The battle of Varna
On 10.11.1444 at the place where at present the Park – museum “Vladyslav Varnenchik”, is situated, happened the famous battle between 20 000 Christian allied European army, led by the Polish-Hungarian King Wladyslaw III Yagello (Varnenchik), with commander-in chief – the Transylvanian ruler Yanosh Huniady and thrice more numerous Turkish armies of Sultan Murad II.
The battle of Varna was the last, the crucial.
After it The Balkans and South- Eastern Europe fell for centuries forward under Ottoman- Turkish domination.
Bulgarians, Hungarians, Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Wallachians (today’s Romanians), Ruthanns, (Old-Russians), Croations, Saxons, Lithuanians and a detachment of knights-crusaders of the Roman Pope Eugene IV took part in that last battle.
In their memory, as an expression of honor to their heroism and self-sacrifice in the name of the liberty of Europe was erected the Park-museum of the Combat Friendship “Vladyslav Varnenchik”.
Historical information about the campaigns of Vladyslav Varnenchik and Yanosh Huniady in 1443- 1444.
After the conquest of Bulgaria the Turks directed to Hungary which was compelled to find a way of defense. In view of the fact that it was not able to withstand alone against the Turkish pressure, Hungary tried to find rapprochement with the neighbor people and countries – in order to create a coalition able not only to stop, but to push back the conquerors from the Balkans.
On the Hungarian throne was invited and crowned the 16-year-old Polish King Vladyslav III Yagello.
In 1443 in Hungary was organized a campaign against the Turks.
In the strength of the mixed army were concluded – Hungarians, about 500 Polish volunteers (as the country of Poland did not participate in the campaign), Czech Hussist mercenaries (it was not, however, participation of the Czech state), 700 Bosnians,in the lead of Petar Kovachevic (state participation).
The Serbian despot Georgi Brankovic participated with considerable forces (state participation). In the campaign were included Wallachians and German soldiers-mercenaries.
The mixed army crosses Serbia and via Western Bulgaria reached to Zlatitza. Because of the heavy winter, the campaign was stopped.
As a result of the peace treaty, concluded for 10 years, Serbia received a self-government and Hungary – many fortresses at the Danube.
Pope Eugene IV was unsatisfied with this result. He was also the major inspirer of the anti – Turkish movement. His purpose was propagation of the Catholicism in the East. At his insistence his messenger in Hungary –Giuliano Cesarini, liberated King Vladyslav from the taken at the subscription of the treaty oath. A new campaign was prepared.
At the second campaign the mixed army was constituted by:
- Hungaro-Transylvanian regiments,in the lead of Yanosh Huniady.
- Polish volunteers – about 300 men
- Czech mercenaries – Hussists – 400 people. At that time as well Poland and Czechoslovakia did not participate as countries.
- 4 000 Wallachians also took part, in the lead of Vlad Drakul. This is a state participation.
- Soldiers from Western Ukraine took part, too. In documents they were called “ruthens”, e.g. “Russians” or “Old -Russians”. Meanwhile the Western Ukrainian lands were included in the borders of the Polish country (there is no information about their exact number).
- Bulgarian volunteers from the Sub-Danube region took part – from Vidin, Oryahovo, Nikopol and other villages.
- In the strength of the Hungarian army fought not large number of German settlers from Transylvania as well as Slovaks. (Transylvania and today’s Slovakia were then in the borders of Hungary).
- In the battle of Varna fought also a detachment of Croatians, in the lead of Franko Talovac (then Croatia was also in the borders of Hungary).
- Bosnia and Serbia remained aside from the events, related to the campaign in 1444. Leader of one of the Hungarian detachments was the Bosnian bishop Raphael Preki. There is no information about participation of Bosnians and Slovaks.
- A detachment of Western knights, in the lead of the pope legate Giuliano Cesarini, also took part in the battle.
The mixed army during the second campaign in 1444, comprised about 20 000 soldiers.
The Turkish army numbered 55 000 – 60 000 people and was under command of Sultan Murad II.
More than the half of the King’s army died on the battlefield (about 10 000 soldiers) and the enemy suffered twice more victims.
Near Varna died the 20-year-old King Wladyslaw.
The commander- in chief Yanosh Huniady withdrew with the other outfit of the army.
VLADYSLAV III YAGELLO - VARNENCHIK
There is a lot of information about the two anti- Turkish campaigns of king Wladislaw
However, the question of the person of King Vladislav and its origin is insufficienntly lighted. Perhaps this is due to the tragic early death of the king, only twenty –yaer-old received posthumously the name Varnenchik.
But about a hero, fell mowed down by a janissary yataghan on a Bulgarian soil , it deserves to know more.
Born on 31.Х.1424 he was the first child of the marriage of the Polish king and Lithuanian Grand Duke Vladislav II Yagelo and his wife Sofia Holshanska.
Wladislaw II Yagelo II – father of King Vladislav III Varnenchik
According to the Polish historian Jan Dlugosh from the fifteenth century, well acquainted with the life at the Jagiellonian court the father of Varnenchik – Vladislaw II was the son of Lithuanian Prince Olgerd and Maria, daughter of the Prince of Tver Greek religion. He was called Yagelo.
