Corvin Castle & Sarmizegetusa Regia – Tour
Corvin Castle represents one of the most valuable monuments of medieval architecture in this country. It was attested in the documents early in the 14th century, having been actually a defence stronghold. On October 18, 1409, King Sigismund of Luxembourg granted the stronghold to the Romanian Prince Voicu, for his acts of bravery. Iancu de Hunedoara, Voicu’s son, radically changed it in keeping with the springing up of fire arms, of the new methods of struggle and siege. The result was an impressive defence fortress, meant to resist the onset of large armies. Over 1446-1453 new works were carried out which turned the stronghold into a sumptuous castle. After Iancu de Hunedoara’s death (1456), his son, Matei Corvin erected the Northern wing of the castele with elegant loggias, buit in the Renaissance style. At the beginning of the 17th century, Gabriel Bethlen built the Southern and Eastern sides. But at the same time some works altering the old Gothic architecture of the castle were undertaken. The castle belonged to the state from 1724 while in 1880 it was declared a historical monument. In 1956, on the five hundredth commemoration of Iancu de Hunedoara’s death, the Board of Historical Monuments began far-reaching actions of restoring the castle which were concluded in 1968.
The architectural outlook of the Hunedoara Castle blends Gothic style with elements of the Renaissance and of the Baroque styles. The castle, arranged like a museum, is open to visitors.
Sarmizegetusa Regia (Basileon Sarmizegetusa) was the capital of the Dacian Kingdom, erected in the middle of the 1st century BC. It is situated near the actual village Grădiştea Muncelului (Hunedoara County), on Grădişti Hill, at about 1,200 m altitude in a naturally protected area of the Godeanu Mountains. It consists of three parts: the civil settlement, the neighborhoods on the several terraces, the citadel and the sacred area. It was certainly the largest craft center in Dacia.
Once in Sarmizegetusa, its appearance was truly grandiose, almost six kilometers long, the south slope of the mountain was cut into a compound terrace on which the houses were built, over which the walls of the fortress were rising on the top of the massif, large sanctuaries , all united by a well-developed network of roads and water installations. It had a defense role for the army and the civilian population in times of danger. After being conquered by the Romans in 106 AD, they rebuilt it and turned it into the headquarters of a detachment of Flavia Felix Fourth Legion that secured the region’s security. Sarmizegetusa is now on UNESCO’s World Heritage list and is comparable with Stonehenge.