Selected Passages from Hungarian-Ottoman Wars

11 (or 17) October 1663: Zrínyi Péter defeated the Ottomans at Károlyváros (Karlovac)

The star fort of Károlyváros / Karlovac (Photo: Neoneo13)

The surrender of Érsekújvár Castle (Nové Zámky) took place at the end of September 1663 and it caused a serious breach on the Hungarian chain of Borderland castles against the Ottoman Empire.

Érsekújvár in 1605

Taking an adventure of the new success, Grand Vizier Köprülü Achmed offered to the Hungarian Noble Estates that the new Hungarian Kingdom could be organized, under the lead of Prince Apafi Mihály of Transylvania. (Note: the Transylvanian Principality was a vassal state of the Sultan but enjoyed such privileges that were unheard of in the Ottoman Empire.) 

However, the Hungarian aristocrats of Royal Hungary didn’t react to this. Rather, they stubbornly resisted the Ottoman expansion.

Lord Zrínyi Miklós (Nicholas Zrínski) was appointed as the chief commander of the Hungarian military forces. He immediately attacked the Turks on the South-Trans Danubian Region and on the lands of Lower Hungary.

Zrínyi Miklós

His first victory was at Vízvár Castle on 10 October where he defeated a smaller Ottoman army. In the meantime, his younger brother Zrínyi Péter repelled the attack of Pasha Csengics of Bosnia who wanted to take Zrínyi-Újvár Castle. Moreover, Péter (or Petar) pursued him and defeated the Pasha at Otocsác, near to károlyváros Castle (Karlovac) on 11 (or 17?) October 1663.

The Bosnian Pasha had originally about 6,000 Turk and Tatar troops in his army but he lost 1,000 of them. Zrínyi Péter collected a great bounty and 8 Ottoman flags.

According to Lord Esterházy Pál, even a pasha was captured. He wrote: „… honorable Lord Count Zrínyi Péter assaulted the Bosnian Turks hard and captured a pasha, cutting down more than a thousand of the enemy while the rest were fleeing hastily. He has returned home, bringing numerous flags which were later offered to His Majesty in Vienna…”

Zrínyi Péter

After the victory, Zrínyi Péter has followed his success up: he was annihilating the rest of the scattered Ottoman army along the Mura River. His brother Miklós returned to the Muraköz (Mura River Region) area only at the end of November. His victorious campaign has been going on but it would require a new chapter to tell.

My note is, that Miklós was killed in a hunting accident in 1664 and his younger brother Péter was executed by his monarch in 1671. Yet, it was unknown to them in 1663: they were still quite optimistic, hoping that Vienna would join in the Hungarian-Croatian-German-French coalition in order to liberate Hungary.

They didn’t know that it would be sabotaged as it didn’t serve the Habsburg dynastic interests.


Source: Szibler Gábor