settlement boasts numerous famous sons, including King László V of Hungary and the composer Ferenc Lehár, the Operetta King. In 1857 it was here that the Bavarian Empress and Queen Elizabeth Amalie Eugenie von Wittelsbach, commonly known worldwide as Sisi, first set foot on Hungarian soil. One of the most popular female figures of the Habsburg dynasty, her name and memory is still kept alive in numerous places in Komárom; for example the bridge that links the two countries is called Erzsébet híd (Elizabeth Bridge).
Komárom’s number one sight is the system of fortifications, parts of which can be found in both countries. Komárno’s further attractions include the Duna Menti Múzeum (Danubeland Museum), the Európa-udvar (Europe Yard), the Jókai Színház (theatre), and Klapka tér (square), while visitors to Komárom are welcome to the Klapka György Múzeum, Brigetio Gyógyfürdő (medicinal baths, ), the WF Szabadidőpark (leisure park), and the Magyar Lovas Színház (Hungarian Equestrian Theatre).