Selected Passages from Hungarian-Ottoman Wars


Hídvég was a small fort that guarded the Zala river in the Trans-Danubian Area of Royal Hungary, in Zala county. This area was near to Kanizsa and Csáktornya and was a very perilous piece of chain among the frontier castles. It was connected to Komár castle and Zalavár, Szengyörgyvár, Szentgrót, and Zalabér. Yes, we can hardly see the traces of this fortification but people died there to defend the borders of Hungary.

The village’s name appeared first in 1330 when it had a stone church and a bridge with a taxing place. During the Ottoman period there was no bridge anymore but a much safer ferry. The first attack against the ferry was launched in 1640 when the houses were put on fire and the ferrymen were killed.

The area of Hídvég castle around Kanizsa castle

There was another night attack in 1647 when the Ottomans destroyed everything again. The local captains tried to pass the responsibility on to each other. When the ferry was attacked the next year, Captain Svatics blamed the captain of Komár castle for not warning him with the agreed cannon fire. As a result of this, Captain Pethő László wanted to remove Captain Svatics from this post and demanded the ferry’s fee in exchange for that in 1649 when the Turks killed a ferryman and wounded another.

Pethő was complaining to have lost 25 of his men during that year while guarding the ferry. After three Ottoman attacks later in 1649, the higher commanders began to stir. Svatics was removed and Török István became captain of Zalavár castle. They tried to build a small stronghold at the ferry but there was no money for it. They built a new ferry but the money hadn’t been raised until 1655 to build the fort. The Pasha of Kanizsa crossed the river that year and killed 6 Hajdú soldiers in doing so.

Hungarian hajdú soldiers

Captain Pethő had lost 91 men so far. We know that the stronghold still stood in 1657. The ferry was in use by the Borderland warriors in 1688 and the fort’s walls were still visible in 1786. These small fortifications were the ones that saved Europe so we ought to pay respect to the nameless heroes as well.

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