THE BORDER FORTRESS DAYS OF GYULA
2022. July 29-31.
Year after year, during the last weekend of July, some 200 traditionalists re-enact the 1566 siege of the Gyula Fortress.
One of the most spectacular war games of Hungary revive real events with live commentary and explanations about the unfolding story.
Between July 2nd and September 2nd 1566, some 30 thousand Ottoman soldiers surrounded and assaulted the castle of Gyula which was protected by 2-2.5 thousand Christian soldiers. In the military history of Hungary, this was an exceptionally long siege. The battle ended with the signing of the surrendering treaty by László Kerecsényi, constable of the Gyula fortress and Pasha Pertev, the brother-in-law of Sultan Suleiman II. Due to the depletion of stock in the castle and the dysentery epidemic, the Hungarian captain handed the castle over to the Ottomans in return for free passage.
In its time, what Kerecsényi did was considered to be high treason, but historical sciences today look at this event differently. The memory of these 16th century heroes is kept alive daily, through the professionals who work at the castle, and yearly, over a three day period, by traditionalists and the ever growing number of those who attend these unforgettable events.
The Border Fortress Days of Gyula
During this festival, the Turkish era Gyula comes alive. On the last weekend of July, one can gain insight into the lives of the heroes who fought on the battlefields. Through the re-enactment of the war scenes, the tradition keepers evoke the spirit of the battles. They retell the story of the castle and its surroundings, the legends of the defending heroes and the lives of the defenders and the attackers. On the castle grounds, one can look into the traditionalists’ camps in order to see from up-close how they dressed, what they ate, and how they passed time 500 years ago.
The most interesting and spectacular part of the festival is the war game which revives the moments of the attack sequences.
At night, the visitor can decide whether they want to listen to a concert on one side of the castle or to party with the traditionalists on the other.