Romania is known for having many beautiful castles throughout Transylvania and one of its most elegant and stunning is Corvin Castle. Also going by the name Hunyad Castle, Corvin Castle is found in the small city of Hunedoara, west of the country’s centre. What makes visiting Corvin Castle so fascinating is that it genuinely looks like the kind of castle you imagine in fairy tales and fantasy sagas.
Originally started by John Hunyadi – a voivode or regional governor of Transylvania – in 1446, the castle’s construction halted after his death in 1456. Built over another fortification on land presented to his father by the King of Hungary, it was designed in a Gothic-Renaissance style. Some years later, work continued and was completed in 1480. In the 17th century, substantial modifications were made to the castle including to the council hall and chapel. What stands today is the result of many waves of restoration undertaken during the 20th century, each with its own approach and aesthetic.
Whether historical fact or not, it is often claimed that Vlad the Impaler was held prisoner here by John Hunyadi for an indeterminate length of time.
Visiting Corvin Castle isn’t an overly complicated experience. To be honest, it is hard to get past that first look you get when approaching the castle.
I found myself walking back and forth across the front of the castle, trying to capture it from all different angles. The impressive wooden bridge that leads up to the castle’s main gate, over a small river really is quite neat in its own right.
The main courtyard, with its very unconventional shape, two tiered terrace and elegant staircase.
The council hall, with its big stone columns and banners hanging.
The Arabic Inscription which has a particularly interesting story that relates to the castle’s well. Dug by 3 Turkish prisoners, they were promised freedom upon completion by John Hunyadi. However, when he died and the well was completed, John’s wife Elisabeth reneged on the promise and sentenced them to death. As a final wish, they asked to make an inscription stating “You may have water, but you have no soul”, what I think to be a fantastic remark. There is an inscription found, but the information board is unclear on whether it does say that or another remark that “The one who dug here is Hassan, prisoner to the giaours in the fortress next to the church”.
Where to Stay
When planning on visiting Corvin Castle, you have a few options available to you. The first and most obvious is to stay in Hunedoara itself, which has a small variety of accommodation on offer. This was my approach and for my stay I chose the aparthotel Vila HD. With a kitchen and big supermarket close by, I was able to cook for myself. The downside to staying in Hunedoara is that there really isn’t anything else to see there.
Another alternative is the nearby city of Deva, which has more accommodation options and sights on offer. A small shuttle bus runs every 15 minutes between Deva and Hunedoara train stations costing just 6.5 RON, making Deva quite viable. Further afield is the city of Alba Iulia, but transport will likely become more complicated.
For transport information, see www.autogari.ro for bus and train times.
The entry fee for adults is 30 RON and to take photos is an additional 5 RON, a common occurrence at Romanian tourist attractions. This entrance fee grants visitors unguided access to the castle.
Castle opening hours are 9am – 7.45pm Tuesday – Sunday and 10.30am – 7.45pm Mondays.
The castle surprisingly lacks a website, so your best bet is to Google “Corvin Castle” for any other information.
Have you visited Corvin Castle? What was your experience like? Please share in the comments below.
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