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Eger Turisztikai Honlapja

Balint Balassi in Eger

Bálint Balassi is considered to be an outstanding poet of Hungarian Renaissance and classical Hungarian literature, however, lesser is known about his connections to Eger and his adventurous life, although he had plenty of love affairs and deeds causing public indignation.

One of his first muses was - among several other high-ranked ladies - Anna Losonczy, a woman married to Kristóf Ungrád who was assigned captain of Eger castle. So his wife followed him to Eger and his wife was followed here by Balassi. The poet took service as a soldier in the castle for the sake of the woman. He named her Julia in his poems, the affair with her, being full of debauchery, lasted for six years, which was over by his marriage of convenience in 1684. Besides the love of Anna Losonczy the poet was given something else as well by Eger: his warrior poems are well-known for everybody, according to literature-historians his works about the praising of border castles and life of soldiers are closely connected to his experiences in Eger.    

The above mentioned marriage of convenience is also related to Eger, since Balassi married his widowed cousine, Krisztina Dobó, István Dobó's daughter. Naturally, this relationship was not without scandals either. After the wedding the hot-headed poet occupied the castle of Sárospatak which he considered to deserve. However, his victory did not last long, the garrison chased him and his soldiers out - one hour later. The marriage outraged the church and the Dobó relations. Soon the couple got divorced and Balassi went from woman to woman until his death in 1594.      

The memory of the one of the most famous warriors being in the castle is preserved by the bust in the castle and the primary school named after him.

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