István Petrovics

King Matthias and the Towns of the Realm

1 Ianuarie 2013

Cuvinte cheie:
King Matthias
Hungarian Kingdom
urban development
Regele Matia
Regatul Ungariei
evoluţie urbană



After a short introductory survey of urban development in medieval Hungary, the paper will focus on the urban policy of King Matthias Hunyadi, who reigned between 1458 and 1490. Conscious royal policy aiming at fostering urban development in Hungary can be traced from the 1230s. e thirteenth century brought several serious changes in the socio-political and economic life of the realm, as a result of which Hungary became an integral part of the western European economy. e most important towns of medieval Hungary emerged at places where consumption was concentrated: in the middle of the realm where the royal court resided, along the frontier where merchants from abroad entered the kingdom, and in the mining regions where precious metals were produced. e urban network of fifteenth century Hungary was constituted, above all, by 30 localities which were regarded as royal free towns. Besides these, there were many other towns in the realm, but these had already passed under private lordship. In the fifteenth century groups of towns lying close beside each other, or having the same sort of economy, formed alliances. Among them the tavernical towns, the union of the seven Lower-Hungarian mining towns, the league of five north-east Hungarian towns and the Saxon towns of Transylvania were the most important. Although the deputies of the towns frequently participated in the sessions of the Diet, they did not play an important role in the political life of the realm, and were important for the monarch mostly from a financial point of view.