by Affordable Tours

This version (2015/08/18 08:23) was approved by afftrs.


Basic Info

Name: Huneodora
Country: Romania

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This is the gothic castle of the Corvins in Hunedoara (Hungarian: Vajdahunyad, German: Hunniadstadt, Eisenmarkt). What Marinela wrote on your website is quite accurate. In the 12-13th centuries it was a small royal citadel. It was given by Sigismund of Luxemburg to the local nobleman by the name of Vojk for his deeds.

Vojk's son, Ioannus Corvinus (Johann Huniad, brilliant strategist and warrior lord, aka “the white knight” for his victories against the Ottoman empire) the ruler of Transylvania and the governor of Hungary, inherited the citadel from his father and enlarged it in the 15th century into a gothic residence-stronghold. This was the favourite residence of his wife, Elisabeth of Szilagy. She spent most of her life here.
Furthermore, Ioannus' son, Matthias Corvinus (Matthias Kiraly) king of Hungary (aka “the renaissance king”) enlarged it himself by adding a few more gothic but also renaissance touches (Matia wing and loggia were built). During his rule, the famous Vlad Dracul the Impaler (aka Dracula), once an allied of his, was imprisoned here.

Another important owner of the castle was the Transylvanian prince Gabriel Bethlen who during the 17th century enlarged the castle (late renaissance/baroque Bethlen wing, white tower, gate tower, terrace/artillery platform) and moved the gateway and its bridge where it stands today.
After being owned by 23 noble families the castle was abandoned for about 14-15 years in the first half of the 19th century. In the second half of the 19th century, the Habsburg authorities renovated the castle adding a few neo-gothic/gothic touches and turning it into a sumptuous royal castle for the Austrian Habsburg emperor.

The castle received its shape (the way it looks nowadays) mostly in the period between the 15 and 17th centuries. The castle is considered the most impressive and best preserved gothic castle in Romania.
I hope this isn't too confusing. I tried as much as possible to make the long story short. I am very fond of this castle and it is the only one I know so much about.

All the above text and photos were provided by Michael Bodea. Thank you for your collaboration.

A 14 th Century Gothic castle. It was believe to be built on old Roman fortifications, is evocative, with three huge pointed towers, a drawbridge and high battlements. Five marble columns with delicate ribbed vaults support two halls (1453), the Diet Hall above the Knight's Hall below. The castle wall was hewn out of 30 m of solid rock by Turkish prisoners.

The fortress was extensively restored by Iancu de Hunedoara from 1452 onwards. The castle was restored in 1952; a handful of its 50 rooms today houses a feudal art museum.
Marinela from Romania wrote:

The documents of the time mention the existence of a stronghold in the XIV century, situated on the current site of the castle, a royal fortress with an elipsoidal shape and a refuge tower on the North wing, barred on the South side by a stone wall. This estate of the D'Anjou family became the property of the Corvins at the beginning of the XV century (1409), during the times of the nobleman Voicu, as a donation including the fortress and the estate of Hunedoara. It was during this chronological moment in history that the name of the Corvins were mentioned, when king Sigismund of Luxemburg offered the above mentioned estate and the castle as reward for special military merits. Voicu's son, Ioan Corvin of Hunedoara (Johannes Corvin of Hunyad), enlarged the construction existing in the XIV century; as a result of two succesive construction stages, a new precincts was developed, between 1441 - 1446, equipped with 7 protective towers - 4 circular ones and 3 rectangular ones. He also built most of the Chapel, the palace proper (The Council's Hall, The Knight's Hall), the tower of the winding stairway and the South side, which included house hold facilities, during the second stage (1446- 1453). After a number of confrontations with the Ottoman Empire, Ioan Corvin, in the meantime appointed military governor of the Hungarian Kingdom, died after the battle of Belgrad (August 11, 1456). Elisabeth Szilagy, his wife and their son, Matthew Corvin, one of the most brilliant kings of medieval Hungary, had the loggia in the North wing built (the Matthew Loggia), the construction of the Chapel and the Council's Hall completed, and continued the works of embellishing the castle.

In the XV century, the castle was a unique example of nobiliary fortified residence for the area of Transilvania, a dwelling combining specific elements of late Gothic style with early Renaissance style. The Corvins owned the castle and the estate of Hunedoara up to 1508, folowed by 22 other owners up to XVIII century when the castle and estate became the property of the Habsbourg Empire and the castle itself was turned into the administrative hedquarters of the mines and the storage house for the iron products (1724 - 1854). The destiny of the castle is linked, in the XVII century, to the personality of prince Gabriel Bethlen (1613 - 1629), who had some interior modifications executed, had the castle remodeled for the defensive demands of the times, by having the white tower, the artillery platform, the inner precincts and the Bethlen palace built - the palace merges middle and late Renaissance characteristics - and had the new entrance into the castle opened through the new gate tower.

After a series of minor modifications and fires, the last fire in 1854 having destroyed the whole wooden structure of the castle, the first restoration works was started (1868 - 1874); as a result, the shingle roof of the castle was replaced with a tile roof, some of the towers were super - elevated, a neo-Ghotic side was built, next to the Bethlen palace, and some interior works and fittings out were executed.

The turning of the castle into a museum (1974) was preceded by another restoration and consolidation stage (1956 - 1968) and, after 1997, the restoration works has been going on up now.

The Chapel

The building is considered one of the representative parts for XV century, showing a mixture between the Roman style (the polygonal shape of the altar) and the late Gothic architectural fashion. The modifications executed at the beginning of XVII century affected the original architecture of the Chapel. The mural paintings existing in the Middle Ages were mostly deteriorated, only fragments were left in the altar and the entrance (sanction crosses).

Visitor Accounts

Hunedora, 13, From Region: Massna, wrote:
I know this show, scariest places on earth, it got me hooked on Vlad Dracula. I think that Hunedora is haunted by people who died quite unfairly. I also believe that Dracula also haunts it. That segment all but unconvienced me! If any one finds any more info on Vlad or hunedora can you email me? Thanx
Art, 16, from Midwest, wrote:
I've read that Hunedoara castle was once inhabited by Vlad Dracula or Vlad the Impaler and He himself died there. I also found out that the castle was supposed to be restored a second time but the workers left because of “unseeable” inhabitants roaming the castle trying to get rid of everything even remotely human. Therefore, the castle was never finished and the construction equipment is still inside the rooms of the castle. I think that castle Hunedoara is very interesting but it has a very dark secret held by only those who died unfairly inside the castle at the hands of various insane inhabitants of the castle during the Dark Ages. I also found out that the main inhabitant, Vlad Dracula, died in that castle and his remains were never discovered. As for the poor souls that died in the castle for no reason, I believe that they still roam the halls of the castle trying desperately to escape.
Michelle, 13, from USA, wrote:
They have this show on fox family called scariest places on earth and Hunedora castle was on there. It is known as Dracula's castle. He got the name Dracula because he used to impale people on iron rods then lick the blood from the people that got impaled. It really kind of freaked me out that somebody could do that. His real name was Vlad, but everyone called him Vlad the impaler. After he died he became a strigoi which is when someone that was evil when they were alive came back as the creature of their choice to kill people. Well, it just so happens that he came back as Dracula. Freaky huh!
Marinela Sonei, 37, from Romania-Hunedora, wrote:
live in the shadow of the castle and I know a lot of thinks about it. As I see, you do not know much. I can send you a lot of informations and pictures. This space is to small.

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Last modified:: 2015/08/18 13:06