Monday, September 23, 2013

SIEGE of VIENNA ~ September 23, 1529

The Siege of Vienna in 1529 was the first attempt by the Ottoman Empire, led by Suleiman the Magnificent, to capture the city of Vienna, Austria. The siege signalled the pinnacle of the Ottoman Empire's power and great rivalry with Europe as well as the maximum extent of Ottoman expansion in central Europe. Thereafter, 150 years of bitter military tension and reciprocal attacks ensued, culminating in the Battle of Vienna in 1683, marking the start of the Great Turkish War by European powers to remove the Ottoman presence within central Europe.

The siege's ultimate failure and the Ottoman's exhaustive efforts to capture the bastion of the Holy Roman Empire at the time, turned the tide against almost a century of unchecked Ottoman conquest throughout eastern and central Europe, which had previously claimed Southeastern Hungary as a vassal state in the wake of the Battle of Mohács. The event is often referenced as the downfall of the Ottoman Empire's once unbridled military hegemony across Europe and Asia, as well as a rather humiliating defeat for the Ottomans at the hands of a far inferior and smaller force.

There is speculation by some historians that Suleiman's main objective in 1529 was in actuality to reassert Ottoman control over Hungary, the western part of which still held out as an independent monarchy known as Royal Hungary. The decision to attack Vienna after such a long interval in Suleiman's European campaign is viewed as an opportunistic manoeuvre after his decisive victory in Hungary. Other scholars theorize that the suppression of Hungary simply marked the prologue to a later, premeditated invasion of Europe.

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Titian in the Frari (Venezia)