Visegrád, 1335: medieval conference, modern political alliance

In 1335, the monarchs of central Europe met at Visegrád on the Danube River to sort out the affairs, rivalries, feuds, and future of their realms. Present were Charles I of Anjou, king of Hungary; John of Luxembourg, king of Bohemia (modern Czech Republic); his son Charles, count of Moravia (now part of the Czech Republic); Casimir III, king of Poland, Rudolf, duke of Saxony; and representatives of the Teutonic Order, whose state was at its zenith in eastern Europe. The month-long meeting, which produced an alliance against the Habsburgs, has since been enshrined as the Congress of Visegrád, a foundational moment in central European diplomacy that opened up new economic opportunities and enhanced regional stability (primary sources can be found here).

The continuing importance of this association, re-imagined in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, is indicated by this new article from Politico Europe on the new consensus among the Visegrad Group concerning the refugee crisis. Today the group consists of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, and Hungary, and the recent crisis has seen the group re-emerge as a working entity in opposition to Germany’s refugee policies. It remains to be seen what the outcome of this situation is, but it is worth remembering the medieval events that these governments consider important to their current association.

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