Selected Passages from Hungarian-Ottoman Wars


Photo: Adrian Arsu

Kőhalom (Räppes, Reps, Rupea) castle is in Transylvania, it is in Romania. Today, it is one of the largest ruined castles in Transylvania. It was Hungarian King Géza II (1141-1162) who invited the Saxon settlers to Transylvania and built Kőhalom castle which was called Kozd at that time. Like most of the castles, Kőhalom also belonged to the Hungarian king during the reign of the Árpád dynasty. The castle was besieged by the Voivode of the Hungarian king, Tamás, in 1324, who was trying to take the rebelling Saxons’ fort that was mentioned as Kuholm in a document.

Photo: Andrei Dan Suciu

You can read about the German Saxons of Transylvania here:

The citadel was the administrative capital of one of the Seven Saxon Seats in Transylvania. The Ottoman Turks destroyed it in 1421 but it was reinforced in the 15th- 16th century with walls and towers. The Transylvanian princes handed the castle over to the town at the end of the 16th century so the Saxon town became the owner of the fort. As soon as they got it, the Germans began to reinforce its walls. By the 1620s, they have constructed the inner yard of the middle castle, right below the inner castle.

Photo: Bogdan Muraru

During the service of Royal Judge David Weyprauch, the western wall was built and a new well was dug in the lower castle. They built the Szalonnás (Bacon) Tower and the Servants’ Tower not much later. The middle gate was ready in 1643.  

The city’s Evangelic priest was Bartholomäus Bausner (1629–1682). Pasha Ali took the fort in 1661 and even the famous Ottoman traveler Evlia Cselebi mentioned it in his work. 

Photo: Tetcu Mircea Rares

The castle was liberated only in 1691 and it was renovated between 1691-99. The rebelling Kuruc troops of Prince Rákóczi Ferenc took it in 1704 without a fight. Then, the place became abandoned but the local folks, according to the Transylvanian habit used some of its buildings for storing their food for many centuries.

Photo: CristianChirita

According to the statistics of 1910, there were 2941 inhabitants in the settlement, 1230 of them were Germans, 975 Romanians, 425 Hungarians. In the modern days, according to the survey of 2002, there were ( and in the settlements which belong to Kőhalom) altogether 5759 inhabitants, from which 4063 were Romanians, 1245 Hungarians, 338 Gypsies, and 113 people from other ethnic groups. The exodus of the Saxon people from Transylvania is a painful reminder for all of us.

Székely riders at Kőhalom

László Gyula, the famous Hungarian historian professor, and the father of the so-called “double-home taking” theory were also born in Kőhalom in 1910.

Photo: CristianChirita

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Here are more pictures of Kőhalom castle: