George I. Rákóczi

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Prince Georg I. Rákóczi of Transylvania
Prince Georg I. Rákóczi with his wife Susanna Lorántffy

Georg I. Rákóczi , Hungarian I. Rákóczi György (born June 8, 1593 in Szerencs , † October 11, 1648 in Weißenburg ) was from 1630 Prince of Transylvania from the Hungarian - Calvinist noble family of the Rákóczi .


George I was the son of Sigismund I . and his second wife Anna geb. Gerendi (ung. Gerendi Anna) born. Like his predecessor, Prince Gabriel Bethlen , George I was a staunch Calvinist Protestant and promoter of this faith. As early as 1605, at the age of twelve, he came to the court of Stephan Bocskay in Kosice . He is said to have had his first marriage with Katharina Bethlen (?). On April 16, 1616, he married his second wife Susanna Lorántffy (ung. Lorántffy Zsuzsanna; * around 1600 - † 1660) in Sárospatak . With her, whom her contemporaries referred to as a “Calvinist nun”, he had a very happy and exemplary marriage. His motto in life was: “ I have never been drunk in my life, I have never wanted a woman other than my wife, and I never wished to read any other book than the Bible! "

Together they founded the Evangelical Reformed College of Sárospatak , to which they appointed well-known teachers such as Johann Amos Comenius . The colleges of White Castle, Oradea and Debrecen experience under George I. one as the "Golden Age" of Transylvania called heyday.

On December 1, 1630, the Transylvanian estates elected George I as Prince of Transylvania . He used the political distress at the time of the ruling House of Habsburg in Austria to undertake often repeated, but haphazard, incursions into Hungary . In 1640 he concluded an alliance with Sigismund III. Wasa , King of Poland , in the fight against the Turks. In 1643 he signed with Christina , Queen of Sweden, and Louis XIII . of France a mutual assistance pact. In 1644 George I (with the Protestant Swedes as allies) started an armed campaign against the House of Habsburg. As a convinced Calvinist Protestant, his main concern was the preservation of religious freedom. With an army of 30,000 men he invaded Upper Hungary ; In 1645 he occupied Tyrnau , and on the March he united with the Swedish army. George I was already in the vicinity of Pressburg when he let the Sublime Porte move him to an armistice. By occupying large areas of Hungary, he forced Emperor Ferdinand III. on December 16, 1645 at the conclusion of the Linz Religious Peace , which granted the Hungarians the freedom to practice their religion as well as the return of all churches taken from the Protestants. In addition, the religious freedoms of the Protestants, which were also extended to the serfs, are guaranteed in this peace. Rákóczi received seven Hungarian counties for life and other large estates for himself. He also received the dignity of imperial prince for himself and his descendants. His son, Georg II. Rákóczi , who had been elected prince in 1642, succeeded him as Prince of Transylvania.

Georg I died on October 11, 1648 in Weißenburg, Transylvania and was buried in the local cathedral of St. Michael . His wish to raise his son Sigismund to the throne of Poland did not come true.



  • Zoltán Hangay: Erdély választott fejedelme Rákóczi Zsigmond (German: Sigismund Rákóczi, elected Prince of Transylvania ), Debrecen 1987, ISBN 963-326-363-8
  • Béla Köpeczi (ed.), Erdély rövid története (German: Brief History of Transylvania ). Budapest 1989.
  • Magyar királyok és hṏsök arczképcsarnoka (German: The Portrait Book of Hungarian Kings and Heroes ), Budapest 1883 / Reprint: 1995, ISBN 963-7765-16-6
  • Carpathian Yearbook 2014 , Stuttgart 2013, ISBN 978-80-89264-85-8

Web links

Commons : George I Rákóczi  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Not secured! Details not known.
  2. The city used to be called 'Weißenburg', in Hungarian 'Gyulafehérvár'. The German name 'Karlsburg' and (rarely) 'Károlyfehérvár', which is used today, was not given until 1711 after Emperor Karl VI.
  3. ^ Anton Klipp: The Rákóczi in Carpathian Yearbook 2014, p. 63ff
  4. In Transylvania at that time there were representations of three recognized estates, called "nations". These were the Transylvanian Saxons from the Königsboden, the Hungarian nobility and the Szeklers from the Szeklerland; Initially, the Romanians were included, but they were excluded in 1437 when the Unio Trium Nationum was proclaimed. It was an alliance of the above. three "nations" that were solely authorized to make political decisions.
  5. ^ Anton Klipp: The Rákóczi in Carpathian Yearbook 2014, pp. 63–80
  6. Zoltán Hangay: Erdély választot ... (pedigree) pp 220-221
predecessor Office successor
Stephan Bethlen Prince of Transylvania
George II Rákóczi