Selected Passages from Hungarian-Ottoman Wars between 1372-1699



When talking about the first phase of the Ottoman-Hungarian wars, we have to begin with the long and powerful reign of King Louis I of Hungary (reigned 1342-1382). He was the first Hungarian king who had the first military clash with the Turks. During his rule, the Kingdom of Hungary was in its heydays: I have updated Diósgyőr Castle in my Albums which used to be one of the king’s favorite places.


Now, the castle has been nicely renovated and you can see in it the biggest knightly hall of Central Europe which can properly show you the mightiness of King Louis’ realm.

The castle of Diósgyőr is in north Hungary, near Hungary’s second-biggest town, Miskolc.

The first castle was built in the 12th century, it was destroyed during the Mongolian invasion (1241–1242.) The castle that stands today was probably built by King Béla IV, who, after the Mongols left the country, ordered a castle to be built on practically every hilltop.


The castle had its prime during the reign of Louis I (Louis the Great). Its importance lay in standing near the road leading to Poland. In 1364 the nearby town Miskolc was annexed to the Diósgyőr estate.

In 1381, the Peace Treaty of Turin was signed in the castle of Diósgyőr. In the treaty, the Italian town of Venice was compelled to raise the flag of the Anjou dynasty on the St. Mark Square every Sunday.

For the next few centuries, the castle was a holiday residence for the Hungarian queens. The last queen owning the castle was Maria Habsburg, wife of Louis II. She gave up the castle formally in 1546 (by this time it had been occupied by the ruling prince of Transylvania.)


The castle had been sacked and burned in 1544 by the raiding Turks. The Gyarmati Balassa family turned it into a large fortress, and they had an Italian-style rondelle bastion built next to the north-western tower.

After 1564 the owners changed frequently, and the castle slowly deteriorated. In 1596 the Ottoman army occupied the Castle of Eger and defeated the Christian army at Mezőkeresztes.

The Battle of Mezőkeresztes

The castle of Diósgyőr fell in 1598 but was soon taken back. As it was located in the middle of the borderland, there were many Turkish raids in the area. According to Szentkereszti Gáspár, the officer of the castle, the Turks have raided it 27 times in 1641, killing 22 soldiers and the vice-captain, taking away 48 women and children, stealing the cattle herd 4 times and taking 20 horses as well.

Chief-captain Samuel Haller died in fighting the raiding Ottomans in 1643. Later, the castle could withstand a Turkish siege in 1650 but suffered great damage. According to a contemporary survey from 1662, they couldn’t have rebuilt the castle from 4,000 gold Forints. The roof burned down in 1673, too.


The area was ruled by the Pasha of Eger until 1687 when this part of the country was freed from Turkish rule. By this time the castle lost all of its military importance. 

You can find more pictures in my FB Albums here:




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