The fortress and battle of Szigetvár

Szigetvár is a Hungarian city located within the region of Southern Transdanubia, in the county of Baranya and towards the south western area of the country. This city counts with a very rich historical past as well as many attractive spots and constructions, being a place which all those tourists who go to the region of Southern Transdanubia during a vacation in Hungary should not miss.

The city of Szigetvár is renown by its fortress and the battle which took place in it during middles of the 16th century. This way, the fortress of the city is one of the main attractions it offers, and one of the first places tourists should make sure of meeting during their visit.

The Battle of Szigetvár took place in the fortress of this city in the year 1566 and was one of the most relevant battles in the history of this region of Hungary. This battle was fought by the invading Ottoman Empire, leaded by Suleiman the Magnificent, and the army of the Habsburg Monarchy leaded by the Croatian Nikola Subic Zrinski.

In this battle, the Ottoman Empire forces counted with about 92,000 men, while the army of the Habsburg Monarchy had approximately 2300 soldiers. Despite of this difference, the army of Zrinski could maintain the Ottoman Empire soldiers away from the fortress for almost a month, showing this way a clear strategic superiority.

After more than four weeks of fighting, the forces of the Ottoman Empire defeated the army of the Habsburg Monarchy. When this happened, the Ottoman forces had lost about 25,000 men, among who there was their leader Suleyman the Magnificent. Taking into account the amount of soldiers the defenders had, this was a victory from the point of view of strategy and strength for them.

Nowadays, this battle is still part of the culture and collective identity of the citizens of Szigetvár. It might be also interesting to know that this battle gave birth to a famous epic poem, called the Peril of Sziget, and which was one of the first epics ever written in Hungarian.

Map of Szigetvár in Hungary