Selected Passages from Hungarian-Ottoman Wars


Photo: Jenő9

Huszt castle, (Хустський замок) it used to be in the corner of the Hungarian Upper Lands/Horná Zem/Felföld and of Transylvania, it is in Ukraine. Enjoy the video:

The castle had been guarding a strategic place above the fast Tisza River, since the 12th century, as it is located on the western fringe of Transylvania. According to its legends, it was built after 1090 and was finished in 1191. Huszt castle was first mentioned in writing in 1353. It had been besieged but was never taken by the Tatars (Mongols), the Ottomans nor the Habsburgs.

Huszt in 1896 by Dörre Tivadar

Huszt was in the Perényi family’s hand in 1405, then it went to Governor Hunyadi János. His son, King Matthias Corvinus, gave the castle to his wife, Beatrix in the 1480s. The Perényi family got it again in 1511. It became a key fort of the Transylvanian Principality after 1541 when King Ferdinand got hold of it. Italian masons improved the castle in 1550-52. The Hungarian Báthori András’ troops (800 men) made the castle surrender in 1555, after a year of siege.

Photo: Jeno9

Later, it was ceded to the Prince of Transylvania in 1557. General Lázár Schwendi, the General of the Habsburgs besieged the castle in 1567 but he had to abandon the siege. The Treaty of Speyer was intended to finish the bloody age of Dual Kingship and according to it, the castle was given to Habsburgs again in 1570. However, its captain, Hagymássy Kristóf ceded it to the Prince of Transylvania in 1572 because he could remain the captain this way.

Photo: Irkap

The raiding Crimean Tatar troops were bribed to go away in 1594. The castle’s defenses were reinforced in 1579 by Kornis Gáspár. Emperor Rudolf II got hold of the castle in 1599 so the army of Prince Bocskai István besieged it in 1605. The defenders had run out of food and surrendered. Bocskai left the castle to Drugeth Bálint and the castle got back to the Habsburgs in 1613.

Photo: lieb-in

It exchanged hands in 1615 and the new owner, Prince Bethlen Gábor, gave it to his brother, István. Lord Bethlen István had made significant constructions in it and made its palace nicer and more comfortable. István spent most of his time in Huszt and had a stately home built in it and had the fort’s walls and bastions reinforced as well. Bethlen István was the chief Comes of Máramaros county and his castle was at an excellent location to control the road leading to the salt mines of Aknaliszka and to defend the cities of Visk and Máramarossziget.

Five villages belonged to the castle and the city of Huszt: Iza, Száldobos, Bustyaháza, Táborfalva, and Dulfalva. Prince Rákóczi György II laid a siege on it in 1636 but could not take it. Later, the Polish General Lubomirsky tried to take the castle in 1657 but in vain. When the Crimean Tatars broke into the country in 1661, the defenders sallied from the castle and defeated them. Prince Thököly Imre got the castle in 1663.

Prince Apafi became its new owner in 1673. After Thököly failed, general Antonio Caraffa marched into the castle in 1688 without a fight. The fort suffered an explosion in 1692 but it was mended in 1699. Prince Apafi II sold it to Emperor Leopold in 1701. Prince Rákóczi Ferenc took it back by a trick in 1703. He held a Diet at Huszt in 1709. After the end of his freedom fight, the Habsburg troops marched into it in 1711.

One of the last Crimean Tatar raiding parties broke into the country in 1717. The garrison of the castle joined forces with the inhabitants of the area and defeated the Tatars at the Borsai Pass of the Carpathian mountains. They slaughtered 6,000 raiders and freed further 6,000 Christian captives. The castle burned down because of three strikes of thunder that had struck it in 1766 who killed everybody in it.

Photo: Олександр Рокосовик

A few words must be spared about the fortified church of Huszt, too. Let us rely on an article from the newspaper called Vasárnapi Újság (Sunday News) from 1863. They say that the Reformed church of Huszt was built in the 12th-13th century. At first, it belonged to the Greek Catholics, then everybody became Roman Catholic. However, it is quite remarkable that after five years of Luther’s appearance in Europe, all the Hungarian inhabitants were already on the Reformed faith (1523). It was because of the work of a Reformed preacher called Huszti Lovász Tamás. Thus, the community of Huszt is one of the earliest Reformed denominations in Hungary.

The fortified church of Huszt (Photo: O. Rokosovyk)
The church received large sums of money from Lady Kermény Jánosné Lónyay Anna in 1661, from Prince Rákóczi György II in 1644, then from Prince Apafi Mihály in 1670. The money was spent on maintenance, renovation, and enlarging the buildings. The church was surrounded by a strong wall with bastions. they opened two gates on them in the 16th century. The interior was made in the 18th century. You can see the COA of the legendary preacher, Huszti Lovász Tamás inside the church.
Huszt 1782-1784 (Photo: Hadtörténeti Intézet és Múzeum)
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Huszt: painting by Hollósy Simon 

Here are more pictures of Huszt castle: