No matter where one might tread, one cannot ignore the sheer awesomeness of the local castles. Since most of the world is dotted with exquisite ancient buildings, we could not help but wish to acquaint you with the fabled (and sometimes deemed scary) castles of Transylvania. While no werewolves or vampires are likely to strike you down, these castles can surely make you wonder about a few things (and about the land itself – which is fascinating, by the way). In short, they are grandiose, and here we are exploring exactly why (wink)! So, without further dithering about, let us make the stride together!
1. Corvin Castle:
If you are wondering which Transylvanian castle to hit first, you should definitely start with a gigantic one. So, without delaying any further, make your way to Hunedoara and bask in the brilliance of Corvin Castle (also known as “Hunedoara Castle”, “Hunyadi Castle”, “Castelul Huniazilor”, “Castelul Corvinilor”, or “Vajdahunyadi Vár”) is one of the most prominent sights of its home county. Ordered by the renowned Hunyadi János (the father of the world-famous Hungarian king, Matthias Corvinus), the castle was built around 1446. Adhering to a fine blend between the Gothic and Renaissance architectural styles, it is one of the largest castles in Europe. Open to the public between 9am and 5pm, it currently stands completely renovated. Legends pertaining to the castle talk not only of Hunyadi János but also of Vlad Dracul (the Impaler) – we recommend further research on the subject if you choose to heed our call and visit it.
2. Martinuzzi Castle:
There is no doubt about the fact that Transylvania has gorgeous cities but you should definitely visit its rural parts as well. Why? Well, if the openness and the warmth of the people aren’t enough for you, then you should do it for the scattered yet wonderful sights. Situated deep within the heart of the village of Vințu de Jos (also known as Unter-Wintz, Winzendorf, Weinsdorf, Alvinc, Binstum, or Aşağı Vinçazvar), the Martinuzzi Castle (also known as “Alvinc Castle”) is one of the most important masterpieces pertaining to the Italian Renaissance style in the region. Designated a site of historical significance by the Romanian government (in Romania’s National Register of Historic Monuments), the fortress bore witness to the assassination of George Martinuzzi (a Croatian nobleman and Pauline monk) at the hands of General Giovanni Battista Castaldo on the night of 16-17 December 1551. The castle lies in ruin nowadays but its grandeur can still be discerned with a keen eye.
3. Kornis Castle:
If you happen to find yourself in the Transylvanian village of Mănăstirea (Cluj County, Romania), be sure to check out the ruins of Kornis Castle. While this one is close the city of Cluj-Napoca (the city where most youths flock to go to college), it is still considered a rural sight. Built between the years 1573 and 1593 to adhere to the Renaissance architectural style, it is the chief attraction of its surrounding region. Even after 1975 when the Romanian Orthodox Church took the estate over, there have been no efforts to renovate it. Designed by Hungarian master architect Kristof Kereszturi, it harbours exciting sights such as the Tower Entrance, the Octagonal Fountain, the Inorog, and the multiple coats of arms. Definitely a must-investigate!
4. Mikó Castle
Considering paying a visit to the Székely regions of Transilvania? Well the city of Miercurea Ciuc (also known as Csíkszereda in Hungarian) also has something to show you and it is the Mikó Castle (also known as “Castelul Mikó” or “Mikó Vár”)! Considered the most important monument of its parent city, the castle harbours an ethnographic museum devoted to the richness of Székely heritage (since there is a large concentration of Székely people living in Harghita and Covasna counties). Named after the Transylvanian diplomat and politician Ferenc Mikó (1585-1635), it features a more subtle blend between the Gothic and Baroque architectural styles. Designated a historic monument by the Ministry of Culture and Religious Affairs, it is 75 metres long, 70 metres wide, and it was completed in the year 1630.
Did you enjoy our list? Which of these magnificent structures have you witnessed personally? Tell us all about it in the comment section below and be sure to check back from time to time! Safe travels!