The Zrinski family, known also as "Zrínyi" in Hungarian, was a Croatian noble family, influential in the Hungarian Kingdom during the period in history marked by the Ottoman wars in Europe.


The Zrinskis, meaning "those of Zrin", are a branch of the Šubić family, which arose when king Louis I the Great needed some of the Šubićs' fortresses for his coming wars against Venice, and the city of Zadar in particular. Louis I took their estates around Bribir in the Hrvatsko Primorje hinterlands (they used to be known as "princes of Bribir") and gave them the Zrin estate in the Croatian region of Banovina, near the modern city of Petrinja.

Princess Jelena Šubić married Vladislav Kotromanić. Their first-born child, Tvrtko I, became the Ban of Bosnia and from 1377 the King of Bosnia. Their niece and adopted daughter, Elizabeta Kotromanić Elisabeth of Bosnia, married Louis I the Great. Elizabeth's and Louis' daughters succeeded their father and became queens in their own right, as Mary of Hungary and Jadwiga of Poland.

The Zrinskis were Croats and played a crucial role in the history of the Croatian state, both before their arrival in Zrin and later. On the other hand, they also identified as "hungarus" or "natio hungarica", which means "somebody from the Kingdom of Hungary", regardless of the language spoken. They were among many noble families in the Kingdom of Hungary.

Because they lived, worked, and intermarried with nobility from all parts of the multiethnic kingdom, it was natural and expected that they be fluent in four or five languages. It is certain, that Nicholas Zrinski spoke at least Croatian, Hungarian, Italian, Turkish and of course Latin. It is of interest that he was the most prominent Hungarian poet in the 17th century, while his brother Peter is known for his poems in Croatian language.

Famous members


The family produced four bans of Croatia (viceroys):

* Nikola Šubić Zrinski ( _hu. Szigeti Zrínyi Miklós) (1508-1566, ban: 1542-1556)
* Juraj Zrinski ( _hu. Zrínyi György) (ban: 1622-1626)
* Nikola Zrinski ( _hu. Zrínyi Miklós) (1620-1664, ban: 1647-1664)
* Petar Zrinski ( _hu. Zrínyi Péter) (1621–30 March 1671, ban: 1665-1670)


Joannes Torquatus de Corbavia who was the ban between 1521 and 1524 married one Helen Zrinski. Another Helen Zrinski was the wife of Francis I Rákóczi (whom she married in 1666) and of Imre Thököly (whom she married in 1682).

Johann Zrinski, a son of Nikola Šubić Zrinski, inherited (and partly bought) Rožmberk Castle, Bohemia from Petr Vok of Rožmberk.

During Stanley's expedition in Africa in 1882, his fellow-explorer, a Croat from Požega named Dragutin Lerman discovered in Congo the waterfalls that he named the "Zrinski chutes"

Already by the end of the twelfth century, the Šubić family, whose fief was Bribir, held the title of princes. Later, their power steadily increased, so that they acquired the territory between the rivers Krka and Zrmanja and the sea by the 13th century. At the outset of the 14th century, Pavao Šubić governed Bosnia as far as the Drina. Later on, the town of Zrin, by which they gained the epithet Zrinski, fell into their hands. In the 16th century, Ban Nikola Zrinski gained dominion over Medjimurje with its capital at Čakovec.

It is not well known that descendants of the Zrinski family are still alive in Greece under the family name "Sdrinias". The common belief is that the noble families Zrinski and Frankopan perished through execution in Wiener Neustadt on April 30th, 1671, owing to their role in the so called Zrinski-Frankopan Plot (in Hungarian historiography called the Wesselényi Plot) against the Emperor.

Katarina Zrinska, a noted poet, was born into the Frankopan family, and married Petar Zrinski. Another known female Zrinski was Jelena Zrinska (* Ilona Zrinyi)

Family branches


;Last Letter of Ban Petar Zrinski to his wife Katarina:

Estates and buildings


The Croatian football club NK Zrinjski from the city of Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina is named after the Zrinski family. There are numerous other clubs and teams named after the Zrinskis all throughout Croatia and the Croatian diaspora.

Today's Hungarian military academy is named after Nicholas Zrinski II. (Zrínyi Miklós Nemzetvédelmi Egyetem).

Most cities in Hungary have streets named after Miklós Zrínyi (for example in Budapest there are 13 Zrínyi streets).

Many Croatian female organisations and cultural societies have the name of Katarina Zrinska.

Stephen Colbert called Nicholas Zrínyi II. an "asshole" as a joke on his program the Colbert Report causing a minor outrage in Hungary. The two were competing in an internet voting contest for the honor of having a new highway bridge over the Danube named after them.

Zrinski in art

Zrinski in literature and theatre

* Ivan Zajc, opera "Nikola Šubić Zrinski" (famous aria "U boj, u boj")
* Eugen Kumičić: "Urota zrinsko-frankopanska"

Zrinski in paintings

Zrinski family was often topic in the paintings of Oton Iveković.
* "Nikola Zrinski pred Sigetom"
* "Oproštaj Zrinskog i Frankopana od Katarine Zrinske"
* "Juriš Nikole Zrinskog iz Sigeta"

* Miklós Barabás: Miklós Zrinyi
* Viktor Madarász: Miklós Zrinyi

Zrinski in sculptures

* in citatel in Budapest

Zrinski in movies


External links

* [http://www.posta.hr/marke_det_e.asp?serija=199&brmarke=199 Zrinski stamps]
* http://genealogy.euweb.cz/hung/zrinyi.html

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