Selected Passages from Hungarian-Ottoman Wars

King Zsigmond / Sigismund (1368-1437) of Hungary

King Zsigmond (Sigismund)

More exactly, Luxemburgi Zsigmond aka Sigismund of Luxembourg was also the king of Croatia, Bohemia, and Germany and became the Holy Roman Emperor as well. He was the most renowned ruler of his time in Europe, so I’m going to write about him a little longer.

Nuremberg in the 15th century

Born in Nuremberg on February 14, 1369, Zsigmond was always a great supporter of his hometown. However, as King Zsigmond of Hungary, he established the center of his empire in Buda, which he developed into a royal residence of European renown.

Europe, 15th century

He organized the last all-European crusade in 1396, put an end to the Great Western Schism in 1417, and began the fight against Hussitism. The peasant revolt led by Budai Nagy Antal broke out at the very end of his reign. The reign of King Zsigmond of Hungary was not without its struggles, political intrigues, and events: it is no coincidence that the last ruler of the House of Luxembourg is considered one of the most important figures of late medieval Europe.

Zsigmond’s COAs, 1480, by Conrad Grünenberg

With the death of King Louis the Great, the last male heir of the Hungarian House of Anjou died, leaving the throne to the monarch’s two daughters, Hedvig and Mária. The former became Queen of Poland, the latter of Hungary, and at the same time, the competition for their hands began: who would marry Mary and become the new King of Hungary?

The Holy Crown of Hungary

There were several contenders for the throne, but in the end, at the cost of intrigues and sacrifices, Zsigmond, who also risked his physical safety, rallied the barons behind him, so in 1385 he married Maria and on the last day of March 1387 he was crowned King of Hungary and Croatia by Himházi Benedek, Bishop of Veszprém in Székesfehérvár. The coronation was not performed by the archbishop of Esztergom, but the event was different from the previous custom.

Queen Anjou Mária

“The day before, Zsigmond swore an oath to abide by the points laid down by the chief priests and barons as conditions for his coronation. (This unusual act became customary for the kings who reigned after Zsigmond. ) Accordingly, the future king undertook to preserve the ancient freedoms of the country; protect the rights of all; grant a general amnesty; cancel his donations; annul family contracts made for his accession; appoint only Hungarians to the royal council and offices; not to donate lands to foreigners, nor to ask the Pope for ecclesiastical benefices for them. These obligations were not very new compared to the practice in other countries at that time. But the real content of the contract came later: Zsigmond had to ally with the lords who had made him king, and at the same time he empowered them to enforce his promise by force in case of non-compliance”. ( C. Tóth Norbert)

Zsigmond’s Hungarian COA

Zsigmond made a pact (“League”) with certain groups of barons for the throne, as the dwindling royal power no longer allowed him to play politics independently of everyone else. According to the agreement, Lackfi István became the new palatine. Although Zsigmond won the crown, he was forced to cooperate with the League and satisfy the territorial demands of the barons. The castle system, which had been restored at the beginning of the Angevin era, collapsed because Zsigmond donated half of the royal estates. At the death of Louis the Great, the king still ruled over 160 of the country’s 300 castles, but under Zsigmond’s reign, this number was reduced to 70. However, the system of noble counties was strengthened.

Castles in Hungary and Croatia in 1457

It was during this period that the vast estates of the magnates began to emerge. About 20 percent of the country’s castles remained in royal hands. As can be seen from the above, the ruler’s hands were tied by the barons, but he was still able to gradually strengthen his position. He supported the organization of the nobility into an order by including them in the Diet, while at the same time strengthening their role in the counties.

The landlords of Hungary in 1433 (by Hóman Bálint)

Highly educated and sociable (he spoke seven languages and was a fan of jousting), one of the most important measures and moments of Zsigmond of Luxembourg’s reign was to support the development of cities with privileges. He carried out large building projects in Visegrád, Buda and Székesfehérvár. In Buda, from the late 1370s, King Louis the Great began building a large palace, which Zsigmond continued on an even larger scale, finally moving his court to Buda in 1408. In the center of the country, he founded the first university in the capital. At the request of the monarch, Pope Boniface IX issued the first charter of the University of Óbuda on October 6, 1395.

Buda in the age of Zsigmond (Source: www.latvany-terkep.hu/magyar/oldalak/buda_vara/)

The now-ruined Buda Palace complex was once a wonder to behold. It can be said that Buda was the center of Europe at that time, where emperors, kings, and princes were received. For the first time in history, the German Imperial Diet was convened outside the borders of the Holy Roman Empire, in Pozsony (Bratislava, Pressburg). In 1397-1409 he had a hunting lodge built on the shore of Lake Öreg in Tata (the fortress was later rebuilt by King Matthias Corvinus on the model of Italian moated castles).

Tata castle Photo: Szöllősi Gábor
www.varlexikon.hu

Zsigmond enacted progressive laws, brought the church under his control, and taxed church property. He favored practical innovations that brought new ways of thinking in institutions, systems, and military technology. He seized the thrones of Croatia, Germany, and Bohemia (making him the most famous ruler in contemporary Europe).

The gold minted by Zsigmond

The monarch tried to consolidate his power in Hungary. He raised new men to the baronial rank, such loyal lords as Cillei Hermann, Ozorai Pipó, and Stiborici Stibor, but the rise of the Báthory, Rozgonyi, Tallóci, and Garai families also began at this time. Since he brought to power common nobles instead of barons, the whole League was against him already in 1401. He was captured, but Garai Miklós heroically gave himself up as a hostage in exchange for the king. On one of these perilous occasions, Tar Lőrinc saved Zsigmond’s life, fighting against several foes, while receiving heavy wounds.

A carving of a knight on Zsigmond’s saddle

After Zsigmond regained the throne, the Garai-Cille League was formed, bringing together the royal barons. As a result of this agreement, Zsigmond, widowed by the death of his pregnant wife Mária in a riding accident in 1395, broke off his engagement to Margaret Piast, Princess of Brieg, in 1401 and in the same year became engaged to Cillei Borbála, whom he married in 1405.

Cillei Borbála

To consolidate his position, Zsigmond tried to place the Hungarian Church, primarily as a source of material resources, at the service of royal power. In 1404, he issued a decree making the issuance of papal bulls subject to royal concession (placetum regium – royal right of veto), which meant that even the pope’s decrees could only be promulgated in the country with the king’s consent.

The Seal of Zsigmond (Photo: Stzeman)

The economic development of the 14th century led to an increase in the number and population of towns, especially the free royal towns. There were only a few free royal cities, such as Buda, Pozsony, Bártfa, Eperjes, and Kassa, but the urban development in Hungary was significant in comparison with itself. In 1407 Pásztó became a market town where Tar Lőrinc was the landlord. Since the inhabitants of these towns were obliged to support Zsigmond, they played an important role in the political stabilization, as none of them wanted to be subordinated to the nobility or lose their privileges.

The main trade and military roads in Hungary

The monarch increased the number of walled cities, encouraged trade between cities, and ordered the standardization of weights and measures. The standard weights and measures remained those used in Buda (Article I of Act I of 1405: “that the weights and measures of fluvial and solid bodies throughout the country shall be applied to the weights and measures of the city of Buda”). His economic laws were a kind of early mercantilism, imposing protective duties on foreign merchants, who were only allowed to sell their goods in larger quantities, while domestic merchants were free to trade. The prohibition of the export of precious metals and all unprocessed ores and the import of salt served to increase royal revenues.

Coins from the age of Zsigmond

In 1405, the king issued municipal decrees, laws that strengthened the position of towns and their citizens; among other things, he confirmed the right of towns to judge their inhabitants independently and gave their judges the right to use the sword. The preamble to the decrees of 1405 already raised villages to the status of market towns and rural towns to the status of cities, and ordered the construction of defensive walls. In 1435, the fourth order, the bourgeoisie, was represented in the Diet.

