The Corvin Fortress
Chateau corvin roumanie forteresse des hunyades

The Corvin Fortress

This castle is a must see place to visit in Transylvania/Romania. Located in the Hunedoara region, it is easily accessible from the A1 motorway by taking the Simeria or Deva exit, depending on whether you are coming from Sibiu or Timisoara.
Discover with this article the history of this castle and its particularities.

chateau corvin corvin castle corvin citadel

Chateau Corvin, the fortress of the Hunedoara

Corvin Castle was laid out in 1446, when construction began on the orders of the Voivode of Transylvania John Hunyady who wanted to transform the old keep built by Charles I. The castle was originally given to John Hunyadi’s father, Voyk ( Vajk), by Sigismund of Luxembourg, King of Hungary and Croatia, as a departure in 1409. It was also in 1446 that John Hunyadi was elected regent-governor by the Diet.

Corvin Hunedoara Central Transylvania

Built in a Renaissance-Gothic style and built on the site of an old fortification on a rock above the small Zlaști river, the castle is a large and imposing structure with high towers, bastions, an inner courtyard, roofs of various colors and a myriad of windows and balconies adorned with stone carvings. The castle also has a double wall to reinforce the fortification and is flanked by rectangular and circular towers, an architectural innovation for Transylvanian architecture of the time. Some of the towers (the Capistrano Tower, the Deserted Tower and the Drum Tower) were used as prisons. The Buzdugan Tower (a type of mace after which it is named) was built solely for defensive purposes, and its exterior was decorated with geometric patterns. The rectangular-shaped towers have large openings to accommodate larger weapons.

corvin castle nights

Corvin Castle has three large spaces: the Knights’ Hall, the Diet Hall and the Circular Staircase. The rooms are rectangular in shape and decorated with marble. The Diet Hall was used for ceremonies or official receptions while the Knights Hall was used for parties. In 1456 John Hunyadi died and work on the castle stalled. From 1458, new commissions were underway to build the Matia wing of the castle. In 1480 work was completely stopped on the castle and it was recognized as being one of the largest and most impressive buildings in Eastern Europe.

Corvin Castle

The 16th century brought no improvements to the castle, but in the 17th century new additions were made, for aesthetic and military purposes. Aesthetically, the new Grand Palace was built facing the city. A two-level building, it housed a living room and a large living space. For military purposes, two new towers were built: the White Tower and the Artillery Tower. In addition, the outer courtyard was added, used for administration and storage.

The current castle is the result of a fanciful restoration campaign undertaken after a catastrophic fire and several decades of total abandonment. It has been noted that “modern architects have projected their own nostalgic interpretations of the appearance of a grand Gothic castle onto it”.

Chateau de hunedoara

In the courtyard of the castle, near the 15th century chapel, there is a well 30 meters deep. According to legend, this fountain was dug by 3 Turkish prisoners who were promised freedom if they reached the water. After 15 years, they completed the well, but their captors did not keep their promise. The inscription on a wall of the well is said to mean “you have water, but no soul”. The scholars, however, translated the inscription as “the one who wrote this inscription is Hasan, who lives as a slave of the giaours, in the fortress near the church”.

In 2018 Corvin Castle was used as “Cârța Monastery” in the horror film The Nun.

Want to see more fortresses in Romania? Discover the Rasnov fortress by clicking here.

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