The First Congress of Vienna 1515
A pivotal event in the history of Central Europe. The Jagiellonians and the Habsburgs
A virtual exhibition
On the occasion of the 500-year anniversary of the so called „First Congress of Vienna 1515“ the Kunsthistorisches Museum hosted a symposium (April 15 – 17, 2015), in collaboration with the University of Vienna, the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the Polish Academy of Sciences, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the Collegium Hungaricum in Vienna, the Czech Cultural Institute in Vienna, and the Slovak Cultural Institute in Vienna.
In connection with the Symposium we have composed a virtual exhibition. It focuses on the history of the Jagiellonian and the Habsburgs domains between 1490 and 1530, and on the diplomatic and cultural relations and exchanges between two families who dominated Central Europe in the early 16th century. We also look at the evolution of contemporary aristocratic culture in Austria, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and the history, culture and economic development of the kingdoms’ leading cities.
The negotiations held at Bratislava and Vienna and the resulting double-marriage treaty signed by Emperor Maximilian I of Habsburg and King Ladislaus II of Hungary and Bohemia on July 22, 1515 are generally known as the “First Congress of Vienna”. The treaty stipulated that one of Maximilian’s grandsons was to marry Princess Anne of Hungary, and her brother Louis of Hungary Maximilian’s granddaughter Mary. At the time it was not clear which of the two ruling families would profit more from this agreement. Stretching from Smolensk to Prague and from Gdansk to Belgrade, the Jagiellonian domains were much more extensive than those ruled by the Habsburgs. But the sudden death of King Louis, who was killed in the Battle of Mohacs in 1526, and the subsequent election of Ferdinand I as King of Bohemia and Hungary paved the way for the Austro-Hungarian monarchy.
The artworks showcased in this exhibition are presented on our website but also identified by additional comprehensive labels in the permanent galleries of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, i.e. the Collection of Arms and Armour, the Picture Gallery and the Kunstkammer.
A floor plan showing you where to find the objects included in this itinerary is available at the museum, or you can download it right here: