Volume 6 Issue 1 CONTENTS


Austrian Salt in Pozsony in the Mid-Fifteenth Century

István Draskóczy*

Eötvös Loránd University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Medieval and Early Modern Hungarian History


In this essay, I explore how the city of Pozsony (Preßburg, today Bratislava, Slovakia), which lies in the valley of the Danube River on what was once the most important trade route connecting the Kingdom of Hungary with Western Europe, managed to acquire Austrian salt, an import that, in general, was forbidden by the rulers. The city facilitated this not only by obtaining a number of privileges, but also by farming the tax collected in the city on foreign trade, the so-called “thirtieth” (tricesima). In practice, however, this could only be done in varying ways. In the course of my research, it also became clear that Pozsony needed Austrian salt for a variety of reasons. The city was distant from the salt mines, so the Transylvanian salt that was brought to the borderlands in the west was already very expensive. In many cases, however, none of the salt that was produced in the country even made it to Pozsony because of the complications posed by transportation, the deficiencies of the fiscal system, and fluctuations in production. The Austrian salt mines, in contrast, were relatively nearby, the cooked salt that was produced at these mines was essentially consistent in its quality, and it was also less expensive. In this essay, I also examine how the quantities of salt that were imported from Austria changed in various periods and how the city marketed excess salt in other parts of the country. Naturally, the people of Pozsony were not able to sell the salt in the entire territory of Hungary. My analysis indicates that the market for this salt was limited to the County of Pozsony itself, part of Nyitra County, the part of Komárom County to the north of the Danube River, and parts of Győr and Moson Counties.

Keywords: Pozsony, Austrian salt, royal salt chambers, volume of salt imports, fifteenth century


In the first half of the fifteenth century, Pozsony became the most important trading city in the Kingdom of Hungary, in no small part because in 1402 King Sigismund granted the city the staple right and in 1430 he gave it the right of coinage. The burghers of the city played important roles in commerce in Hungary in cloth and other manufactured goods from Western Europe, and they had ties to merchants in cities like Vienna, Cologne, and Nuremberg.1 The various textiles constituted wares of particular importance in the large-scale trade of imports because of their value and their significance in international commerce,2 and Austrian salt was, in comparison, less important. However, the fact that, despite a royal ban repeatedly put on the import of salt, Austrian salt made its way to Pozsony time and again, indicates that it was an item that merits the attention of historians.3

In Hungary, salt was mined in Transylvania and Máramaros (today Maramureş, a region most of which now lies in Romania), and the mines in these two regions provided salt for the entire country. By the beginning of the fourteenth century at the latest, the mining and sale of salt had become a royal monopoly.4 In 1397, King Sigismund issued detailed regulations concerning commerce in salt. Salt was transported from the mines in Transylvania and Máramaros to other parts of the country by boat or in carts (territories to the south of the Sava River used sea salt). In several places, new royal chambers were created (or old chambers were revived), which sold the salt at prices established by the king.5 The chambers were also entrusted with the task of ensuring that the royal court maintained its monopoly on salt and preventing unauthorized foreign salt from reaching the markets in Hungary. One of these revived chamber centers was established precisely in Pozsony. While, in the terms of the regulations issued in 1397, the price of 100 pieces of rock salt in the mining regions was one golden florin, by the time such a unit reached Pozsony, Nagyszombat (today Trnava, Slovakia), or Sopron, the royal officials already sold it for five golden florins. According to the available sources, the chamber prices then established by the ruler remained in effect until the early sixteenth century. King Sigismund also issued regulations specifying the respective marketing areas of salt from Máramaros and Transylvania. Rock salt from Máramaros could be sold on the markets in the part of the country between the Tisza River and the Zagyva River.6 Accordingly, Pozsony was one of the markets for the distant mines of Transylvania, a distance which, as mentioned above, resulted in a huge increase in the price of rock salt in Pozsony and its region.

