The History of Erdut

A brief history of Erdut

Erdut - once a medieval fortified feudal castle, then the seat of a feudal estate, is now a place on the eastern slopes of the Dalj mountains along the Danube River in the micro-region of Erdut in the eastern Croatian plains, located 46 km from the city of Osijek, the center of Osijek-Baranja County, to which the town and municipality of Erdut belong.
It is a treasure chest of history, located on the inner side of a large meander of the Danube, on the eastern slopes of Čvorkova Hill, with well-known wine cellars. From the ancient, preserved tower of the medieval city, which is said to have in large part collapsed into the river, there is a spectacular view of the surrounding area, the wine-growing hills and the Danube River.
The soil around Erdut was very fertile and suitable for the cultivation of many crops, especially vineyards. In the Middle Ages, Erdut already had a port on the Danube, making it a small market place and was first referred to as Erdeed Castelum in the second half of the 14th century, in 1359. Even then it was a significant settlement for the surrounding areas. Its founders, most likely, were immigrants from neighbouring Hungary. This is reflected in the Hungarian name for Erdut - Erdöut, Erdewd, Erdöd - the Hungarian translation of which is "forest path".


It was known as a feudal estate in the late 14th century, and referred to as a fortified town (oppidum) in 1472 governed by the titled provost, who had the fortified town built, the ruins of which can still be seen today. The oldest records from 1499 mention the Banfić (Bánffy) family from Donja Lendava.
With the arrival of the Ottoman Turks towards Vienna, several smaller battles took place around the fort early in the summer of 1526, but Erdut soon fell under Turkish rule, which - as in most places in this part of Slavonia - held for 161 years, i.e. until the expulsion of the Turks from Slavonia in 1687. Hasanbeg had his seat in the fort of Erdut. The Turks settled Bosnian Muslims and Orthodox Vlachs in Erdut, and the remaining Croats became workers on Muslim properties. Hungarians who remained in Erdut converted to Calvinism, and together survived the Turkish period.
Turkish Erdut was attacked by Austrian-Croatian troops on the night of 25 March 1559 and set on fire, as the Turkish areas were made of wood. On that occasion the entire village of 200 houses burned down. In the next few years the village was completely rebuilt following an order of the Pozega sanjak. According to a census of Turkish settlements in Erdut in 1559, there were 107 inhabited houses. Erdut was liberated from the Turkish authorities by the Austrian-Croatian army on 9 October 1687 under the command of General Ferdinand Aspremont. On that occasion, the village burned down and the fort was damaged.
After the first census of settlements and the population of Slavonia conducted in 1698, there were only 18 inhabited houses in Erdut. In the subsequent five decades the population of Erdut increased to 45 houses. It was not until the 19th century that natural population growth increased, and in 1866 there were 163 inhabited houses with 759 inhabitants. (426 Croats and 325 Serbs).
From the liberation from the Ottoman Turks until 1730, Erdut was under the administration of the Court Chamber. On 23 February 1730, the Croatian-Hungarian King Charles VI. of the House of Habsburg, gave Erdut and the villages of Sarvas, Tenja, Dopsin, Hrastin, Koprivno and Laslovo to the Chamber Advisor, Baron Ian Zuan and thus created a large estate with its headquarters in Erdut. After the death of Baron Zuan, his widow sold the estate in 1746 to the Palatine of Hungary, Count János Pálffy of Erdődi, who was the owner until 1785. Then Erdut was bought by Ivan Kapistran I Adamović Čepinski (1726 - 1808). At the time of Ivan's grandson Ivan Kapistran II Adamović Čepinski (1802 to 1876) Erdut was connected with the Čepinski Estate until 1800, when it was divided among the sons of Ivan Kapistran II. The Erdut Estate with Tenja and Aljmaš was given to Antun (1762 - 1829). With the marriage of his granddaughter Francisca pl. Adamović Čepinski to Ervin pl. Cséh de Szent Katolna, the Estate and Erdut fell under the ownership of the families Čepinski and Ervin pl. Cséh. Since they had no children, Ervin adopted Ivan Albrecht Adamović so that he would inherit the property. After Francisca's death, Ervin married widow pl. Šauška with whom he had a daughter, Irena. She inherited the estate which was nationalized after the Second World War. Nevertheless, she continued to live in Erdut until her death in 1973. She never married and the property was left to Baron Nikola Adamović.

The remains of the medieval town
Erdut is known for its medieval fortress, the ruins of which sit on a hill above the Danube.

The remains of two towers and walls are what remain of the medieval town. The round tower is the best preserved, almost in its original shape, with a bulging upper part, reminiscent of 15th century Italian Renaissance architecture. The three-story building was extended to the end portion of the reinforced buttresses. To the north of the circular tower, part of the wall is separated from the tower. And to the east there are remains of the wall (sizable fragments) leading to the main square tower located in the center of the site. In medieval Erdut it served as the main (guard) tower. This main tower was unprofessionally restored in 1891 for the tomb of the noble families Adamović and Cséh; On that occasion, the original appearance of the square tower changed; it was reduced to one level, on the southwest corner a small rectangular tower was added with a crown on top and an ornamental portal with jagged ends and the coats of arms of the Adamović and Cséh families was added to the main southern facade.

Erdut Castle - Manor
The Adamovic family built a sizable manor in the eastern part of the village of Erdut, which served as the center of the property. Along with a living area (lower castle) there were also the necessary outbuildings and several large wine cellars which are still used today. The exact time of construction of the manor is not known. In fact, quite a modest single-storey castle was built in the late 18th or or in the first half of the 19th century. It had a floor plan in the shape of an elongated rectangle.
It was thoroughly refurbished and upgraded in the time of Francisca pl. Adamovic Čepinski and Ervin pl. Cseh, probably, in the last decade of the 19th century. The floorplan was changed then, and historicist features were added to its facade. To the old rectangular castle were added: an octagonal tower on the southwest corner, a porch above the entrance on the south-western side, an extension in the form of shallow wing at the southeast corner and a single storey extension to the northeast side.
At the site of the old garden, on the south side of the castle, a small late historicist park was created. Its appearance is linked to the construction and reconstruction of the castle. In the early 20th century there was a densely planted area of a variety of trees, shrubs and flowers. Only a few original portions of the park have been preserved.
In a northern direction from the castle, towards a viewpoint over the Danube, leads a straight path adorned with a lattice of vines.

From the life of the Adamović - Cséh family
Several static barrels the size of a small living room, the interior of which were lined with ceramic tiles, were located in the old cellar, dating from the second half of the 19th century. According to legend, Count Ervin pl. Cséhs hid from his wife inside these barrels, playing cards and drinking with his friends.