Selected Passages from Hungarian-Ottoman Wars between 1372-1699


Photo: Rakas

Dédes is in Hungary, in the Bükk Mountains, at Dédestapolcsány. It was built in the 13th century right after the Mongolian invasion. We can also see the scant ruins of a second, smaller castle on the lower hilltop which is connected to the castle. It was Bán (Duke) Ernye of the Ákos Clan who built Dédes, the faithful man of King Béla IV. Dédes or Dédeskő appeared in a document as part of a business in 1247 whereas Markus and Miklós, the sons of Gergely sold a part of it. Next time it was mentioned in 1254.

Photo: IJoe

István, the son of Ernye (later Palatine) was not the follower of King Róbert Károly and when his sons suffered a defeat in the Battle of Debrecen in 1317 from the new king, they fled to Dédes Castle. The king`s general, Dózsa of Debrecen besieged it and took it; the noblemen were executed. King Károly Róbert built a new castle there in 1325. It was Queen Borbála who pledged it in 1431 to Lord Rozgonyi István but King Albert took it back in 1439 and gave it to the Palóczy family. They have owned it until 1526 when the last male heir of the family fell in the Battle of Mohács.

The Battle of Mohács 1526 (painted in 1555 by Johann Schreire)

After this, the castle`s ownership was debated between the Perényi and the Dobó families. Dédes was on King János Szapolyai`s part of the country during the Dual Kingship. King Szapolyai finally has gifted it (along with its lands of course) to Perényi Péter. The castle supervised the agricultural towns of Dédes and Sajószentpéter but the settlements of Tardona, Nagyvisnyó, Tapolcsány, Mályinka, Szilvásvárad, and Rátótföldje also belonged to it. Perényi Gábor, the cruel son of Perényi Péter (allegedly he had his wife and younger brother Ferenc poisoned) died without an heir and the castle went to Erdőhegyi Boldizsár.

Photo: IJoe

The Ottoman siege of Dédes Castle took place between 1-2 April 1567. Bey Hasszán, the Pasha of Temesvár (Timisoara) was raiding and sacking the villages of Borsod County during the spring of 1567 in Hungary. It was how he arrived at the Castle of Dédecs (Dédestapolcsány) which is located on the summit of a 600-high-hill. He attacked the castle at once. The defenders were led by Castelan Kávássy László (or according to other sources, the defenders were led by Bárius István when Kávássy had lost his life in the fight) and after a while, they saw they had not much chance to defend the fort.

Photo: IJoe

Yet, they decided they would not cede the castle to the Turks just like that. Before fleeing through a secret tunnel, the soldiers had placed a huge amount of gunpowder in the tower. It was exploded when the Ottoman warriors broke into the castle and allegedly it killed more than 400 of them.

Photo: Anne19

Pasha Hasszán got so angry that he had the remaining parts of the castle pulled down: you can see the remains now as he left them. There is a second version of the siege, it says the defenders had been fighting for 15 days before leaving the castle through the tunnel. Now, we can see only the marks of the minimal restoration done in the 1960s. Let us note that these were the fights that saved our nation from extinction. Not to mention the rest of Europe.

The Memorial Plaque at the ruin (Photo: Photo: IJoe)

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