The Zrinski Family in Evliya Çelebi’s Travelogue: Parallels with the Neo-Ottoman Sources

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Anđelko Vlašić


This article presents new insights concerning the history of the Zrinski family, based on the Travelogue of Ottoman explorer Evliya Çelebi. Croatian researchers of the Zrinski family have previously used this work in the translation of Bosnian-Herzegovinian orientalist Hazim Šabanović, but the recent edition of Evliya’s autograph offers the possibility of comparison and allows for reaching new conclusions about the activity of Nicholas VII Zrinski in the period from 1660-1664, the way in which the Zrinski castle in Čakovac looked and operated, the situation in Međimurje concerning the warfare activities of Ottoman troops, the forested areas along the Habsburg-Ottoman border in what was then Slavonia, the siege of the fort of Novi Zrin in 1664, and generally the Ottoman-Croatian relations during the period in question. The newly acquired data have here been compared with the previously known sources and scholarly literature on the Zrinski family during the second half of the 17th century, with new conclusions that take into account the Ottoman point of view as presented by Evliya Çelebi. A series of correspondences between his travelogue and other neo-Ottoman sources allow us to presume that he indeed visited Međimurje and Nicholas VII. His data are mostly accurate, although he exaggerated some parts of his description: thus, his overstated numbers were probably meant to cater for the tastes of his readership. Evliya’s depiction of Nicholas VII, Čakovac, Legrad, and Novi Zrin take up an important part of Chapters 5 and 6 in the Travelogue and segments that are found only in the autograph complement and partly explain these descriptions. The siege of Novi Zrin is very impressively presented and reveals the writer’s talents. Evliya’s work is a crucial source for reaching conclusions about the importance of the Zrinski family in the history of Croatia during the 16th and 17th centuries, presented from the Ottoman point of view.

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VLAŠIĆ, Anđelko. The Zrinski Family in Evliya Çelebi’s Travelogue: Parallels with the Neo-Ottoman Sources. Povijesni prilozi, [S.l.], v. 52, july 2017. ISSN 1848-9087. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 25 mar. 2019. doi: