Selected Passages from Hungarian-Ottoman Wars between 1372-1699



Csővár is located in Hungary, some 20 km from Vác to the east, in the hills of the Cserhát.

It was built after the Mongol invasion of 1241-42 by the Zsidó family. It was ruined in the 14th century by Csák Máté and was rebuilt only a hundred years later.

The Mézyai family used it for plundering the area in the 15th century, together with the Czech Hussites.

The castle became the property of the illegitimate son of King Matthias, Corvin János, in 1486. The king wanted to make him the wealthiest aristocrat of Hungary, that was the reason why he gave him many possessions. Yet, Baron Ráskai Balázs took it from him in 1496. He was the one who had the castle turned into a comfortable Renaissance fortification.

After the taking of Buda in 1541, the castles of Nógrád county were endangered so Lord Bebek Ferenc, the current owner of Csővár reinforced the castle and made it stronger against the modern firearms. Still, the castle didn’t represent a serious power among the chain of Borderland castles.

When Nógrád castle fell in 1544 and two years later the castle of Szanda was taken as well, the defenders of Csővár got between two hostile forts. We know about its terrible situation from a letter that the captain of Csővár had written to King Ferdinand in 1550.

Next year, the castle was overrun by a smaller Turkish unit and it was taken by the conquerors.

The Turks had lived there for a couple of decades, then the castle was put on fire and they abandoned it. We don’t know the details. The castle got neglected after this because the Borderland went further to the north. The village remained populated during the Turkish age, according to the lists made in 1695.

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