Komárom is a cultural, tourist and commercial centre on the right bank of the Danube with a population of 20.000. The roads of Bakony, Vértes and Gerecse from south meet here. Opposite, on the left bank of the Danube, roads join along the Little-Danube, Vág, Nitra and Zsitva. M1 motorway, which links the western border (120 km far) to the capital, Budapest (90 km far), offers a good possibility for those who want to visit Komárom. In addition, the former Budapest-Vienna road, now road 1, also goes through our town. Visitors arriving from the west are welcomed by Koppánymonostor, its former name Katapán monostor, visitors from the east are welcomed by Szőny that joined to Komárom in 1977 in the place of Brigetio that founded by the Romans.
The Celts settled down in our country in about 300 BC. According to the archaeological documents they built houses in district Szőny. The Roman Empire stretched to the Danube in the firs century AD, which was defended by military camps, watching towers. The road that leads in the east west direction is a central point of the merchant and the warfare for thousands years. In addition the camp of Legia I Adiutrix was built in Brigetio in the present Szőny.
The four great legion camps of "limes" which defended province Pannonia from the north direction was situated from the present "Molaj" housing estate to the Danube. To the south direction there was the so called soldier camp that gave home to lovely public buildings, churches, civil houses. Amphitheatre, cemetery and potteries joined to the town. The home of potteries and merchants was on the market place of Szőny to the west direction from the soldier town. Here from 1992 archaeologists excavated many buildings with terrazzo floor, under floor heating; decorated with frescos and stuccos. The most significant relic is a ceiling fresco, made at the end of 100 AD and at the beginning of 200 AD, which decorated the barrel-vault in a dwelling house. This antique roman work of art was placed in Klapka Museum. The stone carvings and other relics from Brigetio and its surrounding can be found in the roman stone storage of the museum and in the Domonkos Kuny Museum in Tata.
One of the most important ports of the Danube fleet was also Brigetio. Marcus Aurelius directed his legion; II Constantinus started a victorious campaign in 358 AD and I Valentinianus emperor died here during the agreement with the defeated "kvads" in 375 AD here. The Danube as a water road played a continuously important role for centuries in the life of the town. If it was needed "naszáds" and "sajkas" defended the forts. The valuable evidence of this tight relation is the naval collection that was denoted by Dr. Ferenc Juba sea captain to György Klapka Museum in Komárom.
After the Hungarian Conquest the area on the right and left bank of the Danube got into chief Ketel's property. The first fortification was set up by the son of chief Ketel, Alaptolma, at the meeting of Vág and Danube and it was named to Komárom. On the right bank, opposite the Öregvár firstly the Saint Peter board fence was built in summer of 1586. Later its stone version became known as Csillagerőd. It provided the defence from Újszőny direction at the time when Napóleon break into in 1809.
The medieval towns had crowded market and port (where a little settlement, Rév-Komárom formed on the south bank of the Danube). Appreciating it, Béla IV vested the same rights to its inhabitants as the citizens of Buda enjoyed on 1 April 1265.
In the XV century the castle, as a popular relaxing place, served Mátyás's and Beatrix's convenience. In the Turkish era the castle became stronger as the border castle of the Hungarian Kingdom the advanced guard of Vienna: in 1586 securing the crossing from the castle to the opposite bank of Vág and Danube two pile bridgeheads were built. In the XVII century a pentagon castle was built in front of the western part of the castle. It was a very important part in the life of the town when Maria Teresa offered royal privileges to Komárom on 16 March 1745.
On 27 July 1809 Ferenc I visited the fort system. That time he gave command to build the biggest military fort system of the empire. Built parts of this system got into Hungarian hand on 29 September 1848-on the day of the battle of Pákozd-contributed to György Klapka. The"kazamata" of Fort Csillag offered defence for soldiers and artillery officers. The Austrian troops closed into blockade and on 30 March 1849 attacked the fort system. It was successfully beaten off on 26 April and the blockade was also destroyed by the united Hungarian force. Referring to this victory the day of Komárom has been organized since 26 April 1992 to which Komárom Days' rich cultural and sport program are connected.
On 2 July 1849 fights flared up again. The Austrian also attempted to occupy the fortresses on the right bank of the Danube. The Hungarian troops who beat back the attack tried to break through the blockade. That time the blockade was so strong that even Görgey on 11 July 1849 -in the biggest battle of the War of Independence- could not break through either. After Görgey's leaving the defence of the fort system of Komárom would be the duty of the troops of György Klapka. After the Világos treaty on 13 August 1849 as the last bastion of the war the impregnable fort system of Komárom remained in the hand of Hungarians. The opponents to avoid the further bloodshed signed a certificate on 27 September 1849 in Herkálypuszta that contained the conditions of the castle's hand-over. The inhabitants of Komárom who were truly proud of the heroes of the war built a wooden headboard park on 15 March 1983 opposite Fort Igmánd. From the eleven boards the biggest raises memory to the soldiers of the war; the others to Ignác Török, János Lenkey, Richard Guyon, György Klapka commanders of the castle; to Artúr Görgey commander in chief; to János Damjanich general; to József Mack, János May, János Prágay lieutenant-colonels and to László Újházy commissioner.
After the suppression of the war, only between 1850 and 1877, Ferenc I managed to carry out his idea of 1809. Fort Csillag was rebuilt between 1850-70; the huge Fort Monostor was built on Homokhegy between 1850-71, finally the Fort Igmánd between 1871-77. The latter gives home to the roman stone store of György Klapka Museum. In 1945 the soviet troops stayed in Fort Mosnostor. After their withdrawal great works began to transform Fort Monostor into outdoor warfare exhibition.
In the beginning of the XIX century - though for a little time- Komárom became an imperial centre. Ferenc I German-Roman emperor and Hungarian king escaped here with his royal household from Napóleon who occupied Vienna in 1809. As a result Komárom would be the town of forts.
The population appeared in the legal predecessor of present Komárom after the Turkish era. At first tugboats, carriers settled in Rév which was linked to Szőny that time. The settlement had 242 inhabitants in 1764 and later it became independent under the name of Újszőny. Its buildings were completely destroyed during the War of Independence of 1848/49. In the second half of the XIX century the new plans of the reconstruction was about a united town extended to both banks of the Danube. As a significant station of the joining process the Erzsébet-bridge was built in 1892, which connected the two banks, hereby Újszőny and Komárom could join in 1896. The village-like settlement, however, did not develop so much until the First World War. Some factories and the Frigyes-barrack were built, but nothing else.
The beginning of the next historical period was 10 January 1919 when the troops of Czechoslovakia occupied the northern part of the town. On the 30 April there was a vain attempt to recapture the alienated part. After the Trianon treaty on 4 April 1920 which separated the town, the northern part became Komarno as a part of the Czech Republic, the southern part of the town as Komárom-Újváros was the county town of Csonka Komárom County for some years.
The town soon got over the trauma of Trianon and started to develop: schools, public buildings, cultural buildings and houses were built. The electricity was installed and the water supply was solved. The society life started: Football Club, Civil Rifle Society, the Volunteer Fire Brigade Society, etc were formed. 500 private houses were built as well.
By 1938 the town with 7 streets became a town with 40 streets built-up as a chess-board. Between the years of the two World Wars traffic was allowed only with passport. The only restriction was that the bridge had to be closed down after 11 pm and by this time everybody had to return. In 1922 The Reformed Elementary Public School was built. In 1925 the Roman Catholic Elementary Girl's School was formed with Saint Teréz's Chapel (today Saint Imre Catholic Elementary School) decorated with Tibor Vilt's Christ relief. The State Civil School (today Sándor Petőfi Elementary School) in 1926, the Town Hall with The coat of arms made by also Tibor Vilt in 1927, the Police Station in 1930, the building of the District Court in 1935 were opened. In these years the historical churches joined. Earlier only the Littlechurch, which was dedicated to King Saint István in 1891, serviced the people's needs. The bigger one, the Jézus Szíve Roman Catholic Church, was built in 1937 on the basis of Nándor Körmendy's plans. This church in Bauhaus style is the model of the modern church architect and the church art. The frescos of its apsis was painted by Béla Kontuly, the artist of the roman school, the statue of Virgin Mary on the left side altar was created by Károly Antal, the tabernaculum's Angel Greeting door was prepared by Béla Ohmann and the ceramic pictures of the four evangelist of the pulpit was made by Margit Kovács. Three ceramic pictures of Teréz Szemereki can be found above the entrance gate. The wrought iron works are due to Endre Ascima, a talented artist from Győr. In 1927 the Reformed Community, which grew bigger between the two world wars and in 1929 the Baptist Community built a church and chapel. The reputation of the town was increased by restaurants, a cinema and the open-air swimming-pool which attracted many tourists.
On the basis of the Vienna's decision on 2 November 1938 the parts of the Upper Hungary inhabited mainly by Hungarians were reannexed to our country, herby Komárom would be a town again. The united town became the county town of the Komárom County, which was increased with those parts of Pozsony County that had got to Hungary. The offices moved from the south part of the town to the north one. After the Second World War the northern part got back to Czechoslovakia and the southern part continued to develop.
In wartime, between 1938-45 the town united again. Since then, though caring each other, the two brothers, Komárom and North-Komárom of Slovakia, have been living their independent lives. After the Second World War Komárom as a border town became one of the Hungarian centres of the international goods and passenger traffic by its road and rail bridge that connects two countries and by the motorway M1.