A head from the Zsigmond-age Buda palace

In 1408, Zsigmond created the Order of the Dragon with 24 baronial families to strengthen the Royal League and fight the Turks. Its members, as barons, were given a seat in the royal council and were also granted estates. Read more about the Order here:

https://www.hungarianottomanwars.com/swords-and-sabers/ceremonial-sword-of-the-dragon-order/

The COA of the Order of the Dragon; You can get a T-shirt or jumper like this on my page:
https://hungarianottomanwars.myspreadshop.com/all
King Zsigmond of Luxembourg of Hungary was elected “King of Rome”, i.e. of Germany, on September 20, 1410. At the beginning of the 15th century, the Holy Roman Empire again faced a crisis of power: on August 20, 1400, Zsigmond’s brother, who had succeeded their father Charles IV as head of the empire, was dethroned by the electors for impotence and replaced by Ruprecht of the Palatinate (Pfalz).
The Imperial Crown of the Holy Roman Empire
After the death of Ruprecht on May 18, 1410, the possibility of Vencel succeeding his father was again raised, but the electors did not want to change their previous position, and four of them preferred to support his cousin Jodocus, while the Archbishop of Trier and the Count of the Rhine supported the ambitions of the Hungarian king.
Zsigmond in the Thuróczy Chronicle
Seeing the unfavorable balance of power, Zsigmond, without waiting for all the participants to arrive, proclaimed himself king of Germany on September 20, 1410. The assembly in Frankfurt on October 1 declared the Hungarian monarch’s coup invalid, but the unexpected death of Jodocus on January 18, 1411, opened the way for Zsigmond, and on July 21 the electors in Frankfurt declared their support for him.
The Kingdom of Hungary, and the HRE
Zsigmond was able to enter the main arena of European politics, which also brought a decisive turn in the life of the Kingdom of Hungary, as it entered into personal union with the Holy Roman Empire. At the same time, the Hungarian throne became even more important to Zsigmond. The title of German king did not mean real power, because the authority of the ruler at the head of the empire depended on the strength of his hinterland. It should be noted that Zsigmond was Elector of Brandenburg from 1378 to 1388 and from 1411 to 1415.
Emperor Zsigmond (Holzschnitt, 1536)
Zsigmond had no family estates, having previously mortgaged Brandenburg and Neumarkt. The Kingdom of Hungary, which provided both a home and financial backing for Zsigmond’s ambitious plans, was therefore of enormous importance, and the political interests of the German territories and Hungary often became entangled.
The drinking horn of Zsigmond (1408) Photo: Mathiasrex
He could rely on his followers in Hungary and his experience there to solve many problems. He appointed Kanizsai János, Archbishop of Esztergom, as Imperial Chancellor instead of the Archbishop of Mainz, a decision that was undoubtedly influenced by the fact that the German prelate was one of his opponents.
Zsigmond enters the Synod of Constance (by Ulrich Richental)
The Christian world looked to Zsigmond to overcome the great schism in the West, and he called a universal synod in the city of Constance to put an end to it. The monarch arrived on the shores of Lake Balaton at Christmas 1414. Eighty names of the eminent Hungarians who accompanied him have been preserved in the annals of the time. The sovereign was accompanied by Archbishop Kanizsai János of Esztergom, Archbishop András of Kalocsa, Gualdói Benzis András of Kalocsa, Bishop Scolari András of Várad, and several members of the faculty of the University of Óbuda founded by Zsigmond.
Sword with a dragon badge, presented by King Zsigmond of Hungary to the city of York
In 1416, Zsigmond visited England and signed the Treaty of Canterbury with the English king, promising the English armed support against the French. In the end, he never gave it, but the rumor of it put the French under enormous pressure at the Synod, and English diplomacy benefited from it. For example, they were recognized at the Synod as an independent fifth nation (they had previously been part of the German nation), which made England a major European power. An interesting addition to Zsigmond’s diplomacy is the journey of a certain Tar Lőrinc to Ireland, which you can read more about here:
Tar, the fortified church of Tari Lőrinc
Photo: Szöllösi Gábor www.varlexikon.hu
At the Synod, Zsigmond finally succeeded in having a single pope, Martin V, elected on November 11, 1417. The other topic of the synod was the reform of the Church because at that time the reputation of the Church had fallen to an unprecedented low. But after the election of the pope, reform was taken off the agenda. In 1415, the Synod of Constance heard the Czech reformer John Huss, whom Zsigmond supported, but who was condemned by the bishops under pressure from the king and finally sent to the stake by the Synod. All in all, the king succeeded in ending the schism in the Western Church, but soon the Hussite Wars broke out.
a Hussite “wagenburg”
Zsigmond took serious steps to centralize the imperial mint, drawing on his experience in Hungary. Attempts at financial reform had been made earlier, but there were serious difficulties in obtaining gold. This problem was helped by the precious metal mines in Hungary, whose annual production was between 2000 and 3000 kg.
The Guldenforint of Zsigmond in the HRE
