Selected Passages from Hungarian-Ottoman Wars


Reenactors at Hajdúszoboszló

Szoboszló is a Hajdú town, it is located in the northeastern part of the Great Hungarian Plain. Three regions of the Carpathian Basin meet next to the town that is now called Hajdúszoboszló.

In the first phase of the reign of the Árpád Dynasty, this area was inhabited by populous communities. The first written mention of Szoboszló dates back to 1075 when King Géza I. donated half of Szoboszló’s royal duty taxes to the new abbacy to be established at Garamszentbenedek. With his deed of gift, decorated with his coat of arms and dated 2 September 1606, Bocskai István, Prince of Transylvania provided homes for 700 Hajdú cavalrymen at the site of Szoboszló, which had formerly been destroyed by the Tartars of Crimea.

A Memorial Plaque of Prince Bocskai (Photo: Fekist)

The „Hajdú” soldiers were armed herdsmen who worked all over Royal Hungary and the Turk Occupied Lands of Hungary in the 16-17th century, taking the grey cattle to markets abroad. The Hajdus were vehement and had a savage reputation, their officers had to keep a strong discipline among them to keep them from plundering the countryside. Mercenary generals either detested and despised, like Wallenstein or praised the Hungarian Hajdus, as General Basta did.

The COA of the town

Sometimes the name „Hajdú” was equal to an outlaw. Almost all of them were Calvinists and more and more of them went to military service in the first part of the 17th century. Prince Bocskai István was one of their first great generals who hired them in numbers against the Habsburgs; he began to settle them, giving them economic privileges in exchange for military service. He very cleverly established Hajdu towns for them near the Tisza river, where the borders of the Occupied Lands, Royal Hungary, and Transylvania met. (This region was called Partium.) 

You can read about the famous Hungarian grey cattle here:

Next time, it was Pasha Szejdi who destroyed the area in 1660. The defenders of the town, led by Kecskeméthi Balázs with his 300 Hajdú soldiers, heroically fought to the last man in the fortified church. Prince Imre Thököly was elected the general of the Kuruc troops in 1680 in the town.

Bocskai’s thaller

Below, we can see pictures of the festival that is held there every 29 April to commemorate their deeds. You can see Hungarian reenactors acting like Hajdú soldiers and Janissaries, fighting.


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Reenactors in Hajdúszoboszló