Sibinjanin Janko

If you look on the left side, you can see a plain white building that used to be the “Belgrade” Department Store. It marks the beginning of the most beautiful street in Subotica, which reminds visitors of Montmartre, according to the words of people from distant countries. And then your gaze falls upon the tall figure of Matthias Corvinus, the Hungarian king. He received the nickname Corvinus because of the depiction of ravens in his coat of arms, while the deeply embedded sword speaks of his strength.

“Who is Matthias Corvinus, and what is his actual surname if his nickname is Corvinus?” – you can ask this question to the time machine located on the pedestal of the monument, where a traveler can read: “Matthias Rex (1458-1490).”

“Ha, ha” – laughter was heard from the courtyard.

That was enough to activate the time machine.

“Son” – Janko gently addressed his son Matija – “look at how beautiful the Danube is”.

“Dad, I think that’s the Sava River” – The little boy loved having conversations with his famous father, who always found time for his son in between battles.

“Maybe you’re right because we can’t know for sure from this spot. This is the confluence of the Sava and the Danube, and that’s why there is so much water here.”

“Why were you in Romania for so long? When will you take me there? Great-grandpa Srb told me that Romania is wonderful, especially Timișoara”.

“What did Grandpa say when I went to Timișoara?” – Janko asked his son.

“I think that was in 1447.”

“If I built the fortress for four years, when did I start building it?” – Janko Sibinjanin liked to practice mathematics with his son in this way.

“Do you want us to go live in Hunedoara?” – the father knew that his son was already grown up and surely understood why it was important to build castles. The enemy lurked from all sides. It was necessary to protect both one’s own life and the life of one’s beloved wife, Erzsébet Szilágyi.

“I love playing there, but I’m also a bit scared of those cold and dark chambers.”

“I would like to be buried there one day. Remember these words and fulfill my wish. You will one day be greater and more significant than me, my son.”

“Everyone already knows you, but I never know exactly what your name is” – he blushed a little as he said that.

“What do you mean?” – Sibinjanin Janko tried to be serious.

“Well, are you Sibinjanin Janko or are you Hunyadi János? And that mustache they made on your statue looks a bit funny; you look like a true Hungarian. And I thought we were Romanians.”

“That’s why I had them shortened. I don’t like them either” – he hugged his son and motioned for him to sit on the rampart.

“You know, my dear, even I am not sure who I am. There are all sorts of stories. Some say I am the illegitimate son of Sigismund of Luxembourg, others say I am the son of Stefan Lazarević… People love legends. I love my father who raised me – my good Vojko, son of Serb.”

“Why don’t you ever tell me about the battles? I love such stories” – a secret light always shone in the depths of the boy’s eyes when he sneaked in to listen to the adults talking about the glorious times when his father defended Belgrade. He often heard songs sung about his father in the villages:

Sibinjanin Janko drinks wine,

In Sibiu on the White Tower,

And with him, his aging mother,

Then the aging mother said:

Oh my son, Sibinjanin Janko!

Janko knew that Matthias’ time would come and that he would disrupt his father’s glory with his own actions. He tried to teach him all the important skills necessary for a military leader, how to strategize in warfare, how to choose trustworthy people, how to build ramparts, castles, and trenches, and how to care for his soldiers.

The boy grew up and soon became one of the most renowned Hungarian kings. He was crowned in 1458.

Upon the mention of that year, something powerful shook, and the time machine forcefully ejected two boys who had carelessly laughed at the mention of the time machine. The adventure of traveling to the 15th century had shown them that machines that teleport us to another time truly exist.

On the monument in Subotica, Corvinus doesn’t have a mustache. We still wonder who he resembles the most.


Janko Hunjadi (Hungarian: Hunyadi János; Serbian: Sibinjanin Janko; Romanian: Ioan de Hunedoara; 1407 – August 11, 1456) was a prominent Hungarian military and political figure in Central and Southeastern Europe during the 15th century. According to most contemporary sources, he hailed from a noble family of Romanian origin. He honed his military skills in the southern borderlands of the Kingdom of Hungary, which were subjected to Ottoman attacks. After being appointed as the voivode of Transylvania and many other southern districts, he took on the responsibility of defending the border.

Although essentially illiterate, Sibinjanin Janko possessed remarkable military, diplomatic, and governing abilities, which made him one of the most significant figures not only in Hungarian history but also in the late Middle Ages.

After the death of János Hunyadi – Sibinjanin Janko, his image as the protector of the oppressed and the greatest defender of Christianity against Turkish conquests was deeply ingrained in the epic life of the Hungarian and Serbian people.

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