Selected Passages from Hungarian-Ottoman Wars between 1372-1699



Déva, Transylvania, now it is in Romania. This was a fortress that was considered one of the key gates of Transylvania in the 17th century.

Enjoy a video about it:

The castle sits on the top of a 250-meter-high cliff, on the left bank of the River Maros. Déva was rebuilt after the Mongolian invasion and first appeared in King Béla IV’s document in 1264. Its most famous holder had been Lord Hunyadi János, King Matthias’ father. The Hunyadi family held it until 1504. You can read more about the Hunyadi Clan here:


Lord Perényi Péter, the third wealthiest baron of the Dual Kingship got it after 1526 but King Szapolyai János took hold of it 3 years later. He gifted it to his queen Isabella in 1539. (Note, I am intentionally using the Eastern name order for Hungarian names.) 

Lord Török János defeated the Turkish Pasha Kászim in 1550 near Déva.

King Habsburg Ferdinand got the castle in 1550 for 5 years but Queen Isabella regained it soon. The first Unitarian bishop of Transylvania, Dávid Ferenc, was imprisoned and died here in 1579. Queen Isabella imprisoned the hero of Eger, Captain Dobó István, into the castle.

Queen Isabella, the widow of King Szapolyai János

It was also this castle where the infamous General Giorgio Basta wanted to execute all high aristocrats of Transylvania in 1603. Both Prince Bocskai István and Prince Bethlen Gábor were its owners; they used it as their living place. Déva was also the dwelling place of Lady Széchy Mária, the “Venus of Murány Castle”, between 1627 and 1640.

Lady Széchy Mária

It was Prince Bethlen who began the renovation of the castle in Renaissance style. However, after the unsuccessful Polish adventure of Prince Rákóczi György II, the Ottoman Grand Vizier took the castle in 1657. He gave it to Prince Apafi who used the castle as a prison. Now, the city of Déva is famous for its orphanage which is run by the Hungarian Franciscan monk Father Böjti Csaba.

Here are more pictures of Déva Castle:

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