Keszthely was an important castle of the Borderland near Lake Balaton. The castle had already two chapels after the Mongol invasion in 1247, dedicated to St. Lőrinc and St. Márton. The city’s landlord was Laczkffy István in 1386 who built its church and the Franciscan Monastery.
Watch this video and see how the castle may have looked like on Fodor Zsolt’s animation:
The city was an “oppidum” in 1432 which was gifted to Pethő László by King Zsigmond. The monastery was turned into a fort after the battle of Mohács in 1526, thanks to Pető János of Gerse. A chronicle mentioned that he had all the doors of the monastery walled in and used enormous timbers to build a palisade around it.
The castle was already functioning in 1550. Its captain was Sovics Mihály in 1558. The famous borderland warrior, Gyulaffy László was sent to the castle to give a report about its building’s condition to the War Council of Vienna in 1561. A few years later, Giulio Turco, an Italian military engineer was given command over the constructions.
The castle was not a very serious fort, it could not have withstood a systematic siege. The king paid 50 riders and 100 infantrymen to guard it. The city of Keszthely was raided and plundered by the Ottoman Agha of Koppány in 1589 who could not take the castle, though.
After this, the inner city had itself surrounded by a palisade and a moat. The outskirts of the city thus remained to the peasants’ and they had to pay taxes unlike the inhabitants of the inner city. The defenders of Keszthely (led by captain Perneszi György), sided with Prince Bocskai in 1605 and didn’t accept the truce between Bocskai and the Habsburgs so the king had to take the castle by siege in 1608. You can read more about Prince Bocskai István here:
Although the Ottomans laid a major siege against it in 1650, they could never take the city and it always remained under the rule of Royal Hungary. Later the castle lost its military importance so the Habsburgs had it destroyed in the 18th century.
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