Selected Passages from Hungarian-Ottoman Wars

Borosjenő

Borosjenő: drawing of Biczó Géza

Borosjenő (Romanian: Ineu, Serbian: Janopol, Turkish: Yanova), used to belong to the Principality of Transylvania as it is on the Eastern edge of the Hungarian Great Plain. It can be found in Romania, the fort is situated on the bank of the Sbes-Kőrös River. The castle was first mentioned in 1214, then in 1295 as Castri Jeneu. The Hungarian Losonczy family owned it in the 14-15th centuries. We know that Losonczy István, Bán (Duke) of Szörény wrote one of his letters from there in 1387. At that time, the settlement belonged to Dézna and Pankota castles.

Serbians fled here from Sultan Murad and settled here after 1438. The Losonczy family’s “castellum” was mentioned in 1474. They reinforced the castle in the 1530s and in the 1540s, they added corner towers to it according to the principles of the Renaissance-style fort architecture. The strategic role of Jenő castle increased when the Ottoman Turks appeared in the area. As these lands suffered lots of attacks and raids, the countryside became quite depopulated and Serbian settlers arrived to substitute the locals. The Serbians named the place in honor of Hunyadi János. You can read more about him here:  https://www.hungarianottomanwars.com/essays/the-military-education-of-hunyadi-janos/

Photo: h_laca

Losonczi István was the captain of Temesvár and he heroically defended it to the last man in 1552. After his death, his widow and daughters inherited Jenő castle, they were on the side of King Habsburg Ferdinand in the sorrowful years of Dual Kingship. Prince (or elected king) János Zsigmond took Jenő castle from them in 1565. It was when Jenő castle became the frontier castle between the Habsburg-ruled Royal Hungary, the Ottoman Occupied Lands, and the Principality of Transylvania. After this time, the fort exchanged hands several times. 

The Turks took Borosjenő castle in 1566 but Borbély György, the soldier of Prince Báthory Zsigmond fought it back in 1595, defeating the 700 Ottoman soldiers who were defending it. The fort was owned by Hungarians, Germans, and Turks and it has an inner castle and an outer one, defended by moats. Evlyia Celebi, the great Turkish traveler gave a detailed description of this castle after 1658. By this time, the small fort’s significance had increased.

Photo: h_laca

After the fall of Lippa in 1616, it became a Borderland castle against the Turks. It had a grand Renaissance palace that was damaged in a fire in 1618 but it was extended and renovated between 1625-1630 by Captain Gálffy György. However, it was not in mint condition in 1645 when the new chief captain, Haller Gábor had to follow the order of Prince Rákóczi György by repairing the four imposing bastions. 

According to the records., there was a raid launched by the warriors of Jenő castle on 21 June 1658. At this time it was Captain Újlaky László of Jenő castle who led the military mission. About 1,200-1,300 Hungarian Borderland warriors came together at Jenő castle in June 1658. Not only the soldiers from the castle’s garrison took part in the raid but the Hungarian noblemen from Zaránd County also joined them. The Hajdú soldiers of Sarkad and Szalonta were there, too. Their goal was to scatter the Ottoman Turks who had marched out of Gyula castle. 
Jenő castle

Unfortunately, the raid did not bring full success. As usual, the bulk of the Hungarian troops hid in a forest while a smaller unit called “bait” was trying to lure the Ottoman riders to their hiding place. This time, the Ottomans who were chasing the handful unit of Hussars discovered the trap and turned back in time to escape. However, the Hungarians were able to capture two high-ranking Ottoman officers, Agha Hasszán of Gyula castle and Agha Mehmed, the landlord of Kutas and Lökösháza. 

Jenő castle (Photo: Gr33nPixelz)
(Boros)Jenő belonged to the Transylvanian princes, it had always been badly wanted by the Turks who finally got it again in 1658 after a few days of siege because the defenders fled. The Ottomans had owned it until 1693 when General Veterani took it back. There was a Muslim mosque in Jenő but it was demolished in the 1950s. After the Ottomans were driven out of Hungary, Jenő castle lost its military function in the 1730s. We find it in the hand of the Péterffy family in 1742, then the run-down building became the property of the Aczél family in 1808. Atzél Péter rebuilt it in the Historicizing style, with the help of Karl Hantelmann, an architect from Hamburg. Atzél sold the castle in 1874 to the Military but the new owner ceded the huge building to an institute of handicapped children in 1904. It had been operating until 1998. The city council of Borosjenő took the building over in 2004. Now, the castle is in very bad condition and as far as I know, nobody can enter the area. I found this video, it is in the Hungarian language:
Photo: h_laca

According to a recent update, the local authority of Borosjenő began reconstructing the building a few years ago. Promising archeological excavations are going on, and in 2016 they found nine Romanesque carved stones from the 12th-13th century that were used during the castle’s construction in the 1530s. Such stones had already been unearthed in the 1870s, too. These stones may have come from the nearby monastery of Dénesmonostora (mentioned first in 1199) that became abandoned in the 16th century. In 2019, 14 more nice stones were revealed.

Source: https://www.aradihirek.ro/muzsa/ertekes-kofaragvanyokat-talaltak-a-borosjenoi-varfalban?fbclid=IwAR0SicZ4tNmkDATcWFtu-Vmzfwcq3sK738fP96x4hd2sdR2FEHItLsyqDNw

A carved stone (Source: www.aradihirek.ro)


 
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Here are some more pictures of Jenő castle: 

 

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