In the fourteenth century, salt production in the Austrian provinces neighboring Hungary began to grow. Because of the geological conditions, salt was found there in different kinds of stone, from which it could be dissolved by water and then cooked. This cooked salt was taken to the markets in Hungary. The records concerning salt were kept according to “Fuder,” or wooden tubs (into which the salt was originally packed), the precise size of which actually varied depending on the mine from which the salt came (one Fuder from Aussee was 125 pounds or 70 kilograms,7 whereas a Fuder from Hallstatt was between 100 and 115 pounds, or 56 and 64,4 kilograms). After drying, the salt was put in smaller drums called “Küfel,” or “cupa” in Latin, which made it easier to transport. A Küfel weighed roughly 7 kilograms.8 The salt that made it to the markets in and around Pozsony and Sopron came primarily from Hallstatt. In Hungary, it was already referred to as Gmunden salt (in 1453, King Ladislaus V of Hungary called it “unser Gmundisch Salz”), after the town of Gmunden in Upper Austria, where the ducal salt office was located. In Gmunden, the salt was packaged into “Küfel” and sent on its way (by boat) to market destinations. Some salt was even transported to Gmunden from Aussee. Lower Austria (first and foremost the areas lying to the south of the Danube River) constituted a natural market for the mining wares shipped from Gmunden, but some of these mining wares were also taken to the southern territories of Bohemia. In Bohemia and the areas to the north of the Danube, however, Hallein and the mines in Bavaria offered some competition, so the merchants were only too happy to be able to take salt to the markets in Hungary as well.9

Austrian Salt in Pozsony

The earliest data concerning the importation of Austrian salt into Pozsony dates to the fourteenth century. The available sources suggest that in the middle of the century, there were problems with the supply of salt in the country, and the territories on the periphery had difficulty obtaining adequate amounts. In 1354, King Louis I of Hungary permitted the northern territories of the kingdom to use rock salt from Poland and Sopron to use Austrian cooked salt. A charter issued in 1355 indicates that salt from Austria was already being imported into Pozsony as well. Indeed, the burghers of the city had been using Austrian salt even earlier than this. The permission that was issued by the ruler in 1356 specified that German (i.e. Austrian) salt had already been used in the area earlier.10 Later, the import of salt from Austria was forbidden, but in 1362 the ruler again had to grant a concession permitting it. A new prohibition was issued later, which again had to be withdrawn in 1381, though the royal salt chamber was active in the city. These measures indicate that the royal chamber system was not able to provide enough salt for the peripheral regions in the west.11 Nor was King Sigismund able to prevent the import of salt from Austria and Poland. While the 1405 law prohibited the use of salt from abroad, in 1407 the city of Pozsony itself purchased salt from Vienna. In the 1430s, the importation of salt must have been quite regular.12

Following the death of King Albert of Habsburg, Hungary fell into a state of civil war. István and György Rozgonyi, who were serving as the ispáns of Pozsony County, supported Wladislas III of Poland, while the city stood behind Queen Elisabeth until her death in December 1442 and then supported Ladislaus V.13 The salt mines were in the hands of János Hunyadi and Miklós Újlaki, who supported Wladislas III. When János Hunyadi was elected as regent in 1446, he also assumed the administration of the royal revenues. Hunyadi remained in control of the royal incomes even after Ladislaus V had effectively come to the throne in 1453. He devoted particular attention to the salt mines and salt chambers, and as a consequence of the measures he introduced, the income from the salt monopoly increased.14 His allies, György and Sebestyén Rozgonyi as ispáns of Pozsony (the latter taking the place of his deceased father István), royal treasurer Mihály Ország, who was also captain of Nagyszombat, Pongrác Szentmiklósi and Miklós Újlaki exerted close control over the counties of Pozsony and Nyitra. Hunyadi only extended his direct influence to Pozsony in 1450, when he took control of the royal castle there.15 Because of the uncertain political circumstances, Hungarian rock salt hardly made it to the borderlands in the west until 1450. Thus, the people of Pozsony were able to purchase and sell salt from the mines in the neighboring lands of Austria without hindrance (see the import volumes for 1444–1464 and 1496–1499 in Tables 1 and 2 in the Appendix). At the end of 1439 or the beginning of 1440, the city farmed the local office that administered the collection the thirtieth by charter from the dowager Queen Elisabeth. Pozsony used this opportunity to support the trade interests of its burghers.16 By establishing control over the administration of the thirtieth, the city further eased the import of Austrian salt.17 The sources suggest that at the time no royal salt chamber operated in the city. After Hunyadi took power, he seized the chance to establish a salt chamber in Pozsony and prohibit the import of Austrian salt. He provided compensation for the city by leasing the salt chamber to the city for a year at the end of 1450. According to the charter, Hunyadi gave the city every tyminum (10,000 pieces) of Hungarian rock salt for 410 golden florins (to be paid half in Hungarian golden florins, half in Viennese coins). The chamber provided for the territories between Nagyszombat, Galgóc (today Hlohovec, Slovakia), and Komárom.18 A charter issued in April 1451 indicates that Stefan Gmaitl, a burgher of Pozsony, became a special familiaris of Hunyadi, and assumed the office of salt chamberer in his service. Regrettably, the document does not reveal whether or not he held this office in Pozsony, though one can assume he probably did. In any case, the relationship between Gmaitl and his native city was not always smooth, for the city council demanded that he pay the thirtieth after his wares, though in principle he was exempt from the tax.19 After the lease had expired, Hunyadi took direct control over the chamber, and he put István Sasvári, another familiaris in his service, at the head of the two chambers in Pozsony and Nyitra. In March of 1452, Sasvári transferred 400 golden florins-worth of rock salt to the city of Pozsony on the regent’s account. However, Pozsony still had control of the royal salt, which was not under the jurisdiction of the chamber, and at the instructions of the regent it could make drafts on this salt. At the beginning of 1453, Sasvári was still in this position, and the salt chamber continued to function in the city that year.20

