Hungarian President János Áder has led tributes at an inauguration of the Zrinyi statue to remember the 1566 Szigetvár Siege.
The monument, in remembrance of the defenders of Szigetvár castle during its siege by the Ottoman army in 1566, was unveiled on Wednesday. The ceremony was also attended by Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović.
In his address, President Áder spoke highly of Miklós Zrinyi, commander of the castle at the time, and said that the martyred nobleman was very well aware that “Szigetvár is not only a defender of the homeland but the last bastion of all that is valuable to him”.
"There was a lot more to defend than the castle walls: the king, to whom he had vowed to be faithful, the homeland, which his forefathers had heroically defended … and the Christian community and European traditions,” the president said.
Grabar-Kitarovic called the Hungarian soldiers’ holding the castle against the far outnumbering Ottomans a “heroic deed of outstanding importance”. Szigetvár proved that the Ottoman empire could be stopped “on its way to Vienna” and it could be prevented from extending northward, she argued.