The latest historical researches indicate that Vladislaw II was the son not of Maria, the first wife of Prince Tver, but to his second wife Juliana.
From 1377 to 1401 Yagelo was a Lithuanian Grand Duke, and from 1386 until the day of his death was a Polish king. To obtain the Polish crown and the hand of the Polish Queen Yadviga, Yagelo was converted, adopted the Christian name Yadviga, Yagelo and undertook to join Lithuania to Poland Vladislav and undertook to join Lithuania to Poland
In the reign of Yagelo , Poland as a country strengthened and expanded its territories in the Lithuanian lands and Galitska Rus. Undoubtedly the greatest achievement of the Polish-Lithuanian Kingdom, however, was the victory over the Teutonic Knights Order of the crusders on July 15, 1410 in Grunvald. Dealed was a blow to the political and military power of the clergy in Central and Eastern Europe , were significantly enhanced the anti-ecclesiastical movement and the national aspirations of the other nations outside Poland.
Sofia – the mother of King Varnenchik, was the fourth wife of Vladislav II Yagelo. There are differences in the interpretation of her origin. Some sources indicate that she was “rutenska”girl (ruthenium- old russian, Ukrainian population lived in western and southern Ukraine, on both sides of the Carpathians and Galicia).
Again in the same sources it is mentioned that she was “from the origin of the Russian leaders”. Other sources suggest: “Queen Sofia, coming from Lithuania”. The allegations about her Russian origin are contrary to the recent studies. The Holshan princes undoubtedly belonged to the princely family of pure Lithuanian origin. Their first known historic ancestor was Olgemunt and the region from which they are written Holshanski-Holshani (Olshani) was situated in Osmyanskata district southwest of Krevo, hence the core territory of Lithuania.
Jan Dlugosh gives greater details about the origin of Sofia. As her father it was indicated Andrzej, son of John – Prince of Kiev. This probably is the same Andrzej, who with his father Ivan Olgemuntovich and his brother Semen vowеd in 1401 in loyalty to the king Yagelo. Andrzej Prince of Kiev was not, so was his father. Andrzej was only Kiev proxy by Lithuania.
Sofia was the mother of Alexandra, the daughter of Dimitar – Drutski Prince (Drutsk, Drutesk, -Drujesk old Russian city occurred during the XI century in the composition of the Polotsk principality. In the XII century was a center of independent udel, then transferred to Smolensk, and in the XV century was in Lithuania principality). Therefore, Sofia, and thus the son Vladislav bear in their veins old Russian blood.
Sofia had a relationship with her future husband in III, IV level. Yagelo was 73 – years old, and Sofia, 17 years old when their first son Wladislaw was born.
Vladislav III Varnenchik
In 1434 Vladislaw, later Varnenchik, became King of Poland. In 1440 between Poland and Hungary was signed an union, under which Vladislaw received the Hungarian crown, but with the stipulation to unite the two kingdoms to fight against the Ottoman conquerors.
Vladislav himself in his charters was alsoentitled: “Vladislav – King of Hungary, Poland, Dalmatia, Kroatsiya and Grand Duke of Lithuania …”, ,but in the Polish historiography and the biographical references for Varnenchik it was not mentioned that he was a Great Lithuanian Prince.
In fact, Vladislaw III was Grand Duke of Lithuania I inrights of heritage, but even in the government of his father Yagelo, at the same time in Lithuania with the title Great Lithuanian governed Prince Witold, a cousin of Yagelo. After his death from 1430 to 1432 a Lithuanian Grand Duke was Svidrigelo, and from 1432 to 1440g. -Sigmund.
When in 1440 Vladislav III was proclaimed as Hungarian king under the name Ulaslo I the Lithuanians proclaimed his brother Casimir for the Grand Duke of Lithuania.
The existence of a prima facies conflict between the title of Wladislaw III and the historical reality can be clarified by tracing out of the interstate relations between Poland and Lithuania in this period. The Unification of Poland and Lithuania at the end of XIV in need of total risk the crusader Teutonic Order, but the union, signed by Poland and Yagelo was interpreted differently by both parties. The Lithuanians insisted for state autonomy especially after the defeat of the Crusaders.
According to a New union signed in Horodlo in 1413, was confirmed the political independence of Lithuania, which would have its own Grand Duke, subordinated to the Polish king. The Polish king was at the same time the most great / high / Duke of Lithuania, and therefore the supreme ruler of the Grand Duke of Lithuania. By virtue of inheritance and by the Horodlen union, Vladislav III was the greatest prince of Lithuania, but in Lithuania in fact he had not ruled and was not a Lithuanian Grand Duke.
The young king Vladislav III Yagelo Varnenchik was killed in the battle near Varna on 10.11.1444, when he launched an attack with his personal guard of 500 knights against 10 thousand Janissaries of the sultan.The King reached the last lines of the janissaries and the Sultan command post, but he was surrounded. At that time, the royal-horse hampered, and the King fell to the ground. The janissary Kodja Hazar approached fast and with one stroke of his yataghan decapitated the King. Then he presented it as a gift to the Sultan. The latter ordered a trooper to carry around the spitted on a spear royal head in the all battleground.
