Fortifications at Komárno
System of Fortifications at the Confluence of the Rivers Danube and Váh in Komárno - Komárom (Slova) is part of the Tentative list of Slovakia in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.
Komarom (Hungary) and Komarno (Slovakia) face each other on the opposite banks of the Danube at an important crossing point since Roman times. Komarno consists of an old and a new fortress, and the Palatine and Vah fortification lines from the 19th century.
Map of Fortifications at KomárnoLoad map
The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.
I visited a couple parts of the fortification system on the Slovakian side in Komarno with my Slovakian friend back in August. The smaller fortresses and the walls sure are interesting, but the real gem is the main fortress, Pevnost in the centre of Komarno. For only 3 euros (student fare, it's either 4 or 5 for adults) you can get a guided tour of the fortress, lasting around 1 hour and a half and it is trully worth it. You get to see once the bigest army barracks in Europe, the Leopold's gate and the old fortress, magnificent views of the Danube and you even get to see the abandoned fortress on the inside on many occasions, including interesting little easter eggs like the swimming pool the Soviets built smack in the middle of a fort from the 12th century or the stables, where horses had to be lifted through the ceiling, since the doors were to narrow for them. The tour concludes with an interesting labyrint inside the old part of the fortress, that you get to experience in complete darkness, which is quite the experience.
There are some signs of parts of the fortress being renovated, but only in the newer part near the entrance and unfortunately only on a small scale. Renovating the fortress as a whole would be a huge overtaking and I doubt the economic feasibility of the project, since the complex trully is colosal and doing it just for touristic purposes would probably bring the city of Komarno on the brink of bankruptcy. Some of the smaller fortresses are in use though, the northernmost housing a museum, a roman lapidarium and, interestingly enough, a night club...
Overall, it is a great opportunity to legally satisfy the urban explorer in you with many awesome photo opportunities in this collage of different historical eras and nations that have occupied it in the past.
I just read the ICOMOS review that denounced Komarno/Komarom quite severely. The authenticity of the fortifications has been partly lost, the integrity is damaged by a railway line and industrial zones, the comparative study was carried out inadequately and the current conservation is "patchy". Even the risk of earthquakes was mentioned, and the Management Plan was deemed "excessively" ambitious. So a clear Rejection.
Last May Komarno was my first overnight stop in Slovakia. Its city center is pleasant enough though quite small. The Danube divides Slovak Komarno from Hungarian Komarom since 1920. This is not a romantic Danube: Komarno is a main transport hub. The fortifications are located on the converge of the Danube and Váh rivers. They are hidden from sight behind large walls, and I couldn't find a way to get in. The immense fort withstood sieges during a 300 year period, keeping the Turks out of the Hungarian empire. I have seen impressive photos of the fort's layout taken from the air, and also thought its Siege history might get it in. But unfortunately for the Slovaks and Hungarians it wasn't enough.
Lack of convincing comparative analysis & authenticity and integrity issues
2002 Added to Tentative List
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