Saint Michael’s Day, 29 September 1552: Eger castle
This day was not just a famous religious holiday but many folk traditions were connected to it in Hungary. It was the time when the grey cattle were herded back into the villages from the pastures, and women were banned to work on this day. It was the beginning of the second wedding season of the year and many fairs were held on Saint Michael’s Day.
Saint Michael’s Day coincided with the 19th day of Eger castle’s siege in 1552. The Ottoman commanders ordered a general assault. Previously, the fierce artillery fire had caused lots of damage in the walls between 17 September until 28 September. Most of the damage was done in the outer castle that was defended by chief lieutenants Pethő Gáspár, Bornemissza Gergely, Zolthay István, and Figedy János. (I use the Eastern name order for Hungarian names.) Here is more about Eger castle:
The enemy concentrated their assaults on the section of the wall between the Bebek Bastion and the Ókaputorony (Old-Gate Tower). It was defended by Bornemissza Gergely. Under the cover of the Janissaries’ musket fire, the Ottomans were able to get into the bastion as well as into the tower. The enemy took up positions inside and spread a killer fire into the castle. They have planted their flags into the walls, too.
Chief Lituenant Pethő Gáspár, the defender of the Ókapu (Old Gate Tower) was shot on his leg and he had to be carried away. His tasks were taken over by Bornemissza. The grave situation was finally solved by Captain Dobó István: he had his largest cannons deployed on the Szentély Bastion (Shrine Bastion)
A súlyos helyzetet Dobó oldotta meg azzal, hogy a Szentély-bástyán felállított ágyúival rommá lövette az Ókaput, amely így maga alá temette az oda befészkelődött janicsárokat. A védők új erőre kaptak, kiűzték a támadókat, sőt a falakon kívül a sáncokig kergették őket.
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.
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