Thus began the circulation of good quality Hungarian gold forints to various cities, where they were re-minted. The first imperial mint was in Frankfurt, where 86,592 gold forints were produced in the first two months, most of the 243 kilograms of gold needed for this production probably coming from the mines of the Carpathian Basin.
The Guldenforint of Zsigmond in the HRE
Among the imperial cities, Nuremberg was the focus of Zsigmond’s attention, as can be seen from the 75 privileges he granted to the city. The most important of these was undoubtedly the fact that he entrusted the city with the custody of the empire’s relics. With this step, the Emperor made it even clearer that Nuremberg stood out from the other imperial cities and was considered the royal and financial center of the Holy Roman Empire. The city repaid the emperor’s trust by granting large loans, the largest of which was secured by 27 citizens. It proved to be crucial for the improvement of Zsigmond’s financial situation.
The gold of Zsigmond in the HRE
Zsigmond took an active part in the imperial meetings, and his appearance also allowed him to express his proper representation. During his first visit to Nuremberg in 1414, the citizens presented him with a gilded double-headed vessel, into which they even put 1000 gold forints.
The gold of Zsigmond in the HRE
Even later, Nuremberg retained the memory of its gracious patron, as best illustrated by Albrecht Dürer’s painting. By 1513, the master had completed two huge panels, one depicting Charlemagne and the other Zsigmond of Luxembourg. The paintings adorned one wing of the wooden chest that held the imperial relics. You can read more about Albrecht Dürer and his Hungarian connections here:
As King of Germany, Zsigmond was able to take more decisive action against Venice, which was harming the interests of the Kingdom of Hungary. As late as 1399, the Signoria refused to pay the 7,000 gold forints stipulated in the Treaty of Turin, openly supported the anti-Zsigmond alliance of László of Naples, and even acquired the Dalmatian coast through a clever financial transaction in 1409.
Venice in the 15th century
Zsigmond, seeking to repair the damage done to the country by the war, closed the Alpine roads connecting northern Italy with Flanders, leaving it to his subjects to confiscate goods going to or from Venice. This action both seriously disrupted the city’s commercial life and put some southern German merchants in a favorable position, as they began to transport their goods via Venice’s old rival, Genoa, or Hungary.
Vienna in 1493
The German citizens of Buda were also able to take advantage of the suppression of the rebellion of László of Naples. Since the Italians were supporting the pretender to the throne, Zsigmond arrested almost the entire Buda colony and confiscated the property of the suspects, thus overshadowing the activities of the Italian merchants for a time.
Buda in the 15th century (by Pazirik Ltd.)
The emperor preferred to employ craftsmen from the German lands for his large building projects, whom he hired during his imperial visits. On October 6, 1418, Georg of Tübingen, a stonemason with 20 men in Zsigmond’s service, was offered a salary of 100 Hungarian forints per year. Ten days later, he promised two carpenters from Augsburg 200 gold forints of the Rhine, and the six footmen who accompanied them were not badly off with 60 forints of the Rhine.
Gold of the Rhine Rheinischer Gulden (c1400)
The special works required special skills, so in the sources, we also meet gunsmiths, tinkers, and well-digging masters. In 1416, Hartmann, a master pipesmith from Nuremberg, built a water pipeline in Buda. Hans Faber from Ulm must have been skilled in many trades, because Zsigmond asked the city to allow the experienced master builder, cannon founder, and military engineer, who had already proven his abilities in many places, to come to Pozsony (Pressburg, Bratislava).
Pozsony 1438-1455
He also commissioned Konrad of Erling (Newrling), a master builder from South Germany, to rebuild the castle of Pozsony. When Zsigmond became the head of the Holy Roman Empire, he wanted to establish his residence in Pozsony. There were practical reasons for his decision: the town was close to the western border and it was much easier for the emperor, who was always on the move, to reach the Bohemian-Moravian lands or the empire from here.
Buda in 1493
The atmosphere at the king’s court was international, made all the more vibrant by the arrival of visitors from all over Europe. It was in Constance that Zsigmond met Oswald von Wolkenstein, a famous representative of the German-speaking Late Minnesang, to whom he entrusted several diplomatic tasks.
Oswald von Wolkenstein
In the works of the Tyrolean minstrel, we do not find the shy nuances of female devotion, but rather the popular, sometimes ironic and sensual thoughts he shared with the public. Wolkenstein visited Hungary three times (1419, 1422, 1424-1425), and there is even evidence that he tried to master the Hungarian language, although the swear word “viegga waniadat” in one of his poems has puzzled linguistic historians.
Zsigmond consolidated his power in Hungary: war against the rebellious House of Horvat in 1387 (Chronica Hungarorum, 1488)
During Zsigmond’s reign, the southern parts of the Kingdom of Hungary were increasingly threatened by the Ottoman Empire. Despite his internal problems, the king led campaigns in the Balkans every year between 1389 and 1392.
The campaign of Zsigmond against Bosnia (Chronica Hungarorum, 1488)

In 1389, Zsigmond’s first Balkan campaign conquered the castles of Borač and Čestin in the area of present-day Kragujevac. This was the first time that a Hungarian king took possession of Serbian territory beyond the borders of the Macsói (Mačov) Banate region. After that, the Turks and Serbs joined forces to invade Hungary for the first time in early 1390. In July of the same year, Count Sárói László of Temes County defeated another Turkish-Serbian invasion force at Vitovnica.

A Serbian heavy cavalryman, 15th century (Photo: Sadko, Wikipedia)

Zsigmond’s second campaign in the Balkans in 1390 did not bring any significant success (the probable aim was to take Ostrovica). Meanwhile, the Turks captured the key castle of Galambóc (Golubac, Taubenberg, Gögerdsinlik), which Zsigmond tried to retake in December of that year, but without success. More about Galambóc Castle’s history:

https://www.hungarianottomanwars.com/ottoman-occupied-lands/galamboc/

Galambóc Photo: Kovács Attila

In 1391, the Bosnian king Tvrtko I died, and Zsigmond announced a campaign in Bosnia, but in the end, he (probably) made a truce with the new king, Dabiša, and went with a small army to the Szerémség (Sirmium) region against the Serb-Turkish troops who were ravaging it. (The other half of the army, led by Perényi Miklós, a Ban (Duke) of Szörény, fought – successfully – in the Temesköz region against the invading Turks). The Turks destroyed Szávaszentdemeter, Nagyolaszi and Nagyeng.

A knight in the COA of Razinyai Bocskai Péter, given by Zsigmond in 1414

Zsigmond’s third Balkan campaign followed. The Hungarians fought the enemy at Nagyolaszi (now led by Zsigmond) and then at Nagyeng, but the second battle also ended in a draw. Maróti János, whose younger brother Maróti Dénes had been captured by the Turks (at Nagyolaszi), distinguished himself in the battle of Nagyeng.

Titus Fay saves King Sigismund of Hungary in the Battle of Nicopolis. (Ferenc Lohr, 1896)

At the beginning of 1392, the Turks invaded the frontier in the Temes region with greater force than ever before, and Zsigmond even asked (and received) his brother Vencel for help in the Fourth Balkan Campaign (and even English knights came from his brother-in-law, King Richard II). As a result, the Turkish armies (led by Sultan Bayezid himself) did not engage in open battle, but only hindered and delayed the movement of the Hungarian armies until they were exhausted and turned back.

Turkish troops from Bernhard von Breydenbach: Peregrinatio in Terram Sanctam, 1486.

Zsigmond’s fifth Balkan campaign took place in 1395. Once again, Zsigmond personally led the war, this time in Wallachia. He defeated the troops of the pro-Turkish Voivode Vlad and restored Voivode Mircea, who had been deposed in 1394, to the throne. After the withdrawal of the Hungarian army, the Turks invaded the counties of Krassó and Temes but were defeated near Csák by Csáky Antal and Marcali Miklós, the lords of Temes.

Sultan Bayazid I

Emboldened by his success, Zsigmond wanted to drive the Turks from all of Europe, but in 1396 he suffered a decisive defeat at Nikápoly (Nicopolis) at the hands of Sultan Bayezid’s army, which you can read about here:

https://www.hungarianottomanwars.com/1372-1490/the-battle-of-nicopolis-nikapoly-1396/

The Battle of Nicopolis, miniature by Jean Colombe (c. 1475)

He went on the defensive against the Ottoman Empire, recognizing that the country needed to be on the defensive, and built the southern system of forts (which defended the country until 1521). Because of the proximity of the Turks (Serbia became a Turkish vassal state), he built a system of forts in the south of the country under the command of the Italian Pippo of Ozora.

Pipo of Ozora Photo: Györffy A.

He built a complex defense system in the southern lands. The southernmost parts were the buffer states (e.g. the Wallachian Plain). Then there were the Banates regions along the southern border, and the third line was the first line of fortifications, centered around Nándorfehérvár (Belgrade). In 1428 an unsuccessful attempt was made to retake the castle of Galambóc from the Turks. During the battles in the south, he lost Dalmatia, which was again under Venetian rule.

A Hungarian saber (15th century)

He created a new military system: landlords had to provide one mounted archer for every 20 (later 33) serfs. (According to some historians, the Hungarian word for a light cavalryman called “huszár” (hussar) derives from this law, since “húsz” stands for 20 in the Hungarian language, while “-ár” is a suffix often used to describe trades). Zsigmond frequently ran into financial difficulties to raise revenue, often levying extraordinary war taxes or mortgaging castles and villages. In 1412, for example, he mortgaged 16 towns in the Szepes (Zipt, Spiš) region to the Polish king for 37,000 Czech guilders. These settlements were returned to Hungary only after the first partition of Poland in 1772. You can read more about it here:

https://www.hungarianottomanwars.com/history-after-1699/1772-the-16-towns-of-the-szepesseg-are-returned-to-the-hungarians/

 

The king had the southern fortress system built at great financial cost because of the Turkish threat, but when Murad II (1421-1451) advanced in the Balkans, he considered other solutions. His idea was to transfer the administration of the Szörényi Banate from the Wallachian voivods to the Teutonic Knights, who would then guard Orsova, the entrance to the Lower Danube. This was not a new solution, as he had wanted the Teutonic Knights to defend the southern border after the defeat at Nicopolis in 1396, but the Grand Master preferred to expand into Russian territory.

