Source: djnaploja (Dénes József)

We are happy until we remember the names of our heroes. Remember, these small fights had been the ones that blocked the Ottoman expansion for hundreds of years. Bussa (Bušince, Buschin) is situated right on the Hungarian-Slovakian border, next to the Ipoly River. It has gained fame because of the heroic defenders of its tiny castle in 1552.

Bussa was first mentioned in 1248 as the village belonging to Divény Castle. When the Ottoman Empire extended its borders, Bussa was facing its northernmost edge. Now there is no trace of the castle but according to the sources, it had a palisade and a stonewall, fortified by a bastion. In the middle, there was a medium-size brick tower.

Source: djnaploja (Dénes József)

When Hadim Ali, the Gelded, Pasha of Buda, took the Castle of Drégely, the small forts in the area were either abandoned or quickly surrendered. Bussa was different. While Ali marched on with the army, he sent Bey Arszlán, the son of Jahiogli Mehmed to take Bussa with 300 riders and 300 footmen. He was the Sanjak Bey of Székesfehérvár. The Hungarian castle resisted although there were only a handful of soldiers, led by the castellan Terchi Mihály (or Szalmatercsi) and his men, Szuhai István and Nagy András. They were the soldiers of Lord Balassa Zsigmond.

The Bey could not take the small fort for two days so he sent for two cannons and shelled the walls to shreds, forcing the Christians into the tower. The defenders could beat the assaults back so successfully that Arslan had to ask for reinforcement from Pasha Ali. Finally, Bey Arszlán became amazed by the bravery of the few warriors and let them leave the ruins of the tower and the castle. After this, the Bey had the remains of the small fort utterly diminished.

Tinódi Lantos Sebestyén

The famous contemporary Hungarian poet, Tinódi Lantos Sebestyén wrote about the defenders of Bussa like this:

“Abban kevesen, de vitézök valának, Vitéz Tercsi Mihály porkolábja annak, Nagy András, András deák és Szuhai István, Mondák, hogy az tornyot halálig nem adnák.”

Meaning: “In it, there were but a few, the brave ones, Valiant Tercsi Mihály was in charge of it, Nagy András and András the Scribe,  Szuhai István were telling, they would never surrender that tower until their death.”

The village was occupied again by the Turks in 1595 and it was destroyed again in the middle of the 17th century. The village used to belong to the Balassa and the Zichy families. In my opinion, this valiant deed cries for being acknowledged by posterity. Where is Hollywood? Where are the Hungarian filmmakers?


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