Siege of Temesvár (1552)

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Siege of Temesvár
Part of the Ottoman wars in Europe and Ottoman-Habsburg wars
Date 1552
Location Temesvár, Kingdom of Hungary
(today Timișoara, Romania)
Result Decisive Ottoman victory
Fictitious Ottoman flag 2.svg Ottoman Empire Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy.svg Hungarian, Czech, German and Spanish defenders
Commanders and leaders
Fictitious Ottoman flag 2.svg Ahmed Pasha
Fictitious Ottoman flag 2.svg Sokollu Mustafa beylerbey of Rumelia
Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy.svg István Losonci  
30 000 1,200 Hungarian, 10,000 Czech, 2,500 Spanish, 23,000 German soldier.[1]
Casualties and losses
unknown all of the defenders were killed

The siege of Temesvár was a military conflict between the Habsburg Monarchy and the Ottoman Empire in 1552. The siege resulted with a decisive Ottoman victory and Temesvár came under Ottoman control for 164 years.


After the Battle of Mohács in 1526, the Hungarian Kingdom was fallen apart for two parts. The western side of the country came under the control of Ferdinand I, from the House of Habsburg, the eastern side came under the control of John Zápolya, a Hungarian noble. Zápolya asked the help of Suleiman II Ottoman emperor against Ferdinand. After the death of John in 1540, he was succeeded by his one-month-old son, John Sigismund Zápolya. Ferdinand in 1541 tried to capture Buda, the capital, but he was defeated by Suleiman's army. The Ottoman emperor after the victory occupied Buda and sent the young Hungarian king with his court to Lippa (today Lipova, Romania), in 1542 they moved to Gyulafehérvár (today Alba Iulia, Romania), which later became the capital of the Principality of Transylvania.

Even after this event, Ferdinand didn't give up his dream about the unification of the Hungarian Kingdom under his rule. With George Martinuzzi's help, the eastern part of the country in 1550 came under Habsburg rule, which caused the attack of the Ottoman army against Hungary.

In 1552 two Ottoman army crossed the border with the Hungarian Kingdom. One of them – led by Hadim Ali pasha – started a campaign against the western and central part of the country, the second army – led by Kara Ahmed pasha – attacked the fortresses in the Banat region.

The siege

In the summer of 1552, the Ottomans arrived to Temesvár, which was the most important city in the Banat region. The Ottoman army numbered about 30,000 men, Temesvár was defended only by 1,900 men; 700 of them were merchants.

The Ottoman artillery started destroying the wall at 27 June, then the Ottoman infantry assaulted the wall at 3 July and 6 July, without any success. At the time of the battle, a Hungarian army, led by Mihály Tóth tried to liberate the city under the siege, but his army was defeated in the battle of Szentandrás (today Sânandrei, Romania).

After an assault at 24 July, which was repelled by the defenders, but caused heavy casualties, Losonci – under the pressure of his merchants – started a negotiation with the Ottomans. When the Ottoman commanders promised to leave the city to the defenders they put down their arms. However the Ottomans broke the armistice and massacred all of the defenders when they tried to leave the city. The wounded Losonci was beheaded by Ahmed pasha and his head was sent to Suleiman, as a "gift".


After the capture of Temesvár, the sultan established the Temeşvar Eyalet which was composed of four sanjaks. Temesvár remained under Ottoman control even after the Treaty of Karlowitz and was recaptured by the Christian forces only in 1717.


  1. Stanford J. Shaw,Ezel Kural,History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey: Volume 1 Shaw