On 5th September the Mint of Hungary issued a coin under its “Castles in Hungary” series featuring the 14th-century castle of Szigetvar, located in Baranya county. The coin also marks the 450th anniversary of the siege of Szigetvar Castle in 1566.
Croatian viceroy, Miklos Zrinyi (1508 – 1566), commander of the castle fought the Sultan Suleiman, which consisted of almost 120,000 soldiers who were destined to attack Vienna. Zrínyi fought with just 2,500 soldiers, and they withdrew to the inner castle’s protection with just 200 soldiers remaining. Even though the battle was almost lost, Sultan Suleiman died on September 5. Finally, they went all guns blazing and attacked with full vigour, only to be captured and slaughtered. Only seven soldiers remained alive. For the next 122 years, the castle belonged to the new invaders. The Suleiman djami, or house of worship, the ruined minaret, along with a mirhab or prayer niche facing Mecca, with fragments of Arabic-Persian writing on the walls are still found at the site.
Since 1833 the heroism of Miklos Zrinyi and his men have been celebrated in Szigetvar. The castle is now a public park and pays tribute to the soldiers. A drinking fountain was added in 1966 and the Turkish-Hungarian Friendship Park was inaugurated in 1994 on the 500th anniversary of Sultan Suleiman’s birth. In 1997, a statue of Miklos Zrinyi was added to the castle’s courtyard. Thus the castle now remembers both the commanders who fought the war.
The obverse features a depiction of Miklos Zrinyi in armour, wearing a hat, with a sword in the right hand and a mace in the left. The reverse features inscriptions ‘SZIGETVARI VAR’ (SZIGETVAR CASTLE) along with the current southern view of the castle. Peril of Sziget is written by the Viceroy’s great-grandson, Miklos Zronyi (1620-1664), a poet and military leader.
The mintage limit of 2000 Forint Cupro-nickel 30.8 Grams BU coin is 5000 pieces and that of 10,000 Forint .925 Silver 31.1 Grams Proof coin is 5000 pieces