Gyula Castle South-East Hungary

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Gyula is a spa town in Békés county in south-eastern Hungary. It lies close to the border with Romania, on the river Fehér-Körös.

The first recorded reference to Gyula was in a document dated 1313 which mentions a monastery called Gyulamonostor (Julamonustra in Latin). By 1332 the settlement around the monastery was being called Gyula / Jula. There are two versions for the origin of the name. One is that following the occupation of the Pannonian Plain by the Magyar tribes, the tribe of the gyula settled in the area. More likely is the version that a lord called Gyula or Jula founded the monastery and its settlement. 

The renovation of the fortress started in the beginning of the 1960s. The Castle Theatre has operated within the walls since 1960, and permanent exhibitions opened at this time. Following a long-standing renovation, the new Renaissance Castle Museum was finished in 2005, in which the visitors can go through the history of six centuries in 24 exhibition rooms.

The first factual mention of the fortress building is from 1445, János Maróti began with its construction. In 1476, the fortress and the huge manor reverted to the crown. In 1482 King Matthias gave the territory to his son, János Corvinus (John Corvin), who made his mark on the fortress – in addition to other building operations – by erecting the present Corvin-bastion (so called ‘Rondella’ round bastion). János Szapolyai succeeded to seize it, and then for a short while it was in the hands of noblemen of Transylvania. However, in 1552 it got again into the king’s ownership in consequence of to an exchange. Meanwhile, the Ottomans engaged in the destruction of the surroundings. In summer of 1566, Pertaf pasha, nephew of Suleiman II (Suleiman the Magnificent) finally laid siege to the fortress. After a nine-week siege, they subscribed the fortress’ capitulation agreement, thus the town fell into the Turks’ hands. With the onset of a relative peace, the life of the city began to develop slowly, and then in 1695 the Christian troops reoccupied the territory.

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