Szolnok Castle

Szolnok in 1552

Enjoy the animation video of Digitális Legendárium about Szolnok Castle but turn on the English subtitles! The music is also outstanding. But first, here is a short story that could supplement the video:

Szolnok is situated in the middle of Hungary and it had an important function on the Borderland because it was the entrance to Eger castle, the one that guarded the road to the north.

The castle had been fortified in 1550 and Nyáry Lőrinc was made its captain. He was commanding fourteen hundred Spanish, German and Czech mercenaries and had just a handful of Hungarian soldiers. The fort was supplied with twenty-four cannons and three thousand muskets along with eight hundred quintals of gunpowder.

Sultan Suleiman ordered his Pasha Achmed Ali and Mohamed to take Szolnok and Eger in 1552. Pasha Achmed Ali besieged the castle with his forty thousand strong armies on September 2, 1552. The German mercenaries were the first to think of fleeing but it turned out that the Hungarian boaters had fled away before them.


 

The next day the Hungarian and the Spanish riders swam across the River Tisza at night, and then the boaters returned for the rest of the foot soldiers. All of the mercenaries had fled by the third day of the siege and left the gate ajar after themselves.

Captain Nyáry Lőrinc and his 50 faithful Hajdu soldiers were left behind and captured by the Turks who garrisoned the fort with two thousand soldiers and went on against Eger castle. The memory of this shame still lives today.

 

The castle remained in Ottoman hands until 1685. Szolnok became the center of a Turkish Sanjak and unlike at other places, they began the construction of several typical Turkish buildings: they built a bath, a minaret and a mosque in 1553. They made the first permanent bridge over the Tisza River in 1562. It was in Szolnok where they copied the only Turkish manuscript made in Hungary that had been about the Hungarian campaigns of Sultan Suleiman.

 

As for the Mosque in Szolnok, it was pulled down and its stones were reused in 1820. Yet, I have heard that the city of Szeged signed a. contract in 2013 with the Turkish Embassy of Hungary and the mosque will be rebuilt. By the way, when will Turkey return the two huge candle holders which had been pillaged from Buda, from the Matthias church in 1526? They are presently in the Hagia Sofia as far as I know. It would be a real sign of friendship, too.