After Ladislaus V finally started his personal rule in 1453, the burghers of Pozsony rushed to have him affirm their old privileges. In July of 1453, the king once again granted the city permission to import salt from Austria. As the royal charter reveals, salt from Hungarian territories was also sold in Pozsony. Before a month had passed, however, the king issued a general ban on the use of foreign salt in the Kingdom of Hungary. Thus, it is hardly surprising that in July 1454 Pozsony again managed to prevail on the king to grant a concession and allow the city to import salt. True, the royal charter (which refers to the concession granted by King Louis I of Hungary) specified that the “German” salt that was brought into the city could only be used by the people of Pozsony.21 The available sources clearly indicate that in the spring of 1455 the royal chamber was functioning again. At the time, it was managed by the city of Pozsony, in all likelihood on Hunyadi’s behalf. According to the accounts from this year, Hungarian rock salt was sold there.22 Yet the accounts of Pozsony also attest that “German” cooked salt was also sold in the city in spite of the fact that it functioned as the seat of the royal salt chamber. In April of 1453, Hunyadi therefore called on the city, in an indignant letter, not to permit the import of salt from Austria (as it had been doing thus far) and to allow the representatives of the chamber to carry out investigations at the branch thirtieth offices, and even help their work there. He put pressure on the council by threatening it with the confiscation of the thirtieth.23 These data indicate on the one hand that Hunyadi was resolute in his opposition to the import of salt from Austria, while the ruler (who was also duke of Austria) was not. On the other hand, they also suggest that the Hungarian chamber organization (which was under the oversight of Hunyadi) was not able to provide even close to enough salt, which was precious indeed, for the borderlands in the west, so the territory remained a good market for salt from Austria (which was cheaper anyway).

The Volume of Salt Imports

Beginning in the 1443–1444 financial year, the municipal accounts offer an overview of the quantities of the salt imports.24 The financial affairs of the city were administered by a chamberer (Chamerer), who from the late 1430s are known by the name, and were assisted in their work by paid employees (Chammerschreiber or Chammerknechte). The chamberer was responsible for rendering all of the accounts. He usually began his tenure in office on May 12 (the day of Saint Pancras), and he usually remained in office for a year, though some of the people who held this position were in office for less than a year. The mayor was responsible for overseeing the work of the head of the chamber.25 The accounts were not kept consistently, however, and today we often have only incomplete volumes on the basis of which to make hypotheses. The salt that was imported to the city was measured in Küfel. The account entries indicate that the suppliers did indeed pay a thirtieth (i.e. one Küfel for every thirty).26 It was beneficial to the city to be able to levy the thirtieth in kind, since some of the salt thus collected was sold and some of it was given to the city officials as a gift. The city’s income stemming from the traffic of salt was not a substantial amount, oscillating between 100 and 160 golden florins annually. With regards to the value of the import, according to the calculations of Ferenc Kováts, in the 1440s it was somewhere between 3,000 and 4,800 golden florins annually, while in the 1450s it rose to 6,000 golden florins. This amount is a mere 4 percent of the 150,000 golden florins-worth of taxable merchandise brought into the city.27

The numbers accounted by the employees of the chamber indicate that the amount of salt imported into the city fluctuated. In 1446–1447, very little salt was imported. There are no records of any legally imported salt between 1451 and 1453 or in 1455. And yet, in the 1440s and 1450s, significant amounts of salt may well have been imported into Pozsony. Of the various accounts that are at our disposal, the one from 1448 seems the most complete. According to this record, between January 28 and November 30 of this year, 194,464 Küfel (1,361.25 tons) of salt were officially imported. In all likelihood, this quantity increased in the 1450s. In the period between April 22 and December 22 1456, 170,406 Küfel were imported (1,192.82 tons). Duties were imposed on 133,800 Küfel (936.6 tons) of imported salt between May 9 and December 13 1457. After this, however, the amount of salt on which duties were levied began to decrease, and after 1465 the import of salt completely ceased, disregarding a few exceptional cases. Thus, in the 1440s and 1450s, there were significant imports (between 1,000 and 1,400 tons a year), though there were years in which only smaller quantities of salt were registered by the customs officials.28 Unfortunately, the available sources do not indicate how much salt was produced within the Kingdom of Hungary in the middle of the fifteenth century. The demand for salt within the kingdom at the end of the century must have been somewhere between 24,000 and 30,000 tons,29 of which 1,000–1,400 tons constituted between 3 and 5 percent. Naturally, if one takes into consideration contraband as well, these numbers are obviously higher.

Initially, King Matthias Corvinus did not take measures to hinder the import of salt through the city of Pozsony. Nonetheless, the amount of salt that was brought into the kingdom through the Pozsony customs office dropped drastically after 1459. This coincided with a general drop in foreign trade flowing through the city. The explanation for this lies in the Austrian financial crisis and the catastrophic drop in the value of the Viennese denarii.30 However, one must also take into consideration the shifts in the policy of the royal court. In 1464, the national assembly forbade the import of salt. In 1465, King Matthias sent stern instructions to the city of Pozsony in which he prohibited the import of salt. This order had to be issued again in 1468. In other words, in spite of the prohibition, salt continued to be smuggled into the city.31 Later, it became possible again to occasionally import salt from Austria with a royal license, but in their quantity these imports never reached the levels that had been attained in the 1440s and 1450s.

It is also worth considering the importance of exports to Hungary from the perspective of mining in Austria. In Hallstatt, roughly 8,000 to 9,000 tons of salt were extracted annually. If one adds to this the salt that was mined in Aussee and then transported to Gmunden, at least 9,000 to 10,000 tons of salt had to find a market.32 With the most prudent calculation, 1,000–1,400 tons is 9–13 percent of this amount. Thus, the export to Hungary was hardly trifling. If one also keeps in mind that a significant amount of salt was brought into the Kingdom of Hungary through Sopron, and takes into consideration contraband as well, which, regrettably, cannot be quantified, and adds those amounts of salt that, for whatever reason, were not actually noted in the records, it becomes quite clear that the Hungarian market was in all likelihood very important for the producers and merchants (the princes who profited off of the trade of salt) of Gmunden (and Aussee). When King Matthias brought an end to the legal import of salt, this measure had serious consequences for the producers and merchants alike, since they had to find new markets for their export.

The Markets for the City of Pozsony

What was the extent of the territory that the burghers of Pozsony were able to provide with salt imported from Austria? The city itself gave an answer to this question when it explained the details of its right to import salt from Austria to the ruler in 1453. Its delegates explained to the ruler (who raised no objections) that the city had previously transported and sold salt on the territories extending, on one side of the Danube River to the Rába River, and on the other side of the Danube River to the Vág River.33 Regrettably, the charter gives no other, more detailed information.34 The river Danube referred to in the charter should by no means be interpreted as the small branch of the Danube that in the Middle Ages was called Csalló (the Danube Csalló, or Csallóduna),35 but rather as the main branch of the Danube (which was nowhere near as important then as in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries), or the branch of the river known as “szigetközi” (an island plain in Western Hungary bordered by the Danube and its branches), both of which in the Middle Ages were used by boats traveling from Vienna and Pozsony to Visegrád and Buda (traffic on the “szigetközi” Danube must have been particularly large).36 Thus, the territory to which the city of Pozsony had royal license to transport and sell salt imported from Austria included the river island known today as Csallóköz (today Žitný ostrov, Slovakia), as well as, at least to some extent, the area of the southern shores of the main branch of the Danube.

The burghers of Pozsony had close ties to Csallóköz. They regularly traveled to the island and the area surrounding it, from where they returned with foodstuffs. Their carts also often traveled by way of Csallóköz to Komárom on their way to Buda.37 Place names of Csallóköz and settlements on the southern bank of the Danube are often found in the last wills and testaments of the denizens of Pozsony, in a way outlining the territories that were part of the narrower market zone of the city.38 According to Kováts, the extent of the city’s reach stretched on the northern side of the Danube to the mining towns, Esztergom, and Vác. In other words, the whole of Pozsony and Nyitra counties depended on the markets and fairs in Pozsony, and so did the southern part of Bars County and the northern part of Komárom and Esztergom counties, lying just beyond the Danube.39 The extent of the territory that the burghers of Pozsony alluded to as the area where they marketed imported Austrian salt was smaller than this, since it was bordered by the Vág river, but it did stretch to the southern shore of what today is the main branch. Most of the thirtieth offices farmed by the city of Pozsony in the 1450s were located in this territory.40 Thus, the part of the country where the salt that came to Hungary through the customs office of Pozsony was sold consisted of Pozsony County itself, part of Nyitra County,41 at least the stretch of Komárom County lying to the north of the Danube, and parts of Győr and Moson Counties. Towards the northeast, it bordered the market zone of Nagyszombat, and towards the southeast it bordered the markets of Sopron, the border of which was also the Rába River. They were both important commercial centers. It is the territory described above that can be identified as the market zone of Pozsony.42 Furthermore, this was the part of the country for which the Hungarian chamber organization was no more able to guarantee adequate provisions of salt, even if only at times. The 1,000–1,400 tons of salt that were imported from Austria would have been enough for a population of 100,000–140,000 people at most, if one reckons with a demand of 10 kilograms of salt per person. The population of this territory may well have been approximately this size.43

It is worth taking note of a bit of information dating from 1470. With the consent of the ruler, treasurer János Ernuszt permitted the purchase and sale of 400 pounds of imported salt. This amount corresponds to 96,000 Küfel (673 tons),44 which in principle would have been enough to meet the demands of 60,000–70,000 people in a given year. The contents of the charter indicate that the city (and the royal chamber) was the center of the salt trade in the region. People may well have come to the city to purchase this important item not only from most of the settlements in Pozsony County (Nagyszombat was also home to a salt chamber, so its market zone should not be taken into consideration), but also from the settlements in the neighboring territories of the surrounding counties.45 For the sake of comparison, it is worth considering some of the later data. When Wladislas II of Hungary permitted the import of salt from Austria in the period between 1496 and 1498, people could purchase the salt from the city chamber. Data from 1498/9, a period of almost a whole year, indicate the import of 8,160 Küfel (57 tons).46 This quantity would have been enough for 5,000 to 6,000 people for one year. The population of Pozsony at the beginning of the sixteenth century was between 4,200 and 4,700 people.47 Thus, this import would have been adequate for the local community and the very narrow surroundings at most.

It is worth saying a few words about the prices of salt as well. In the 1440s and 1450s, the city sold one Küfel for 7–9 Viennese denarii. Between 1496 and 1499, the city purchased one Küfel in Vienna for 13–14 Viennese denarii (roughly 4.5 Hungarian denarii) and then sold it in Hungary for 20 Viennese denarii (roughly 6–7 Hungarian denarii). At the beginning of the sixteenth century, the price of a Küfel at Pozsony was still 18–20 denarii (6–7 Hungarian denarii). At the end of the 1520s and the beginning of the 1530s, a Küfel could usually be purchased in Hainburg for 16 Viennese denarii and then sold in Pozsony for 20.48

In Transylvania, different sizes of rock salt were mined, depending on whether it was going to be transported by boat or by cart. Under the rule of the Jagiellonian dynasty, in the town of Torda (today Turda, Romania) the rock salt mined for shipment by boat was 2.7 kilograms (5.5 pounds) and the rock salt cut for shipment by cart was 8.6 kilograms (17.5 pounds). In the town of Vízakna (today Ocna Sibiului, Romania), rock salt for shipment by boat weighed 4.9 kilograms (10 pounds) and rock salt for shipment by cart 10.8 kilograms (22 pounds). In Dés (today Dej, Romania) presumably rock salt in the amount of 9.33 kilograms (19 pounds) was cut for shipment by cart and perhaps 2.5 kilograms (5 pounds) for shipment by boat. In 1515/6, one hundred units of the rock salt cut for shipment by boat were worth 1.1 golden florins, and one hundred units of the rock salt cut for shipment by cart could be purchased at the mines for 3 golden florins. One can easily imagine how much these prices jumped by the time the salt had made it to the borderlands (whether brought by boat or cart). These prices could hardly have competed with the price of a hundred Küfel, which weighed about 700 kilograms, and cost 6–7 Hungarian golden florins).49


In the middle of the fifteenth century, a great deal of Austrian salt was consumed in the territories of Western Hungary. The rise in the import of salt can equally be explained by the domestic political circumstances and the fact that the city of Pozsony leased the local chief customs office. The burghers of the city strove to take full advantage of this opportunity. Drawing on their privileges, they brought quantities of salt to Hungary that far exceeded the needs of the local population. Others also took advantage of the profits to be made in the trade in salt. As power was centralized and consolidated under the rule of King Matthias, the king took back the thirtieth, and the amount of Austrian salt was imported to Hungary decreased accordingly. One should also keep in mind that Hungarian salt was too expensive in the parts of the country that were far from the mines, and indeed it was not always possible to get enough salt from the mining areas to the distant borderlands. This was due to the difficulties of transportation, the inefficiencies of the chamber system, and the fluctuations in production in Hungary (though production also fluctuated in Austria). Furthermore, the rock salt mined in Hungary was sold in quantities that differed in their weight, while the Küfel brought in from Austria were always roughly the same. Finally, while in general the salt that was mined in Transylvania was very pure, the cooked salt from Austria may have been more uniform in its quality.50


Appendix. The import of Austrian salt in Pozsony


Table 1. Salt imported between 1444 –1464 on which the thirtieth was paid in Pozsony51


Number of Küfel


June 10–December 9, 1444


554,400 (532,224)

March 12–December 30, 1445


889,560 (853,978)

January 1–April 3, 1446


49,560 ( 47,578)

July 17–December 8, 1447


535,080 (513,677)

January 28–November 30, 1448


1,361,248 (1,306,798)

May 13–October 11, 1450


795,060 (763,258)

March 29–May 28, 1454


131,040 (125,799)

April 22–December 22, 1456


1,192,842 (1,145,129)

May 9–December 13, 1457


936660 (899136)

March 14–July 7, 1458


425,880 (408,845)

June 2.–December 31, 1459


659,190 (632,823)

May 30–September 21, 1461


264,600 (254,816)

January 2–July 8, 1463


138,894 (133,339)

December 16–December 22, 1464


48,475 (46,536)



Table 2. Salt imports into the city of Pozsony in 1496–149952


Number of Küfel


December 13, 1496–April 17, 1497


42,000 (40,320)

May 17–December 12, 1498


47,880 (45,965)

March 21–April 20, 1499


9,240 (8,871)



57,120 (54,836)



Archival sources

Archív Mesta Bratislavy (=AMB, Archives of the City of Bratislava)

Archív Mesta Šamorin (=AMŠ, Archives of the Town of Šamorin)

Magyar Nemzeti Levéltár Országos Levéltára (=MNL OL, Hungarian National Archives)

MNL OL Diplomatikai Fényképtár (=DF, Photograph Collection of Charters)

MNL OL, Diplomatikai Levéltár (=DL, Medieval Charter Collection)


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1 See for instance Kubinyi, “Pest szerepe,” 4–5; Skorka, “Pozsony gazdasági,” 434–63; Szende, Otthon a városban, 20–47.

2 Kováts, Nyugat-Magyarország, passim.

3 Hocquet, Le sel et le Pouvoir, 369–91.

4 Kubinyi, “Königliches”; Weisz, “Megjegyzések,” 46, 50; Draskóczy, “Sóbányászat,” 56–67. The rulers earned considerable revenues thanks to their monopoly. Sigismund brought in 100,000 golden florins (a third of his entire revenues) a year, and Matthias Corvinus brought in between 80,000 and 100,000. Revenues decreased under the rule of the Jagiellonian dynasty because of mismanagement, corruption, and the fact that more and more rock salt made it to the markets without having caught the attention of the chambers. According to an Italian report, Louis II earned only 16,000 golden florins a year off salt duties. The treasury, however, made significantly more, possibly even as much as 30,000 golden florins. Draskóczy, “Sóbányászat,” 58.

5 These offices continued to grow in number in the fifteenth century.

6 Kubinyi, “Die königlich-ungarischen,” 263–64; Draskóczy, “A sóigazgatás,” 285–93; Weisz, “Az erdélyi sókamarák,“ 243–44.

7 A Viennese pound weighed 0.56 kilograms.

8 Materialen zur Geschichte, 781. According to a test done in Hallstatt in 1710, a Küfel weighed 13 pounds (7.28 kilograms) and the salt it contained weighed 11.9 pounds (6.67 kilograms), or 12 pounds if rounded up (6.72 kilograms). Schraml, Das oberösterreichische, 219–20. In Gmunden, the salt from a Hallstatt Fuder filled some 9 Küfel, while a Fuder from Aussee filled 10 Küfel. Palme, Rechts-, Wirtschafts- und Sozialgeschichte, 134, 386. A Küfel was called “kúf” or “kúp” in Hungarian. See Mollay, Német–magyar, 375–77.

9 MNL OL DF 240 246 (AMB 2426); Csendes, “Die Wiener Salzhändler,” 8–10; Palme, Rechts-, Wirtschafts- und Sozialgeschichte, 395–402.

10 Draskóczy, “A lengyel só,” 111–28; Draskóczy, “A sóigazgatás,” 291–93.

11 MNL OL DF 238 744, DF 238 803, DF 238 978, DF 238 998 (AMB 126, 183, 358, 378).

12 MNL OL DL 43 989, DF 239 292, DF 239 664 (AMB 667, 1041); Iványi, “Két középkori,” 187–88; Draskóczy, “A sóigazgatás,” 292.

13 Knauz, Az országos tanács, 4–5; Pálosfalvi, “A Rozgonyiak,” 897–928. In 1442, denarii and obuli were struck here for Elisabeth, but by 1443–1444 coins were already being minted in the name of King Wladislas. In 1447, Hunyadi had the mint issue obuli. Pohl, “Die Münzstätte,” 90, 102; Gyöngyössy, Magyar pénztörténet, 113.

14 Draskóczy, “Das königliche,” 141–42.

15 On the shifts that took place in the political relations in the region see Pálosfalvi, “A pozsonyi,” 197–213; Neumann, A Korlátköviek, 20–29.

16 Kováts, “A magyar arany,” 120.

17 Like all other products, salt was brought into Hungary not only through the chief thirtieth office in Pozsony, but also through its branch offices. MNL OL DF 240 227 (AMB 1598).

18 MNL OL DF 240 075 (AMB 1447); Lederer, A középkori pénzüzletek, 223–24. Providing salt for the Csallóköz district, however, did not become the responsibility of the city.

19 MNL OL DF 240 084, DF 240 098, DF 240 099, DF 240 108, DF 240 113, DF 240 305 (AMB 1456, 1470, 1471, 1480, 1485, 4302).

20 MNL OL DF 240 145, DF 240 150, DF 240 217 (AMB 1517, 1521, 1588).

21 MNL OL DF 240 246, DF 240 260, DF 240 305 (AMB 1617, 1631, 1676). In June 1454, the burghers of Pozsony had the local chapter transcribe the charter issued by Louis I in 1356, in which he had authorized the import of salt. DF 240 300 (AMB 1671).

22 MNL OL DF 241 323, DF 240 327, DF 240 328 (AMB 1694, 1698, 1699). AMB Kammerrechnungen K-22/a. 25v.-26r. (DF 277 078). In the autumn of 1453, count Ulrich of Cilli and later Andreas Baumkircher, both of whom were supporters of Ladislaus V, acquired control of the castle of Pozsony. This was a clear indication that the former regent had lost influence in the county. Engel, Magyarország világi, vol. 1, 169, 393–94, II. 26. Yet he may have retained control of the salt chamber organization in this territory still in 1455, since his familiaris István Sasvári held the title of chamberer (camerarius) in Upper Hungary, and he issued charters concerning the trade of salt. MNL OL DF 240 323 (AMB 1694).

23 The municipal accounts from 1451–53 and 1455 rarely make any mention of Küfel. AMB Kammerrechnungen K-15. 17–20, K-16. 25–29, 33, K-19. 25–26 (MNL OL DF 277 071, DF 277 072, DF 277 075); MNL OL DF 240 227 (AMB 1598).

24 In order to make it easier to provide a clear overview, we tried to use calendar years.

25 Majorossy, “Egy határ menti,” 450–51.

26 Goda–Majorossy, “Städtische Selbstverwaltung,” 96–98.

27 Kováts, “Pozsony városának háztartása,” 459–60.

28 See Table 1 in the Appendix

29 Draskóczy, “Sóbányászat,” 62.

30 Kováts, “Korakapitalisztikus,” 193–94.

31 Decreta regni, 164; MNL OL DF 240 491, 240 504, DF 240 539, DF 242 776 (AMB 1862, 1875, 1910, 4711).

32 The production in Aussee was 8,715 tons in 1336, 10,527 tons in 1392, 8,182 tons in 1523, and 10,875 tons in 1531, while production in Hallstatt was 5,691.28–6,544.072 tons in 1336, 6,984.2 tons in 1393, 9,351.58 tons in 1394, and 8,680 tons in 1520. In Hall in Tyrol, in the 1327–1328 financial year production was around 3,782.72 tons, whereas by 1520 it had increased to 9,733 tons. Around 1330, the combined production in Aussee, Hallstatt, and Hall was 18,189–19,041.8 tons. By 1520, this number had increased to 26,592. From the perspective of this inquiry, Hall in Tirol was not significant, since none of the minerals extracted in Hall were sold in Hungary. Palme, Rechts-, Wirtschafts- und Sozialgeschichte, 135, 386, 466; Pickl, “Die Salzproduktion,” 22.

33 MNL OL DF 240 246 (AMB 1617)

34 The district over which the Pozsony salt chamber had jurisdiction is in the territory designated in the charter. It was larger than the average chamber district in Hungary.

35 Püspöki, A Csallóköz, 84–87.

36 Quellen zur Geschichte, nos. 3507, 3508, 3514; Takáts, “A dunai hajózás,” 106–07; Kováts, “Adalékok,” 434–44; Püspöki, A Csallóköz, 90–92.

