After a few trips to Romania, I really needed to visit one of the stunning castles in the country. On my Interrail trip to the UK from Brasov, I needed a town to visit near to the border and on the Bucharest-Vienna train line and opted for Deva due to timings of trains to suit travelling with the dog.
Corvin Castle was located not far from Deva and had a good regular minibus service to Hunedoara from the train station.
Corvin Castle is also known as Hunyadi Castle, Hunedoara Castle or in Romanian called Castelul Corvinilor. It is a Gothic-Renaissance castle and is one of the largest castles in the whole of Europe. It is a special place and has a place in the Seven Wonders of Romania, I hope to eventually see all of the seven wonders at some point.
What Wikipedia Says
Built in a Renaissance-Gothic style and constructed over the site of an older fortification on a rock above the smaller Zlaști River, the castle is a large and imposing structure with tall towers, bastions, an inner courtyard, diversely coloured roofs, and myriads of windows and balconies adorned with stone carvings.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corvin_Castle
Finding Castelul Corvinilor
I arrived on a minibus from Deva at the bus station and walked using old faithful Google maps to get to the castle. The route changed many times due to groups of stray dogs taking an interest in my puppy, I carried him at times and changed the route to avoid any trouble. We arrived using an unconventional route for sure approaching on dirt roads along the river that formed part of the moat of the castle.
The dog was allowed in the outer courtyard where there were tourist shops and shops selling refreshments. This had a big grass area, seating overlooking the castle and what looked like stadium seating facing towards the castle.
The dog was not permitted to enter the main building across the bridge so time to take turns exploring or dog duty. I purchased tickets from the ticket office and established the no camera sign meant no proper cameras but mobile phones were OK to use happy days.
After entry, I entered the Castle across the bridge and through the main entrance, the stone/wood bridge across the moat was a great place to take photos of the building and if I was that way inclined great for selfies. The river that forms part of the moat run under this bridge and was lovely to admire from above.
Torture In Transylvania
I entered through the main entrance and had a look around the gate, rather than heading to the main courtyard I was drawn to the side rooms. This led me down some stone stairs and into a dungeon that was used in the past as a torture chamber. The dungeon had fascinating exhibits of torture devices and methods used in the history of the castle. Each torture device had English descriptions of the torture method as well as what crimes these methods were used for. All very brutal and fascinating at the same time mainly focusing on methods used in the 14th to 17th century. The archive had many artefacts showing the torture methods some with life-like figures enduring their punishments.
On exiting the dungeon it was back through the main courtyard and into the main building and up the stairs.
The Chapel was the first signposted room in the main building which was viewed from above. The chapel seemed an intimate one which was quite small with a red carpet up the middle. The room had some nice stained glass windows. The chapel has one small nave and Artex separated by 2 columns. The patron saint of this chapel was St John the Baptist and was built in a Gothic style.
The Matia Wing
The Matia wing is on the north side of the fortress and includes the Golden Room a bedroom built for King Matia. The wing has 2 balconies one overlooking the main inner courtyard and a great place to snap a photo. The wing included some preserved artwork and furniture and the golden room has a nice looking four-poster bed.
The Princesses’ room
The Princesses’ room is also located in the Matia wing originally part of the castle defences and called the north-west tower. It evolved to become the princesses room, a living room for the ladies of the castle with a boudoir on the southern part. The ceilings are wooden and built in a Neo-Gothic style making the place look very artistic and special.
The Council Hall
Next was to enter the rather grand Council Hall a big room used for ceremonial purposes. This room was special and had fantastic ceilings and furniture as well as artwork on the walls. I can imagine some serious banqueting happening here in the past. The hall is separated by a row of columns and the western side is a renaissance gallery.
The Solitary Tower
In the southern part of the castle is the solitary tower which was built in Ioan of Hunedora’s first stage of construction. The Solitary tower has two defence levels, the gunman’s room and the embattled level. This circular tower was damaged during a fire in 1854 but was restored during the 20th century.
The tower has some fantastic views trough arrow slits and other windows of the whole castle. This included viewing the main bridge in and the surrounding area. Heading down the tower stairs led to the Administrative palace, then on to the courtyard level where the smithy was located.
A forge that was first mentioned in the 15th century and located on the ground floor if the administrative wing. The blacksmiths of the time had a close relationship with the knights of the era and worked together to create the perfect weapons including swords. The blacksmith was considered an important part of society, due to their ability to create valuable and useful items. Currently on display are many tools and bellows used by the smithy and was fascinating to see.
From the smithy I entered the main courtyard of Corvin castle which is a very nice area and gives access to all parts of the castle, it has balconies overlooking the goings-on. Off the courtyard was some rooms on a balcony type walkway this included a hunting room with wall-mounted heads, skulls and furs including lynx and wolf.
Another neighbouring room is dedicated to stones and the types of stone used in the construction of the buildings.
The Knights Hall
Opposite the courtyard and under Council hall was the main knight’s hall which contained an exhibition of suits of armour and weapons used.
This hall had the same style ceilings and pillars as the hall above. This was fascinating seeing the weapons used from forks to swords and also some artwork on display.
The Legend of The Well
From the courtyard, I exited through an archway to the well which has a legend attached to it. Basically the story tells of 3 Turkish prisoners who Ion of Hunedoara promised freedom on completion of the well. It took the prisoners 15 years to complete digging through solid rock to find water. Unfortunately for the prisoners, Ioan has passed away and his wife decided not to respect her husband promise and decided to kill the prisoners. Their final wish was to be able to write on a piece of stone in the well. The prisoners wrote on the stone “You may have water but you have no soul”. The stone is now at home in the chapel.
From the well, I headed along the fortifications of the main castle towards the mace tower. Views were fantastic including the river, the outer fortifications and the moat in between.
The Mace Tower
AKA The Painted tower, The Mace Tower is the tallest tower of the original construction which started in 1440. It only has one defensive level but its original purpose was as a watchtower. The mace name comes from the semi-spherical dome shape at the top. In the second half of the 15th century, it was covered with a fresco of rhombs which led to its other name The Painted Tower.
I had finished my tour of this stunning fairytale castle and had really enjoyed and I recommend a visit to anyone that likes history and architecture. Now my turn to look after the puppy before visiting the Torture museum next door.
Other Photos of the visit including interior and exterior photos.