2011. szeptember 14., szerda

Szeged Castle

The castle of Szeged was built parallel to the river Tisza with an irregular layout but roughly rectangular in shape. On every corner of the castle stood a circular tower built for defensive purposes, and the walls on everySzeged Hungary Church side were also fitted with rectangular towers. The castle’s palace was situated west of the southern gate and was turned into an artillery storage space from the 18th century. The circular tower on the south-eastern side of the castle was far bigger than the other towers. It was later named the water tower because it stood on the banks of the river. The thickness of its walls surpassed all others so experts think that it was originally a medieval old tower.

In the 18th century the castle was surrounded by a water filled ditch which was 18-19 meters wide and 3-3,5 meters deep. The water of the ditch was fed by the river Tisza. Although it is not a proven fact the castle was most probably planned by the French engineer Villard de HOnnecourt, who was invited to Hungary by King Béla the 4th.

The building of the castle started in 1247 due to the privileges given by King Béla the 4th right after the invasion of nomad tribes. It is most likely that the building of the castle was carried out by replacing the existing wooden castle walls and towers with stone built ones. The first official document mentioning the castle is from the reign of Róbert Károly when the castle was managed by master Pál who was the son of Dénes from the Dorosma clan. As a king’s castle the ownership of it changed many times with the reign of Hungarian kings.

In 1524 after King Lajos the 2nd paid off a debt of 2000 forints the castle of Szeged was passed on to the archbishop of Esztergom.

After a Turkish attack the Szeged Hungary Hotel Squarecastle was rebuilt by the order of King János in 1528. 14 years later the city of Szeged and the castle was sieged again by the Turks and was finally captured. The strengthening of the badly damaged castle was almost immediately started by the Turks (castle walls were built higher, the water filled ditch was cleaned and deepened, ditches and bastions out of dirt were erected to protect the city laying south of the castle). According to historical sources the number of castle guards was 323 in 1545 and 348 seven years later. The name of the first Turkish ruler of the Szeged area was Mustafa.

The recapture of the castle started with an assault on October 5th, 1688. The troops were lead by captain De la Vergne who died of severe wounds sustained during combat. Baron György Wallis took over command and other leader worth mentioning who took part in the battle were Barkóczy, Petneházy and Bercsényi Jr and baron István Károlyi. Since the defenders of the castle did not receive any help they surrendered the castle on October 23rd.

In 1704 during the war of independence with the leadership of István Andrássy and Ádám Vass 8000 soldiers tried to capture the castle of Szeged but failed. Later in July Ferenc Rákóczi the 2nd also took siege of the castle but was also unsuccessful.

Szeged Hungary Walking StreetAfter the Szatmári peace treaty the castle was strengthened between 1714 and 1716 according to the plans of De le Croix Paitis.

The irony is that the demise of the castle was not caused by war or the enemy but by the force of nature. Due to the Great Flood of 1879 the eastern wall and north-eastern tower fell into the Tisza river. Since the ruined castle lost its significance and was deemed just a big obstacle in the rebuilding of the city the residence of Szeged started to demolish the remainder of the castle walls.

The only remnants of the once important castle are the water tower still found on the banks of the river and small ruins of the castle interior from the time of Mária Terézia.
source: hungaryrooms.com

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