37 MNL OL DF 239 632, DF 239 683, DF 239 854, DF 239 914, DF 239 869, DF 239 886 (AMB 1005, 1061, 1227, 1287, 1242, 1259); MNL OL DF 274 839 (AMŠ A-9-19); Kováts, “Adalékok,” 435. Part of the grain that was transported by the burghers of Pozsony to Buda came from here.

38 Majorossy, “Egy város,” 190, 196–99.

39 Kováts, Nyugat-Magyarország, 8.

40 In 1453, Pozsony took by lease, in addition to the thirtieth offices of Buda, Sopron, and Pozsony itself, those of Oroszvár (today Rusovce, Slovakia), Nezsider (today Neusiedl am See, Austria), Szakolca (today Skalica, Slovakia), Újvár (today Holič, Slovakia), and Szenice (today Senica, Slovakia), but not the thirtieth office of Nagyszombat. It had already leased the thirtieth of Oroszvár in an earlier period. Ortvay: Pozsony, II/2. 53–54, 82–85, II/3. 56–61, 67–95, 103. From Vienna, an important road went to Pozsony through Hainburg, along the Danube River. See Lukačka, “Verkehrs- und Handelsbeziehungen,” 161. Nezsider and Zurány (today Zurndorf, Austria) in Moson County were branch thirtieth offices of Pozsony in the first third of the sixteenth century. See Kenyeres, “I. Ferdinánd,” 73–74.

41 In 1450, the tenants of Szentgyörgy (today Prievaly, Slovakia), which is not far from Korlátkő (today Cerová, Slovakia) in Nyitra County, brought the wares that they had purchased in Vienna to the settlement through Pozsony, that is, two rolls of cloth, 1.5 pounds of pepper, and 64 Küfel (448 kilograms) of salt. These items were all transported by cart. Neumann, Korlátköviek, 155, 173–75.

42 Szende, “Beziehungen,” 141–42.

43 Kubinyi, “Die Bevölkerung des Königreichs,” 90–91; Draskóczy, “Sóbányászat,” 62.

44 AMB 4771 (= MNL OL DF 242 835). In this case, the pound is an accounting unit: 1 pound is 240 Küfel.

45 One should think first and foremost of the places located within the jurisdiction of the Pozsony salt chamber.

46 MNL OL DF 240 822, DF 240 827, DF 240 850, DF 240 952 (AMB 2198, 2204, 2228, 2329); MNL OL DF 277 110, DF 277 111 - AMB Kammerrechnungen K-54. 25, K-55. 76–77 (MNL OL DF 277 110, DF 277 111). After Mohács, in the chamber year 1528–1529, sources indicate that 8,137 Küfel (roughly 57 tons) were sold. AMB Kamerrechnungen K-75. 53, K-76. 43 (MNL OL Microfilm collection, roll C 396).

47 Szende, Otthon a városban, 26.

48 AMB Kammerrechnungen K-19 25, K-67 42r (MNL OL DF 277 085, DF 277 123), K-79/b. 77, K-82. 43, K-83. 39, K-88. 130, K-89. 97 (MNL OL Microfilm collection, roll C 396). In 1440–1447, in Vienna one golden florin was worth 210 Viennese denarii, and the value of the golden florin later grew. Thus, in 1450–1457, a Hungarian golden florin was worth 240 denarii. After 1466, according to the account books one Hungarian golden florin was worth 300 Viennese denarii (or in other words, one Hungarian denarius was worth three Viennese denarii), but the actual value was higher (between 1500 and 1524, one golden florin was worth 330 Viennese denarii). See Huszár, “Pénzforgalom,” 36, 43. In Vienna, the average price of a Küfel at the turn of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries was 14 denarii. See Mayer, Der auswärtige Handel, 182.

49 Draskóczy, “Sóbányászat,” 60.

50 Draskóczy, “15. századi olasz,” 52–53.

51 This summary is based on the account books numbers MNL OL DF 277 064–277 089 (AMB Kammerrechnungen K–8. – K 32). When calculating the quantity of a Küfel in kilograms, we took two figures as our point of departure. We used the figure usually found in the secondary literature, according to which one Küfel weighed 7 kilograms, but in addition, we provided in parentheses figures based on measurements according to which one Küfel weighed 6.72 kilograms (see footnote 8).

52 DF 277 110, DF 277 111 (AMB Kammerrechnungen, volumes 54, 55).

* The author is a member of the “Lendület” (Momentum) Research Group on Medieval Hungarian Economic History at the Research Center for the Humanities of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (LP2015-4/2015), and of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences–ELTE Research Group on University History (213TKI738).