In the past decades storeyed buildings, housing estates, restaurants, hotels, camping, and shops were formed in the continuously developing Komárom. Its tourism is thanked to 58 °C medicinal waters, found in 1263 m deep in 1965, which attracts thousands of people who want to recover. The spa, the open-air swimming pool, the in-door swimming pool wait the Hungarian and the foreign visitors all year. The spa's surrounding formed into tourist, servicing centre. Public monuments, erected in our century, make the atmosphere of our town more attractive. So during our wandering we can meet the bust of Mór Jókai by Sándor Szandai, Shawl Waving Girl by János Pándi Kiss, the Learning Boy and Girl by Tibor Vilt, the Bird by Ferenc Labocz and works of Ferenc Csúcs and András Fáy. The First World War monument of János Zsákodi Csiszér, the Rudaczky-hussars of István Szentgyörgyi and the Sailor monument of Ferenc Csúcs also deserve the attention as well as the roman sarcophagi placed on the main square and some roads of Komárom.
History of Komárom fort system was influenced by Turkish and War of Napoleon. Its final shape was owed to Ferenc I., who ordered to build the biggest fort of the empire in Komárom. In that case of war Komárom could accommodate 200.000-strong delegation. They finished the building in 1877. System has Öreg-and Újvár, Vág-Duna bridgehead (in North-Komárom, Slovakia), Nádor-and Vágvonal, South-Komárom's fortresses are Csillagerőd, Igmánd and Monostor.Now we can introduce Fort Monostor in detail.
After the 1848-49 Hungarian War of Independence the biggest part of the system called Fort Monostor was started to build at that time and finished in 1871. It lies on the south of Danube to lengthen Nádor-vonal. Its size is as big as Öreg-and Újvár together. Area is 58 ha with "Árkász-tábor" is more than 76 ha.
The fort itself is contiguous buildings which includes 14 separated wings of buildings with 640 rooms. Useful basic area is more than 34.000 m2 and buildings cover 39.000 m2. The all built-up area is 270.000 m3. According to data 2000 bricklayers and 10.000 unskilled workers worked here. Stone was brought from Süttő's, Tardas' and Dunaalmás' caves on horse tramway.
The fort was designed by German officer of the engineer corps and these principals were the most modern at that time. Buildings and embankment are covered by ground. From outside you can't see anything except one point of it. Foreigners pass it without noticing it. Getting nearer the entrance we can discover the fort and barracks seem average buildings. Embankments are hidden.
The main power of the defence was on the fortification and top of the buildings where artillery stayed. The fort was surrounded by trench which was 9 m deep, 9,5 m wide and 1800 m long. Inside and outside there are 1,9 wide, loop-hole corridors. From outside "kazamata" people could trill into foreground of the castle. From trench was good for crossfire from every position.
Getting into the inner of the fort, on the right towards the east we can find some stables, towards the north on the basement there is a rank and file (it was built in case of war using as a 300 beds hospital). In the yard we can see storeyed officer's buildings. On the left there was a canteen, and old bakery's. Except the officer's building, external side of premises is connected to defensive corridors, which are broken by "caponniere" from west and south direction.
From external gate to the main entrance the road is covered by "Flankierungsthurm". It is the most beautiful place of the fort it is decorated by arched pillars called knight "levente" training room. Levente: member of a military youth organization in Hungary.
The biggest part of the fort is "Commander of chief tower" it can be seen from Danube direction, here we can find this place with 78 Cannon loop-hole it could be frightening. It is called "Gibraltar of Danube". It used to earn this fame because it could keep under fire Danube and block it.
Walls were made of quick-lime bricks and they were covered by limestone cyklope-couerage. Doors and windows were framed by stone and stairs were carved from red stone. From architecture documents we get to know that builders were qualified and techniques were the latest. Spiral stairs, barrel-vault give pleasure for visitors. It would deserve another survey of earthwork of the fort. Fort was used by Russian army for more than 40 years for storing traditional munitions it is found in good condition.
The total circumference of fort system is nearly 15 km. It belongs to the last bottle order castle. Gyulafehérvár was cancelled from bottle order in 1911 so Pécsvárad and Komárom forts are active until now. During peace VI: Vártüzér regiment protected the fort with 400 cannons. 13 wells are found in the yard and fort these have already been buried. When the Russian army left the fort demoliting the fort took for 2 years. Fort was provided with public utilities and conference; gourd rooms were rebuilt and renewed. An exchibition called "Várak, erődők, katonák" was opened to the public in 1998. Materials are from the museum of Military it has been a main attraction until now.
Company in the public interest was established by Ministry of National Cultural Heritage, Ministry of Defence, County and Local Government management of Treasury to develop it. Kht organises cultural programmes there and popularize it and stress the role of the military history and strategy. Traditional military groups meetings and history lessons are hold about historical events what was included in them. Bye the XIX. century fort was self- supporting and bakery and ovens are being renovated nowadays. Tourists can make appointment visiting the fort in advance on 06-34-540-580, 06-34-540-581 telephone number , visitors can get further information about events , programmes.
During the 1848-49 Hungarian War of Independence the Hungarian government realized the important role of Komárom. György Klapka was charged with getting the castle and captured it on the 29 September 1848. Komárom was blockaded since then and resisted desperately. On the 26 April 1849 soldiers defeated blockade around the fort and they sent the Austrian enemy flying and József Ferenc was forced to negotiate. To commemorate the battle the local government organizes Komárom Days every year.