Buda was full of festive decorations, shining in floodlight on that special day in 1790. Everybody was so excited – the entire leadership of the city lined up at the gates of Vienna, in full regalia; greeting the return of the Holy Crown with a string of fire.
Joseph II had controversial fame in the past. Actually, good intentions led him; his excessive haste and sense of mission impeded him to introduce his reforms in the country. At the end of his ten years long reign – 28th January 1790 – all his regulations were withdrawn, only three of them maintained, including the one that concerns the Holy Crown.
Originally, the Holy Crown was guarded in Bratislava. In April 1784, based on the regulation of the king that was opposed to the Hungarian law, it was transported to Vienna. The Hungarian nobility considered this as an offence and complained about the action.
On 28th January 1790, Joseph II published the patens that include the withdrawal of all his regulations, except three of them.
These patens concluded the future of the Holy Crown – after providing the right guiding conditions, it must be delivered to the Buda Castle.
Preparations began immediately, and finally, the Holy Crown was delivered from Vienna on 18th February, within the framework of strict restrictions and ceremonial features. The route and every tiny detail of the procession were precisely determined.
Thanks to the event, the return of the Holy Crown has become a national celebration.
The procession arrived at Buda on 21st February; for that day, the whole city was well-prepared. Everyone was extremely excited, dressed up in new regalias in order to express their honour.
The crown arrived at Buda on 21st February. On the special day, the city’s civil guards lined up at eight o’clock in the morning at the gates of Vienna; the ceremonial procession was celebrated with several speeches and string of fire. At four o’clock in the afternoon, the procession reached Buda Castle.
As the Hungarian news portal Pestbuda reports, the event was followed by a historical moment – between 22nd and 24th February the Holy Crown was displayed to the public in the chapel of St. Sigismund.
Why was this public moment so important? Today, every Hungarian knows what the Holy Crown looks like, as it can be seen not only on the coat of arms, but several photos also recorded the national symbol; in fact, it can be viewed by anyone.
However, before 1790, this could not be realised. Until this time, the Holy Crown could be seen very rarely, and only a few people had the opportunity to take a closer look. Therefore, no pictorial representation had been created before.
Due to his death on 20th February, Joseph II could not eyewitness how the Holy Crown was delivered to Buda. His successor, II. Leopold set the act; according to which, Holy Crown cannot be taken from Hungary anymore.