The siege of Esztergom in 1595 Cover Image

Esztergom 1595-ös ostroma
The siege of Esztergom in 1595

Author(s): Zoltán Péter Bagi
Subject(s): History
Published by: AETAS Könyv- és Lapkiadó Egyesület

Summary/Abstract: The recapture of Esztergom during the Fifteen Years' War is a comparatively little researched section of Hungarian historiography. This castle was the most important of those standing in front of Buda, protecting both the region and the waterway to Buda. The Christian forces commenced the siege of the fortress on July 1, 1595, and 62 days later the defenders were forced to hand over Esztergom to them on September 2. This short paper attempts, on the strength of both hitherto unknown and already published documents, to clear up a few details of the recapture of Esztergom, such as the size of the besieging and the defending armies; the deployment route of the Christian army; whether the siege of Tata was possible at the same time; what the opinion of the Turkish military leadership was before the battle of August 4; what the causes and the circumstances of the surrender of the castle were. The author believes that psychological factors underlie the surrender of Esztergom: the physical and spiritual strength of the defenders had been shattered by the 62-day siege, the incessant bombardment, the constant wailing of the wounded, women and children crowded into the castle. On the other hand, in the wake of the defeat of the Turkish troups gathering at Vörösvár, the defenders had to face the fact that they could expect no help from the outside, and that their situation was hopeless. All this was aggravated by the inability to provide water for the fortress of Esztergom. The cistern in the castle had been filled up with rain at the end of August, but it was not enough to meet the drinkig water demand of the defenders in the long run. It was the panic caused by these three factors that forced Pasha Lala Mehmed to surrender the stronghold. The Christians would hold Esztergom for ten years only. On October 3, 1605 it was, ironically,Pasha Serdar Lala Mehmed who received the keys to the fortress after 35 days of siege.

  • Issue Year: 1999
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 50-55
  • Page Count: 6
  • Language: Hungarian