A hero of Buda who was almost hanged, 1686
Everybody knows about the great generals and princes who took part in retaking Buda Castle from the Ottomans in 1686. The city used to be the westernmost Borderland fortification of the Sultan for 145 years and now has become the westernmost Borderland Castle of the Habsburgs for a hundred years to come. Now, let us talk about a few heroes of the particularly bloody and fierce siege that had raged for 77 days.
The Ottomans were defending Buda valiantly but the Christians’ artillery was so sophisticated that they could bombard the fort from the Gellért Hill and the Nap Hill just like from the other side of the Danube River where Pest city was located. You can read more about the history of Buda castle here:
Let us focus on a single man now, a Hussar Captain called Ramocsaházy Endre. For he was reported to be the first soldier who could plant the attackers’ flag on the enemy’s wall for the first time – no matter how briefly it stood there. It was recorded by no-one else than Mösch Lukács, a Piarist monk who was the priest of General Pálffy Károly, a chief officer of the allied Christian forces.
At the time of the assault which was launched on 2 September 1686, Ramocsaházy was just a vice-Lieutenant. He was attacking the enemy at the Fehérvári Gate and led a few (dismounted) Hussars. Somehow, he could fight himself through the Turkish lines and plant the Hungarian flag on the wall, then he and his handful of men headlessly rushed into the middle of the castle, up to Saint György (George) Square. (Now it is the Dísz Square.) According to other sources, it was not him who planted the flag on the wall for the first time but another Hungarian Hajdú soldier. Anyway, he took his part in the fight like anybody else.
Soon, they were surrounded and outnumbered. He was cornered and separated from his men. He didn’t want to give away his life cheap and fought like a member of the Valiant Order. Yet, he was overwhelmed and captured by the Ottoman warriors.
The Turks were so angered by his staunch resistance that they didn’t want to kill him by the sword as it would have been befitting to his valiance. Rather, they dragged him to a mulberry tree and hanged him as if he had been a criminal. They left him there to die and ran back to the walls. The Christians were pushing through the weakened defense.
Ramocsaházy would have died if he had not been such a robust man. Also, he was wearing armor. To his luck, the branch of the tree gave in under his weight and his toes were touching the pavement. Fortunately, the soldiers of Prince Croy got there after a time and cut him off the rope. To their surprise, he was not dead and they could stand him on his feet.
Emperor Leopold made him a captain after the siege and later he became a so-called Castle-Count of Buda when he retired from service. We know that he used to celebrate his birthdays under the mulberry tree, giving thanks to God for his escape. He died at the age of 105 according to the documents kept in the Boldogasszony church that now we call Matthias Church. He was buried with military honors in the cemetery which lay north of the Matthias (Mátyás) Church.
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