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700th anniversary of the Battle at Rozhanovce

THE BATTLE at Rozhanovce – or Razogny in Hungarian – was celebrated in Košice on June 15 as the battle 700 years ago was of great importance for the city as well as for the whole region. Košice residents fought alongside the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and Malta, commonly called the Order of Malta, and an army from Spiš region in support of Charles Robert of Anjou, later to be named King Charles I of Hungary, against the family of Palatine Amade Aba.

Re-enactment of the Battle of Rozhanovce included hundreds of participants as well as a large audience(Source: TASR)

THE BATTLE at Rozhanovce – or Razogny in Hungarian – was celebrated in Košice on June 15 as the battle 700 years ago was of great importance for the city as well as for the whole region. Košice residents fought alongside the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and Malta, commonly called the Order of Malta, and an army from Spiš region in support of Charles Robert of Anjou, later to be named King Charles I of Hungary, against the family of Palatine Amade Aba.

Historical sources described it as the "most cruel battle since the Mongol invasion of Europe". Despite many casualties, the decisive victory brought an end to the Aba family's rule over the eastern part of the Kingdom of Hungary, weakened the king's major domestic opponent, Matúš (or Máté) Csák, and ultimately secured power for King Charles I of Hungary.

A procession of soldier in period costumes was held on Main Street in Košice on June 15 to draw attention to the re-enactment of the historical battle planned for the following day at a field near the town Rozhanovce. Later in the evening a memorial and museum of the Rozhanovce Battle was unveiled in a park near the municipal office in Rozhanovce designed by Ladislav Staňo and his son. In the evening, a drama about the Battle at Rozhanovce by 19th-century Slovak writer Jonáš Záborský was offered in the local amphitheatre.

On Saturday June 16 the re-enactment of the battle started at 11:00, followed with various cultural events such as fencing, musical and dramatic performances and tasting of medieval dishes, and tours of historical military camps. The re-enactment of the battle had 13 parts and involved 260 soldiers from 24 historical fencing groups from Slovakia, Poland and Hungary.

Beginning in the morning a young ox was put on a grill to roast and historical tents were erected as an announcer commented on every aspect of the battle so the audience could follow the events. The script of the re-enactment was based on a book written by Košice historian Ondrej Halaga called Počiatky Košíc a zrod metropoly (The Beginnings of Košice and Establishment of the Metropolis).

Slovenska posta issued a commemorative postage stamp on June 16 to recognize the 700th anniversary of the battle. City representatives told the TASR newswire that Košice’s intention was not to have a one-time celebration but rather to make a lasting memorial to this medieval battle which very much decided the fate of the region.

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