Petar Zrinski

Petar Zrinski bigraphy, stories - Croatian military commander

Petar Zrinski : biography

6 June 1621 – 30 April 1671

Petar Zrinski () (6 June 1621 – 30 April 1671) was a Croatian Ban (Viceroy) and writer. A member of the Zrinski noble family, he was noted for his role in the attempted Croatian-Hungarian rebellion of 1664-1670 which ultimately led to his execution for high treason.

Final revolt and suppression

Zrinski and Frankopan, unaware of their detection, nevertheless continued planning the plot. When they tried to trigger a revolt by taking command of the Croatian troops, they were quickly repulsed, and the revolt collapsed. Finding themselves in a desperate position, they finally went to Vienna to ask emperor Leopold I of the Habsburg dynasty for pardon. They were offered safe conduct but were arrested. A tribunal chaired by chancellor Johann Paul Hocher sentenced them to death for high treason on 23 and 25 April 1671.Paul Lendvai, Ann Major: The Hungarians: a thousand years of victory in defeat. Princeton University Press, 2003. ISBN 0-691-11969-4, 2003 (p.143)

For Petar Zrinski the verdict was read as follows:

…he committed the greater sin than the others in aspiring to obtain the same station as his Majesty, that is, to be an independent Croatian ruler, and therefore he indeed deserves to be crowned not with a crown, but with a bloody sword. "… die größten Sünden begangen habe, in seinen Bestrebungen sich zu einem unabhängigen Kroatischen Herrscher krönen lassen zu wollen. Statt einer Krone erwarte ihn ein blutiges Schwert."

Zrinski and Frankopan were executed by beheading on 30 April 1671 in Wiener Neustadt. Their estates were confiscated and their families relocated — Zrinski’s wife, Katarina Zrinska, was interned in the Dominican convent in Graz where she fell mentally ill and remained until her death in 1673, two of his daughters died in a monastery, and his son Ivan Antun (John Anthony) died in madness, after twenty years of terrible imprisonment and torture, on 11 November 1703. The oldest daughter Jelena, already married in northeastern Upper Hungary, survived and continued the resistance.

Some 2,000 other nobles were arrested as part of a mass crackdown. Two more leading conspirators — Ferenc Nádasdy, Chief Justice of Hungary, and Styrian governor, Count Hans Erasmus von Tattenbach — were executed (the latter in Graz on 1 December 1671).Stephan Vajda, Felix Austria. Vienna, 1988, p. 302

In the view of Emperor Leopold, the Croats and Hungarians had forfeited their right to self-administration through their role in the attempted rebellion. Leopold suspended the constitution – already, the Zrinski trial had been conducted by an Austrian, not a Hungarian court – and ruled Hungary like a conquered province.Stephan Vajda, Felix Austria. Vienna, 1988, p. 136

Zrinski family

Petar Zrinski was born in Vrbovec, aOther sources attribute this information to a translator at the Ottoman Court who was paid by Austrian intelligence. The Austrians also had informants inside the group of nobles. However, no action was taken, because the conspirators had made little traction and were bound by inaction.


The bones of Zrinski and Frankopan were found in Austria in 1907 and brought to Zagreb in 1919, where they were reburied in the Zagreb Cathedral.

Zrinski and Frankopan are still widely regarded as national heroes in Croatia as well as Hungary. Their portraits are depicted on the obverse of the Croatian 5 kuna banknote, issued in 1993 and 2001.. : (1993 issue) & (2001 issue). – Retrieved on 30 March 2009.


Beside being one of the most important military figure of 17th century Croatia, Zrinski is also known for his literary works. Along with his wife Katarina, brother Nikola VII Zrinski and brother-in-law Fran Krsto Frankopan he contributed greatly to 17th century Croatian poetry and literature.