Ottoman Siege of Vienna, 1529

A.) Prehistory of the Siege

In 1526 an Ottoman Army of 100,000 crushed the Hungarian Army of 25,000 in the Battle of Mohacs. King Louis II. of Hungary fell; the country no longer could function as a bulwark for christian Europe against the Ottoman Empire.
Vienna was the capital of the Austrian lands, one of the three residences of Emperor Charles V., who because of his many obligations, resided there only temporarily.

B.) The First Ottoman Siege of Vienna

An Ottoman Army of c. 100,000 defeated King Ferdinand's troops off Buda; King Ferdinand, brother of Emperor Charles V., withdrew into Vienna, which was defended by a garrison c. 20,000 men strong. The Ottoman Turks encircled Vienna, inflicted severe damage on her suburbs and on the surrounding vineyards, but withdrew after only 25 days. Ferdinand requested his brother to come to his aid; no action by the Emperor, with the object to relieve Vienna, is documented.

C.) The Legacy

The old city walls proved inadequate; after the Ottoman withdrawal, the fortifications were modernized, turning Vienna into a fortress city. However, 154 years would pass until an Ottoman army would test the city defenses again.
The first Ottoman siege of Vienna was not the great turning point in the history of christian-muslim history, rather a minor event. The Ottoman besiegers lacked determination, breaking off the siege after only 25 days. One major objective - to chase King Ferdinand out of Hungary - they had already achieved. Emperor Charles V. equally gave little attention to the siege. The theory of a Franco-Ottoman understanding, the Ottoman siege merely being intended to draw the Emperor's attention away from his French foe, thus is far more plausible. However, by the time the Ottoman troops arrived off Vienna, Francis had been decisively defeated (see Franco-Habsburg War).
The Ottoman side rejected peace offers; a peace treaty was only signed in 1553.

The period of the Turkish sieges (1529-1683), from Vienna's Web Service
The Siege of Vienna, 21 September - 14 October 1529, from Ohio State Hat Karl V. Wien 1529 vor den Türken gerettet ?, entry by G. Hoffmann posted by Damals Online, in German
Wien I, from Historiske Slag, in Danish
Wiens erste Türkenbelagerung im Jahre 1529 (The First Turkish Siege of Vienna 1529), by Kaan Harmankaya, in German
Ausstellung : Drucke zur Ersten Türkenbelagerung (Exhibition : Prints on the First Turkish Siege), from Stadtbibliothek Wien, in German
DOCUMENTS Images - Perchtoldsdorf during the Siege of Vienna, 1529, from Perchtoldsdorf - a journey through history
Siege coin Vienna 1529, from Österreichische Numismatische Gesellschaft (Austrian Numismatic Society); comment in German

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on June 4th 2003, last revised on November 17th 2004

Click here to go Home
Click here to go to Information about KMLA, WHKMLA, the author and webmaster
Click here to go to Statistics

Impressum · Datenschutz