The heroic death of the young king and the tragic ending of the battle of Varna affected the posterior fate of the Balkan and European nations. They reflected in the epic and folklore of many nations. One of the most beautiful songs, preserved until today is the western Ukrainian song “Song for the Battle of Varna””, published by the gratest Ukrainian writer, folklorist, publicist and public figureIvan Franko (1856 – 1916 ):
“Where from Ivan?” Beyond the Danube “
“What is heard on your parts?”
Ah! Be heard! I saw myself:
were going the lyahs * on three roads
The Cossacks – on four,
And the Magyars guarded a mountain,
to destroy the Turks. “
Oh, I’ll go to the mound,
I’ll look at the valley.
In the valley a Turk is romping around,
but before the water – my horse
On the horse- Turkish outfit,
on it sits a royal son,
in the right hand holds a sword,
from the left – blood flows.
Over the blood- raven caws,
over the Cossack- mother is crying.
“Do not cry, Mother, do not grieve-
they slayed him, see not so much:
only the head – of the four
and the heart – of the six
The white body – on small scraps
the thin fingers – in pieces
the white hands – in seven pieces
Search, Mum, a doctor
Let’s build him a house –
without doors and without windows –
where it does not wind blows,
sun does not scorch it.
Please, Mother, take a handful of sand
and seed it on the rocks.
Water him with tears
under the clear stars.
When this sand, Mother, buds,
then your son from the army will come!
In the museum “Vladislav Varnenchik” there is a special hall, dedicated to Yanosh Huniady – military leader of the united Christian army of king Vladislav during the two campaigns in the autumn and winter of 1443- 1444 and the battle of Varna.
He is a legendary hero, praised in Bulgarian , Hungarian, Romanian folkloric songs like Yanko Sibiyanin (Sibinyanin) , chieftain Yankula , Huniady Yanosh , Yanko de Hunedoara.
Huniady , well-known in the Bulgarian folk epos as chieftain Yankula , was born in about 1400in Transylvania in the family of a small Wallach hero from the court of king Sigizmund (according certain legends Huniady is from Bulgarian tsar’s descent).
Hе starts serving with the Serbian despot Georgi Brankovich. Later he enters the encirclement of the king as his counselor and escorts Sigizmund in Italy where he was introduced to the organization of the local military science.
In 1436 in Chechoslovakia he masters the military art of the husists and thanks to his military and political talent he quickly rises to eminence . He was given the high state post – ban of Srem, governor of the committee Temesh(head of an administrative region) and in 1456 becomes a commander-in chief of the Hungarian fighting strength near Belgrade
The risen up in the anti- Turkish battles military commander Yanosh Huniadi made audacious reforms in the Hungarian army as he combines elements of the mercenary practice and the people’s volunteer corps.
Lead by the strength of will for victory and the hatred towards the Anatolian invaders Huniady was the first who supported the idea for Polish- Hugarian union, because only the strong king’s institution will save Hungary and the other countries.
The museum of combat Friendship 1444 “Vladislav Varnenchik” was opened in 1964 in honor of the 520th anniversary of the Battle of Varna.
On its territory there are two Thracian mounds
In one of them there is a tomb of the IV century BC.
In 1935 it was built over a symbolic mausoleum of the dead here 20 -year-old King Vladislav Varnenchik.
In 1964 was built a monument of Yanosh Hunyadi – commander-in chief of the army of King Wladislaw, a Transylvanian leader, regent of Hungary from 1446.
In memory of the fallen fighters of 10.11.1444, in the center of the battlefield, the place where died the Polish-Hungarian king Wladislaw III Yagelo named posthumously Varnenchik, even during the slavery the Bulgarians placed wooden crosses.
In 1924, a modest monument was placed with the inscription: “VLADISLAUS VARNENSIS. VLADISLAVA JAGELLONIAN POLISH AND HUNGARIAN KING KILLED HERE ON 10.ХІ.1444г .TOGETHER WITH THE CHRISTIAN CHIVALRY FOR FAITH AND FREEDOM OF BULGARIA.
In 1935 on an area of 30 acres of lands was caped a park , and in one of the Thracian mounds in the park’s territory was built a symbolic mausoleum for the King. Inside was put a stone spear of the sarcophagus of Wladislaw, located in the Wawel Castle in Krakow (Poland) and built by the sculptor Antony Madeyski in Rome in 1904
In the royal mausoleum a burial was not made, because after the battlethe royal head was placed in a leather bag with honey allocated for conservation and taken away in Asia Minor,in the Muslim Center Bursa, where it was impaled again and was organized a festive procession to celebrate the victory at Varna.
For the royal body is presumed that along with the other killed, was thrown into the lakes of Varna.
In 1964 with the construction of the museum edifice was built the memorial complex “Park-museum Vladislav Varnenchik”