St Agata's feast-day. The siege of the Hungarians
Festa Patronale di S. Agata. L'Assedio degli Ungheri
Arzignano, Vicenza (Veneto region)
Geographical, cultural and historical context
Arzignano is a town located in the western part of the Province of Vicenza, in the beautiful pre-Alpine valley of the river Chiampo surrounded by hills between the Small Dolomites and the Lessini Mounts. Arzignano, which boasts a quite ancient history as witnessed by the many findings from the Neolithic Age digged out in the surrounding hills, experienced a remarkable development during the Roman times, thanks to its strategic position at the mouth of a valley and near a bridge on the important road leading along the foot of the hills from Verona to nearby Friuli region.
Event description and programme
The yearly event presents a fascinating page of the local history which took place during the "War of Zara”, the military campaign launched by Sigismund, King of Hungary and Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire against Venice in the attempt to retake the territories of Zara, Dalmatia and Friuli. In January 1413, the Venetian lands were invaded by the imperial army, bolstered by 14,000 soldiers and commanded by an Italian Condottiero, Filippo Buondelmonti degli Scolari, known as Pippo Spano, one of the most famous adventurers of the 15th century. Born in Florence Pippo Spano managed to achieve a quite brilliant career at the court of Sigismund of Hungary reaching also the prestigious title of "Ispan", count, hence the Italian nickname "spano". Arzignano castle is put under siege by the imperial army, and after several weeks of desperate resistance, the population, exhausted and almost short of food, vow to Saint Agata (a 3rd century AD Christian martyr), asking for her intercession. Miraculously on February 5th, 1413, the Saint Agata’s feast-day, the Hungarians decide to break the siege and retire. Since then every year the 'Siege of the Hungarians” is commemorated with a historical-religious parade, a Solemn Mass in the Votive Church in the village of Tezze, and a wealth of cultural and religious events, while many historical characters, a crafts market, music shows, performances of storytellers, falconers and flag-throwers make to relive the charming atmosphere of the late 15th century in Arzignano.
Please contact the Organizers for confirmation and further details.
Info & Contact
Associazione Storica Sant'Agata
Arzignano Town Council
Tel.: +39 0444 476543
Fax: +39 0444 476513
Web: www.comune.arzignano.vi.it / http://www.inarzignanonews.it/DettaglioComunicazione.aspx?id=5510
Image: Parrocchia di Tezze di Arzignano
Text sources: Wikipedia, Arzignano Town Council.
Arzignano on Google Maps:
Video reportages from the event: