Turkish Occupation

Turkish Occupation and the Transformation of Hungary

Reign of Charles Robert of Anjou (1308-1342)

The 14th century in Hungary saw the rise of foreign kings, starting with Charles Robert of Anjou, also known as Robert Károly. His reign was characterized by his struggle against the power of the great lords, sparking conflict across the country.

Ottoman Settlement and First Attacks (1357-1371)

The mid-14th century saw the Ottoman Turks settle across the Bosphorus in Gallipoli and later in Adrianople. In 1371, under the reign of Louis I of Anjou (1342-1382), the Turks launched their first attack against Hungary.

Reign of Sigismund and Luxemburg (1387-1437)

Sigismund of Luxemburg became King of Hungary through his marriage to Louis I’s daughter. In 1396, Sigismund led a failed crusade against the Turks, resulting in a victory for the latter at Nicopolis.

Vladislas I and the Fall of Constantinople (1444-1453)

Vladislav I suffered defeat at the hands of the Turks at Varna in 1444. Less than a decade later, in 1453, Mehmet II of the Ottoman Empire captured Constantinople, marking a pivotal moment in the history of Europe and Asia.

Reign of Matthias Hunyadi (1458-1490)

János Hunyadi, a noble from Wallachia, successfully defended Nándorfehérvár (modern-day Belgrade) against the Turks in 1456. His son, Matthias Hunyadi, also known as Matthias Corvinus, would become one of Hungary’s most famous kings.

Peasant Revolt and the Fall of Mohacs (1514-1526)

The early 16th century was a tumultuous time in Hungary. In 1514, a peasant revolt led by György Dózsa shook the nation. By 1521, the Turks captured Nándorfehérvár. The climactic Battle of Mohács in 1526 saw Sultan Suleiman I, the Magnificent, defeat the troops of Louis II Jagiello, King of Hungary and Bohemia. The king was killed in the battle, and this defeat marked the beginning of a 150-year period of Ottoman occupation in Hungary.