The battle history of Hungary: "Stars of Eger"

It has always been, and probably will be so, that people strive to embellish their past, to make it, let's say, somewhat greater than it actually was. Cause? Well, let's say, the lack of culture ... in the "mass culture", let's say. The Strugatsky brothers in the story “It is difficult to be a god” said this well, which, they say, all nations had “and always will have kings, more or less cruel, barons, more or less wild, and there will always be ignorant people who nourishes admiration for his oppressors and hatred for his liberator. And all because the slave understands his master much better, even the most cruel, than his liberator, for every slave perfectly imagines himself in the place of the master, but few people imagine themselves in the place of the disinterested liberator. ” Now, of course, not the Middle Ages and something in society has changed, but for our common past this is just for everyone. But there were also examples of selflessness and self-sacrifice, there were examples of unselfish service to the Motherland, and it was they who made people people and ... it is not surprising that they dream to have more such examples in their past, and all sorts of “black spots” less.

And just as the Hungarians (like many others, by the way, they are not much better than anything else) have an example of real courage and courage in the face of the threat from the enemy. Moreover, it also happens that there is a threat, but courageous people are in a completely different place. Or have the courage, but not enough intelligence. Finally, there is one thing and another, but little gunpowder. Or enough powder, but the whole thing was spoiled by a traitor. In a word - it never happens that negates any heroism. But in the case of the fortress of Eger, everything came together so that it became for the Hungarians the most real example and inexhaustible source of pride for centuries!

View of the fortress of Eger from the air. The main gate on the lower right is clearly visible, and behind them the inner gate and the round bastion are one of the main defense bastions.

The same view, but now we have descended lower ... The restored buildings of the fortress, the foundation of the still not restored Gothic cathedral, are clearly visible.

History Eger fortress itself (Hungarian Egri vár) is as follows. It was built in the XIII century on the initiative of the local bishop immediately after the ruin of his Tatar-Mongol invaders. In the XIV-XV centuries, the fortress was upset, several stone buildings were built in it, including the large Gothic episcopal palace and the cathedral with two towers, which, alas, has not survived to this day. At the beginning of the XVI century, the fortress was once again rebuilt, which made it acquired its modern outlines. Today it is surrounded by city buildings almost in the very center of the city on the Castle Hill and is the main city attraction. But this is today ... And in the distant 16th century, the people who lived here had to look at it not at all as a monument of antiquity and urban income from tourism, but as their last hope to save their lives. Indeed, a large Turkish army moved against the Hungarians, and at that time it was very difficult to resist the Turks.

And now let's take a short tour of the city of Eger, a photo tour, and look at it through the eyes of a bus tourist. For example, in this photo you can see the houses of one of the villages, not far from the city. Differences from the Polish houses from the material “Europe from the bus window” are, of course, immediately noticeable. But all the houses look very neat and well maintained.

We landed at the main cathedral of the city, built 1837, the Basilica of St. John the Apostle and Evangelist, St. Michael and the Immaculate Conception. And in fact small then Eger was a city, but what a magnificent cathedral was built in it!

Inside was empty, solemnly and surprisingly light.

And this is the pulpit with which the Catholic priest addresses the flock during the celebration of the Mass.

The altar part.


And it so happened that in 1552, the Turkish army of about 40 thousands of people (although there are other, large numbers of their numbers, in my opinion, this number is enough) was besieged by a fortress in which there were about two thousand defenders (there is information that they were 2100 people), commanded by Captain Istvan Dobó. Despite the absolute superiority of the enemy in numbers, the Turks did not manage to take it and after a five-week siege they retreated in disgrace. Moreover, the defenders of the fortress caused them heavy losses. And this fact was, of course, known, but ... only after the defense of the Eger fortress was described in the pages of Geza Gardoni’s famous novel “Stars of Eger”, released in 1899 year. She was talked about as a truly national event.

One of the city streets ...

Monument to Istvan Dobot. The author of the monument is the famous Hungarian sculptor Alaios Strobl (1856 - 1926), who also carved the equestrian statue of István I Saint and the fountain of King Matthias in the Castle quarter of Buda.

That's how it looks close.

One of the streets, and above it are visible the towers of the fortress-museum.

Monument G. Gardoni. It is possible that this is exactly how he looked when he thought over the plots of his historical novels.

So this monument looks on the street Eger.

Well, in 1968, the film was shot by director Zoltan Varkonyi. Interestingly, in 2002, the “Stars of Eger” novel was viewed by the viewers of the Big Read TV show (in Hungary, “A Nagy Könyv”) as “the most popular Hungarian novel,” which means that for a Russian reader War and Peace ”by L. Tolstoy or“ Eugene Onegin ”by A. Pushkin. But back to military affairs ...

We can say that this is a “historical photo”. People watch the final match of the World Cup on a plasma screen against the background of the bastions and towers of the Eger fortress. You can hardly see it again ...

“And the Turks are already here. They are approaching like a terrible judgment of God, like a scorching fire, like a bloody whirlwind. One hundred fifty thousand tigers in human forms, wild animals, devastating everything around. From their young age, most of them are accustomed to shooting with a bow and a gun, to climb walls, to endure the hardships of camp life. Their sabers are made in Damascus, the shells are made of Derbent steel, the spears are the work of skilled Indo-Russian blacksmiths, the guns are cast by the best masters of Europe; gunpowder, nuclei, guns, guns, they have a dark-darkness.
And they themselves - bloodthirsty devils. And what confronts them?
A small fortress, six miserable old cannons and cast-iron pipes - squeals, which were also called cannons. ”- this is what G. Gordoni wrote about the difficult days of defense of the fortress in his novel“ Stars of Eger ”.

The sculptural composition "Border Garrison" and there are also football fans on it. This is a modern sculpture, set in 1968, on the central square of István Dobó in Eger, next to the Minorite Church. It depicts the battle of a Hungarian horse warrior with two Turks with all the details, and it doesn’t even smell like any tolerance, on the contrary, everything is very lively, energetic, and historically authentic. Although not all. The Magyar's pistol grip sticks back, and she should be facing forward so that one place, when sitting in the saddle, doesn't accidentally stumble upon it! The author of the composition is Zhigmond Kisfaludi-Strobl.

We are approaching the fortress. Its towers overhang this quiet street.

And these are the ruins of the Turkish baths near the main gate of the fortress. Well, we bathed here in the days of the Turks and bathed. It has passed. Nobody is complexing anyway due to the fact that the fortress still surrendered to the Turks through 44 of the year.

It is known that 17 September 1552, the Turks launched a decisive assault on the fortress with powerful artillery preparation. They managed to destroy part of the walls, after which an infantry attack was launched. The Turks managed to capture both the towers of the main gate and part of one of the bastions. Ladders were pushed up against the walls, along which the Janissaries climbed on them. Even women in the fortress entered the battle. They brought the famous Hungarian goulash to the fighters and ... poured it on the heads of the besiegers, and then began to pour boiling water and melted tar. In the course went even the lead roof of the cathedral. It was also melted and poured onto the heads of the assailants! However, despite all this, the Turks continued to storm the fortress. The situation seemed hopeless, and then Ishtvan Dobo ordered to shoot from the guns at the fortifications of the fortress captured by the Turks. The walls, already loosened by the blows of the Turkish cores, collapsed and buried under them many Turkish soldiers. The Janissaries had to retreat, and they suffered great losses and were simply shocked by the courage of the defenders of Eger. And they urgently began to strengthen the destroyed walls and by morning they restored them so that the Turks refused to repeat the assault and removed the siege from the fortress.

View of the main gate to the fortress.

The bas-relief on the right at the gate, depicting the women of Eger, watered the Turkish soldiers with boiling water. By the way, the Stars of Eger are his women and girls!

However, the shame of defeat under the walls of Eger demanded revenge, and the Turks, after 44, were again under its walls. But now her siege still led to her fall, although the garrison there was large, and there were also more guns, but ... they were mostly mercenaries, and they didn’t have Captain Dobo either. After that, Eger joined the Ottoman Empire, and was there until 1687, when the Austrian army drove the Turks away. True, in the 1701 year, during the uprising of the Kurucians, led by Ferenc Rakoczy, the Austrians blew up part of the fortress walls, but they were subsequently restored.

This is how the Eger Fortress could look like in 1552. Well, today it is an extensive museum complex. So, in the building of the episcopal palace there is a museum of Stephen Dobot and an art gallery. Tourists can explore the bastions of the fortress and its underground casemates. The fortress is also buried by the writer Geza Gardoni.

Well, now it's worth paying tribute to the memory of Istvan Dobot, a man, by the way, a very interesting fate. He came from a noble family from the north of Hungary. He was one of the six children of Domokosha Dobo and Zofii (Sofia) Tsekei. Of these six, four - Ferenc, Laszlo, Istvan and Domokosz were boys, and two girls - Anna and Catalina. In 1526, shortly after the battle for Mohac, ill-fated for the Hungarians, Domokosh Sr. was granted Serednyansky castle in Subcarpathian Rus for military services. And Domokosh Dobo rebuilt and fortified this castle. Stephen was already quite an adult, he was about 24-25 years old.

This is how defenders of the fortress could look like in 1552.

Shortly after Mohach, a civil war broke out in the country in which István Dobó in support of the throne of Saint István was supported by Ferdinand I (king of the Czech Republic and Hungary from 1526) against János I Zapolya, Transylvania governor of Transylvania, a vassal of the Ottoman Empire.

In the 1549 year, Dobo was appointed captain (garrison commander) of the Eger fortress. After which 17 October 1550, he married Ball Shuyok. They had two children: the son of Ferenc and the daughter Christina ...

As a reward for the defense of the fortress, Ferdinand I granted Captain Dobo two castles in Transylvania: Deva (now Deva in Romania) and Samoshuyvar (now Gerla also in Romania). In 1553, he already became the governor of Transylvania. But in 1556, Transylvania was disconnected from Hungary, and then Dobo in the form of compensation for the lost castles, Deva and Samoshuyvar, took possession of the castle Leva (today Levice in Slovakia).

Tours to tourists in the dungeons of the fortress are carried out by people dressed in medieval costumes, but ... with the help of modern computer and computer animation.

And then, as often happened during that turbulent time, Dobo was accused of treason against the king, so for several years the hero of Eger was imprisoned in Pozhoni (now the capital of Slovakia - Bratislava). Prison years are not the best way affected his health. Therefore, after his release, he settled in the Serednyansky castle, on the lands of Subcarpathian Rus, where he died at the age of 72. He was buried in the village of Ruska, near the castle. But later, all the same, his ashes were reburied in the fortress of Eger.

Hungarian fashion of the XVI century!

In 1907, a monument to Captain Istvan Dobo was finally unveiled in the town of Eger, and it has survived to this day. This is a beautiful sculptural group in which Dobo himself is depicted standing with a naked saber in his hand, and other defenders of the fortress stand around him. The monument is located on a high marble base and looks very solemn. It decorates the main town square, which also bears the name of Stephen Dobot.

At the same time, active archaeological and restoration work was started on the territory of the fortress itself, as a result of which the fortress territory and the buildings located on it became an interesting museum. The episcopal palace was restored, on the ground floor of which the “Serf Museum of Stephen Dobo” was located. The Hall of Heroes is also located here, where you can see the grave of Dobo, and a list of the names of the defenders of the fortress, as well as exhibits related to the 33-day siege. On the second floor there is a collection of paintings by the Eger art gallery with paintings by Dutch, Italian, Austrian and Hungarian artists.

In October, the Days of Eger Fortress are annually held on the territory of the fortress, during which jousting tournaments, concerts, exhibitions and costumed performances are organized here. Their members look very colorful, is not it?

In memory of the famous 9 captain on January 2014, in the Transcarpathian village of Sredniy, a memorial plaque was opened in honor of the Dobo family with a bilingual inscription, the work of the Transcarpathian sculptor Mikhail Belenya, as part of the Hungarian Foreign Ministry's project “The Preservation of Hungarian Places”. In the Middle, it is also planned to open the museum of Stephen Dobot.

And in Eger, just opposite the monument to István Dobó, is the Minorite Church, which is recognized ... as one of the most beautiful baroque churches not only in Hungary, but throughout Central Europe, and which is a unique monument of architecture and history of the country. The church was built in 1773 by the Minorite Franciscan Order and consecrated in honor of Saint Anthony of Padua. This is a beautiful baroque style: the facade of the building is decorated with two high bell towers with clocks that ring three times a day.

While walking around the city with a guide, you will definitely be shown this one (and her twin, but with a different pattern) wrought-iron lattice near the former courthouse. Both are a work of art!

The second lattice.

Well, the visit to Eger ends with a visit to the Valley of Beauties, where wine tasting takes place, and in the first place such wine as “Bull's blood”. It is possible and necessary to go there, there is a beautiful sculpture of a girl with a garter that everyone takes pictures of, but ... I would not advise eating and drinking in “group-work”. All the same, but faster and cheaper can be obtained at any local "tavern". Well, and you will play such a colorful violinist.

Interestingly, during the siege, the Turks lost many warriors not only killed and wounded, but also prisoners! So as a result, in the hands of Dobo, there were several thousand (!) Captured Turks. And Dobo found them a worthy use, forcing them to gouge out cellars in the Middle (Serednyansky) castle with picks, for which they were called “Turkish” for a long time. The construction of these basements ended in 1557, and their total length was 4,5 km. At first, these dungeons were used as a refuge for enemies. But then they lost their military mission and turned into an excellent wine storage.

P.S. Of course, it would be worth living in Eger for at least two days. This is an advice for those who go there on their own cars, but in one day you can see a lot of interesting things.
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  1. +4
    30 August 2018 06: 49
    Thanks for the interesting tour.
    And after all, the small Eger was a city, but what a magnificent cathedral was built in it.
    I don’t think we should be surprised: in a small, for example, Suzdal, there are several cathedrals and more.
    And there are many such cities in Russia
    1. +1
      30 August 2018 21: 56
      I don’t think we should be surprised: in a small, for example, Suzdal, there are several cathedrals and more.

      Andrei (I don’t know how about the priest), in Suzdal there is another museum - the House of Balzaminov. Yes, the same one from the film, the movie was shot there! And next to the city is the Church of the Intercession on the Nerl. Unfortunately, I have not arrived yet .. recourse really want to!
      The author is Vyacheslav Olegovich, a wonderful "Hungarian cycle". Yes Directly that "you remove from my thoughts", about which I would like to read. I did not think that yesterday they would publish about the Bathory castle, today - Eger. Yes, exactly, famous places, each in its own way. I bow to you! hi
  2. +2
    30 August 2018 08: 18
    in the modern photo there is completely no Eger rivulet from which the besieged and Turks scooped up water, in front of each other (like a water truce)
    1. +2
      30 August 2018 08: 30
      In the photo where people watch football, they are sitting on its shore!
      1. +1
        30 August 2018 09: 42
        it's Melegviz stream, it flows into Eger near Sapron Hill
        1. +1
          30 August 2018 10: 36
          I did not know such subtleties ...
  3. +3
    30 August 2018 10: 38
    Vyacheslav Olegovich, you missed one interesting point - baths - Torok Furdo.

    This is an engraving by George Hofnagel. It is believed that this is the most reliable image of Eger at the end of the XVI century.
    In the lower left corner there is a building with a dome. They were built after the seizure of the fortress by the Turks by a certain Pasha Arnaut on the site of a thermal radon spring known from ancient times, so that "the faithful could take baths and have pleasant conversations."
    1. +4
      30 August 2018 10: 47

      From the inside, the baths could look something like this, although this is not Eger, but Rudas Furdo - the main Turkish bath in Budapest. But it was built at the same time, so it is unlikely to be very different.
      1. +3
        30 August 2018 10: 51

        Now there is a modern spa - center, but the baths have been restored, as far as possible, in their original form.
        1. +3
          30 August 2018 10: 55

          Here in such a pool once Pasha Arnaut took water procedures.
  4. +2
    30 August 2018 12: 42
    Hungarian took a good movie, it’s interesting to see
  5. +2
    30 August 2018 13: 11
    I don’t want to say anything bad about the Hungarians, every nation has its own history, but ... somehow they all have a little shallowness. smile
    A five-week siege of a fortress with a two-thousandth garrison is a national event ... In the same year 1552, Ivan the Terrible, after the same five-week siege, took Kazan, a huge fortress with a far greater garrison (according to some sources, however, Kazan’s garrison could be comparable in size with the Turkish army besieging Eger), after 10 years (1563), in two weeks Polotsk was taken less than Turkish forces against twice the size of the garrison, and after 30 (1582) years, the Russians defended Pskov vs Ste Ana Báthory - the siege lasted more than five months ...
    Not the scale smile
    And so, if you try to remember, some major battles or companies in which the Hungarians turned out to be winners, I don’t get anything, except perhaps in the early Middle Ages ... Maybe that's why they rush with Eger like that. ..
    1. +4
      30 August 2018 14: 06
      "... everything is somehow too small for them." Every nation has the right to be proud of its history, if only because it exists. Therefore, it’s not worth it, I think, to measure who has shallow, who has deep.
      In the words of Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky, whoever is easily inclined to lose respect for others, first of all does not respect himself.
      1. +4
        30 August 2018 15: 22
        Quote: Curious
        Every nation has the right to be proud of its history, if only because it exists.

        Yes, many can not boast about it.
        Let them be proud of Eger, I do not mind. smile
        It’s just a pleasure for me personally to realize that the history of my people is more extensive, richer and replete with events for us, generally ordinary, but which in history, for example, Hungary, are found in isolated cases and serve as objects of unprecedented pride.
        1. +1
          30 August 2018 15: 27
          Yes you are right!
        2. +4
          30 August 2018 16: 49
          Or maybe this is not "unprecedented pride", but simply a respect for their own history, which not everyone can boast of?
    2. +1
      30 August 2018 22: 53
      The five-week siege of the fortress with a two-thousand-strong garrison is an event of national scale ...

      Michael, but in the film they inflated the number of Turks to almost half a million .. I don't remember exactly, you can check! Well, what country, such are the heroes. Like, they "blocked the whole of Europe from the Turks." request
      Pay attention to the image of a Turk on the monument in the center. As in the Schwarzenberg castle. All "with forelocks" on their heads. Yes
      Special attention is paid to the historical clothing of the guides. Yes, PR, and good. hi
      1. +3
        30 August 2018 23: 30
        "They say, they" blocked the whole of Europe from the Turks. " However, two hundred years rested quite successfully, giving the rest the opportunity to pick up strength. Including Russia.
        1. +1
          30 August 2018 23: 43
          Including Russia.

          the whole world won access to the Black Sea, Viktor Nikolaevich. soldier
          1. +2
            31 August 2018 00: 07
            Yes, but it took time for this "whole world" to gather. After all, if the Bulgarians, Serbs, Bosnians, Croats, Hungarians, Austrians, and even Albanians had not rested on the Balkans, then there was probably no one to collect "peace" from.
            1. 0
              31 August 2018 19: 38

              these eternal losers at first rested, and since Metternich only dirty tricks were built.
              To begin with, the wise Paskevich took the army away from Silistria, because the "neutral" Austrians, who had been saved by Nicholas I and our army just a few years earlier, could have stabbed it in the back at any moment.
              Why from the time of Metternich ... no, from the time of Suvorov! angry
              1. +2
                31 August 2018 20: 38
                Well, we ran a little forward in time. Until the glorious Suvorov era, another 200 years.
                1. +1
                  2 September 2018 17: 08
                  and before that, at our theater, the Turks quite successfully used the Crimean Tatars in the form of raids. Both Turkish and Tatar interests agreed. angry
    3. 0
      21 November 2018 13: 15
      Well, the country is far from Russia in size, dear Mikhail. However, given WHO was their adversary, the heroism of the Magyars is certain. Malta will be smaller, but the Maltese are still proud of the repulsed Turkish attack in 1565, 13 years after Eger. And the victories of Hungary were not only in the early Middle Ages. In the 15th century, Janos Hunyadi and Matthias Corvin were given quite good brains by the Turks (who conquered Constantinople!).
  6. -1
    22 September 2018 05: 45
    Apparently I didn’t read the Strugatsky brothers very carefully at the time, but the first 11 lines of the respected Shpakovsky, (without quotes, because the enemy must be respected :-)) It turns out that a vote of the vitra is provided to all modern democrats ...
    However, the Strugatsky can be excused, since they wrote in a much more naive era ...
    1. -1
      22 September 2018 05: 58
      It starts to get a little tired ...
      Would you somehow explain something ...

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