Teutonic Knights
In 1426, Zsigmond revived the plan, and the knights seemed interested in the possibility of more fighting. Negotiations entered an intense phase in 1427. In addition to the battle-hardened knights, Zsigmond asked for nearly a thousand sailors to fight the Turks on the Danube and the Black Sea. The parties attached great importance to the economic aspects: the resettlement of the citizens of Torun and Gdansk, who were skilled in trade, industry, and fishing, was also considered.
The Southern frontier of Hungary, 15th century
Negotiations accelerated when the Ottomans successfully captured Galambóc Castle in 1428. The King of Hungary offered several castles to the knights and asked the Grand Master to send a bridge-building expert. At the end of May 1429, seven knights led by Nicolaus of Redewitz arrived in the Kingdom of Hungary, 11 according to other sources. Zsigmond gave them the Banat of Szörény, from Temes to Szörényvár. The small number of knights seems surprising, but they were responsible for the organization.
Blue: Zsigmond Black: Matthias Corvinus Red: Ottoman forts

Redewitz planned a complex defense system with a garrison of 1370 men, 550 cavalry, 328 artillerymen, and 1400 Danube sailors. According to his calculations, 314,822 forints would have been needed to cover the soldiers’ salaries, a huge sum.

Zsigmond tried to create the necessary financial support for the knights’ activities and gave them the income from the mints of four southern salt chambers, amounting to 100,000 forints per year, and from the mints of Brassó and Nagyszeben, of which Redewitz became the chamberlain.
The reverse of the first double seal of Zsigmond (Photo: Orion Nimrod)
In-kind, the Teutonic Knights would have been entitled to one-fiftieth of the Transylvanian ox and sheep herds, the Archbishop of Kalocsa’s wine tithe, the income from Danube fishing, and the right to transport and sell the grain of the Jász and Kun, Szeged and Szolnok. However, the enormous burden exceeded the country’s resources, and the knights were soon faced with a shortfall in their pay.
It is one of the earliest illustrations of a Hungarian Hussar, on the end of a buckle (15th century)
When the Turkish attacks caused serious damage to the fortresses, Redewitz wrote to the Grand Master on March 7, 1432, informing him that the situation was untenable. As a result, the Teutonic Knights withdrew their troops from the Szörénység region and abandoned the defense of the Hungarian borders. It was of little consolation to Zsigmond that Nicholas of Redewitz remained in Hungary as the Bán (Duke) of Szörény.
A medieval stove tile with Zsigmond’s COA and the insignia of the Dragon Order
In 1437 the Buda-Nagy Antal peasant revolt broke out, the direct cause of which was that Lépes György, the Bishop of Transylvania, did not collect the tithe for three years while bad money was in circulation, and when “good” money was again in circulation, he demanded the tithe retroactively.
The smallest coin of Zsigmond: 12 parvus like this was worth one garasch
King Zsigmond of Hungary wore the Hungarian crown for more than 50 years, making him the second-longest-reigning monarch in Hungarian history. All in all, however, Zsigmond’s power was firm after the success of his consolidation. Some believe that Matthias Corvinus also tried to follow Zsigmond’s example.
Buda in the Nuremberg Chronicles (after 1490)

On December 8, 1437, when he was about to expel his wife Cillei Borbála from the Moravian town of Znojmo by besieging it, the king, sensing that the end was near, put on his imperial robes, crown, and last rites, sat on his throne, ordered a funeral mass and died the next day sitting on his throne. He was buried in Várad (Nagyvárad, Oradea) next to his first wife, Anjou Mária.

King Albert (1397-1439) and Queen Elisabeth of Luxemburg

In the absence of a male heir in his kingdoms, he nominated the husband of his daughter, the talented Habsburg Albert, as his successor. Albert was the only Habsburg king who was loved by his Hungarian subjects and reigned from Buda. Zsigmond’s supposed natural son was Hunyadi János, born to Erzsébet of Morzsinai but this is not proven. You can read more about Hunyadi János, whose bright career began during Zsigmond’s rule here: 

https://www.hungarianottomanwars.com/essays/hunyadi-janos-1407-1456/

Zsigmond’s statue in Berlin (by Eugen Börmel)

Sources: Rubicon Magazin, Wikipédia, és National Geographic (Jeki Gabriella)

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