Siege of Vienna (1485)
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The Siege of Vienna was a decisive siege of the Austrian–Hungarian War in 1485. It was a consequence of the ongoing conflict between Frederick III and Matthias Corvinus. The fall of Vienna meant its merging to Hungary from 1485 to 1490. Matthias Corvinus also moved his royal court to the newly occupied city.
In the year 1483–84 Vienna was already being cut off from the Holy Roman Empire due to the fact that its concentric defensive strongholds, including Korneuburg, Bruck, Hainburg, and later Kaiserebersdorf, had all fallen. One of the most important engagements was the Battle of Leitzersdorf, which made the next year's siege possible. The city was ravaged by famine, although the Emperor Frederick III did succeed in sending in some vital supplies with a breakthrough to the city by sixteen vessels on the Danube. On 15 January, Matthias called on the city to surrender, but Captain von Wulfestorff refused to do so, in the hope that an Imperial relief force would arrive in time. The blockade was fully in place as soon as Matthias attacked Kaiserebersdorf, where he became the target of an assassination attempt when a cannonball nearly killed him. Matthias suspected treachery, as the accuracy of the shot had been too precise to have come from a long distance cannon—only someone who knew the whereabouts of the King would have been able to come so near to killing him. He accused Jaroslav von Boskowitz und Černahora, the brother of his mercenary Captain Tobias von Boskowitz and Černahora, of having been bribed to turn against the king. Jaroslav was summarily beheaded, without being given any chance to clear his name. These latest turn of events angered his brother Tobias to the point that he ended up returning to the service of Frederick and was placed in charge of his campaigns to try and reconquer his lost lands after the death of Matthias in 1490. After Kaiserebersdorf was captured in mid-1485 the fate of Vienna was sealed.
Matthias stationed his armies at the Hundsmühle flour mills and in Gumpendorf on the south side of the Vienna River.[b]The King had previously brought in seventeen siege guns to Austria and with it he ordered the constant firing of barrage into the city. At the same time, he also ordered the construction of two siege towers (one of which was later burnt by the resisting Viennese militia). Matthias made his incursion into Leopoldstadt on 15 May, which made the final assault imminent. The Viennese people realized this and negotiated to surrender the inner city to the Hungarian King. Their only condition was that their citizens' privileges be preserved, along with a guarantee of safe passage. On 1 June, at the head of a column of his soldiers, Matthias entered the heart of Vienna behind its city walls in triumph.
In the Salzburg manifest Frederick ordered the Austrian States to refuse Matthias' demand for the assembly of an Imperial Congress. He also put forward that soon to be Emperor Maximilian I would come to an aid. According to tradition this is the origin of A.E.I.O.U. a said to be secret message to all Austrian provinces. At the end of the Matthias' campaign Hungary controlled all of Upper Austria as well and remained under his control to his death in 1490.
Matthias deprived Vienna of its staple right, a right that violated the commercial interests of the nearby countries so much, they formed the Visegrád Group to secure a bypass route detouring the city. The city in counterpart enjoyed a tax free status under Matthias rule. He also delegated a member, Stephen Zápolya to the Council of Vienna but left the rest of city fathers intact. He rewarded him the city of Ebenfurth and appointed him as the captain of Vienna and governor of the Austrian provinces incorporated into Hungary. The bishop of Pécs Sigismund Ernust was promoted the vice-governor while Nikolaus Kropatsch took care of the military affairs. The prominent captains received houses in Vienna.
- a Geissau pp. 35
- b Geissau pp. 36–37 (Hundsmühle and Heumühle were Middle age flour mills in Vienna next to the "Am Gries" marshes on the right bank of the Wien river)
- c Geissau pp. 41–42
- d Geissau pp. 52
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