Selected Passages from Hungarian-Ottoman Wars between 1372-1699

Erdőd (Erdut)

Erdőd used to be an important castle of the southern borderland of the Kingdom of Hungary in the first phase of the Ottoman wars. Now it is in Croatia and called Erdut (in Serbian it is Ердут / Erdut and its old Latin name was Teutoburgum).

Photo: Zeljkaz80

This fort is not to be mistaken for the castle of Erdőd which is in Transylvania, more exactly, that is another Erdőd (Ardut) ant that is in the Partium which used to belong to the Transylvanian Principality. It can be confusing.


 
The castle is towering 100 meters above the river, on the right bank of the Danube, guarding the crossing place. Here are two short videos about it: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkrIWrXN3JQ

and

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OejUDyq6Rk

You can see the nicest scenery of the Szerémség (Sirmium) and Bácska area from there. You can see 38 settlements from the castle if the weather is clear. The place was first mentioned as Erdőd in 1335, then in 1472 as Castelum Erdeed. It used to belong to the Bánffy family.

Photo: Zeljkaz80

The Bánffy family had come from Thuringia but they were also given Croatian nobility as well. Many members of the family became Báns (Dukes) of Slovenia and Croatia. Bánffy V.Miklós used to be the master of the door-guards of the Hungarian king in 1499. We know that the castle of Erdőd already stood there, it had been built from strong red bricks.


 
The fort was built by an Italian master. He must have built the castle in a hurry after the fall of Constantinapolis because Erdőd has the thinnest walls among the castles of the southern Borderland.

Photo: Zeljkaz80

When the troops of Sultan Suleiman were coming to Hungary in 1526, Pasha Jajapasics Mehmed of Szendrő castle took the castle over without a fight. Yet, Beriszló István and his Croats could take it back soon. It may have happened at that time when the troops of Jurisics Miklós were taking back the castle of Eszék (Osijek). Unfortunately, there was no money to man the walls of Erdőd so again, it had to be ceded to the enemy.


 
Ten years later, in 1537, fights were going on again near Erdőd. King Ferdinand had a not very apt general called Hans Katzianer who was unable to retake Eszék so instead, he decided to turn against Erdőd. He thought the Turks had amassed plenty of food supplies there. So Hans Katzianer ordered Bánffy Boldizsár, the lord of Kórogy castle, to take his former castle, Erdőd, back.

Photo: Robert Ruff

Bánffy had only Hussar units but he could take the castle but found only very little food there. The mercenaries of Katzianer took the food over and began to fight over it. Finally, they were severely defeated near Gara (Gorjana) by the Ottomans.


 
After this, the Turks took the castle. According to the reports of Maximilian Prandstätter from 1608, the castle had no roof and was in a very bad condition inside but its outer walls were still intact. The last Turkish commander of it was Bey Hasszán who lived there with his brothers. It was “liberated” by Francis d’Aspremontthe in 1687 after a short but fierce siege. The Serbian and Turkish defenders were fighting heroically until the last man.

Photo: Robert Ruff

The village was witnessing severe wars in the 1990s between the Serbians and the Croatians when its Catholic church was destroyed but it was rebuilt in 2005. There is a part of the settlement called Dályhegy where the Hungarian life is still intact. The area is very famous for its wine.

Photo: Zeljkaz80

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