Pál Kinizsi is one of the greatest Hungarian heroes of all time. He was a historic person one of the leaders of King Mathias’s (1458-1490) ‘black army’. However, nobody knows where he rests. Now, his body parts may be recovered. But first, scientists need to find his descendants. Thankfully, they discovered an option to do so and solve one of the greatest mysteries of Hungary’s medieval history.
According to Blikk, a Hungarian tabloid, even the late descendants of Pál Kinizsi’s former enemies take part in the project meaning Albanian and South Slavic volunteers are working on the excavations. Kinizsi (1432-1494) is one of the legendary Hungarian military leaders. Some tales say he danced around the fire with Ottoman soldiers between his teeth. Others praise his unbelievable physical strength and bravery in battle. His greatest victory against the invading Ottoman forces was near Kenyérmező in 1479. We wrote about a rare Ottoman era treasure discovery HERE.
Excavations in October 2022:
However, nobody knows where Kinizsi was buried. We know when he died and, according to his testament, he was laid to rest in the Order of Saint Paul the First Hermit’s monastery in Vázsonykő. However, his tomb was sacked in 1708, his bones thrown out with the remnants of his widow and her second husband.
The remains of the monastery in February 2023:
Medieval hero lost
The Zichy family buried what remained in the graveyard of the local Szent István church. Therefore, Kinizsi’s remains are probably in the ground somewhere, but they are difficult to identify. Searches started last August with professional supervision and the help of enthusiastic amateurs. The group includes foreign volunteers from 16 countries whose task is to dig and clean.
We only know about Kinizsi that he was around 160 cm tall, the archaeologists told Blikk. That is not enough information to identify one’s remains. But there is something that might help them. Kinizsi’s younger sister was the grandmother of Gábor Bethlen, the well-known prince of Transylvania (1613-1629). And his descendants are still among us today. Those in search of Kinizsi’s earthly remains need to find his late descendants, ask for some DNA and identify the bones they will find in the ground near the Szent István church in Vázsonykő. It is not an easy task, but it is not impossible either.
The fortress of Vázsonykő from a bird’s-eye view:
Vázsonykő on a misty October morning (are we in England…?):
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