About Hunedoara Castle
Hunedoara Castle, also known as Corvin Castle or ‘Corvinesti’, in Hunedoara in Romania, is one of Europe’s largest castles. Originally a fortress, it was used as a royal stronghold until 1440. Hunedoara Castle was later renovated and expanded by the General Iancu de Hunedoara, who turned it into an impressive castle with a series of towers and turrets.
History of Hunedoara Castle
The castle is one of the Seven Wonders of Romania. Hunedoara Castle was first laid out in 1446 and was built during the mid 15th century by military leader and Transylvania’s ‘voivode’ Iancu de Hunedoara, who constructed the tall structure over the remains of a keep.
Hunedoara Castle is split into 3 large areas: The Knight’s Hall, the Diet Hall, and the circular stairways. Each of these areas is surrounded by both circular and rectangular towers which were used for defence and as a prison.
It was one of Iancu de Hunedoara’s most important properties, becoming a resplendent home rather than a strategically enforced point alone.
An imposing structure, the castle is characterised by its tall towers, bastions, inner courtyard, diversely coloured roofs, and many windows and balconies adorned with stone carvings.
After Iancu de Hunedoara died, the castle fell into swift decline. It was not until the 17th century that there was interest in restoring the castle. Architects were allowed to imagine how a fairy-tale gothic castle might look, which accounts for its fanciful and dramatic design.
Several monarchs lived in Hunedoara Castle, including Matthew Corvin, Ioan Corvin and Gabriel Bethlen. There is also legend that Vlad the Impaler spent seven years in the dungeons of Corvin Castle, which eventually led to him going mad.
Hunedoara Castle Today
Today Hunedoara Castle is open to the public. One of its most impressive internal features is its Knight Hall, which now houses a weaponry exhibit. Hunedoara Castle has a number of collections, ranging in theme from the archaeological to the medieval. It also offers a fascinating insight into medieval Romanian defensive architecture.
The castle is open daily, with tickets costing around £5.
Getting to Hunedoara Castle
From the centre of Hunedoara, Hunedoara Castle is an 8-10 minute drive via Bulevardul Traian and DJ687J and Bulevardul Dacia.
Romania Historic Sites
Explore the impressive history of Romania in our guide to the 10 best historic sites to see, including the supposed home of Dracula at Bran Castle and the imposing Alba Iulia Fortress.