Architecture in Romania: Corvin Castle

Corvin Castle, a Gothic castle in Hunedoara, Romania. Home of Ioan de Hunedoara and Matei Corvin.

Corvin (also called Hunedoara) castle is a 15th century building with great architectural and historical importance. It is situated in Hunedoara city, in the center-west part of Romania. Two names are strongly linked with this building, Ioan de Hunedoara (John Hunyadi), a prince of Romanian origin and Matei Corvin (Mathias Corvinus), son of Ioan de Hunedoara and Elisabeth Szilagy, he became one of the greatest kings of Hungary. The first owner of the castle was Ioan's father who received it from the Holy Roman Emperor, Sigismund.

Ioan de Hunedoara stopped the ottoman turks from entering Belgrade in the battle of 1456. He died shortly after this event because of the plague. He died shortly after this event because of the plague. Matei Corvin remains as a great if not the greatest Hungarian king, succeeding with his Fekete sereg (Black Army) in many battles.

The castle has two bridges, two platforms, 42 chambers and is built on an area of 7000 square meters. To enter the castle you must travel on a wooden bridge which is sustained by 4 massive piers made from stone placed in the river Zlasti.

As for architecture, it is in the Gothic style with some Renaissance elements. Before the castle was built, a fortress existed dating from the 14th century, it had an ellipsoidal shape with pointed northern and southern extremities. The walls had a thickness of 2 meters. After 1440, Ioan de Hunedoara started the building of vast portions with the intent of transforming the fortress into a castle.

In the 17th century, prince Gabriel Bethien modified some parts of the castle. On the eastern side he constructed the Big Palace facing the Town. He also changed the interior aspect of the Chapel, removing the Gothic arches and the windows were transformed into rectangular ones. The White Tower and the Artillery Terrace were also constructed.

In the 19th century the neo-Gothic gallery and the monumental staircase were added to the Bethlen Palace and the roofs were built much higher. The Artillery Platform also got a line o crenels and a supervision tower for pure aesthetic reasons.

In the prison of the castle, Vlad Tepes (also known as Dracula) was locked for a period. In the Loggia Matia there exists the only secular fresco dating to the Renaissance in the entire region.

The Restoration

In the first stage, the architect Schultz Francisc did the restoration works. He started with the Knights Hall, demolishing all the interior components. After he died, Imre Steindl continued the program. He was the one who increased the heights of the chambers and remade the shape of the roofs. After him Piaczek Iuliu concluded the works, but not in a satisfactory manner.

In 1956 another important restoration program was started, this time, by Romanians, based on new archaeological findings.

Interior Court

Sala dietei (Assembly Hall)

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