Corvin Castle in Hunedoara- between legends and heroes

In the heart of Transylvania, one of Europe’s largest castles looks like it sits atop a rocky bluff with nothing but a thin bridge allowing access. But this is Corvin Castle, which looks like something straight out of a fairytale, largely because restorers thought that it should. 

Corvin Castle, also known as Hunyadi Castle or Hunedoara Castle, is a Gothic-Renaissance castle in Hunedoara, Romania. It is one of the largest castles in Europe and figures in a list of the Seven Wonders of Romania. Built in the mid-15th century, the castle was the work of Hungarian military leader John Hunyadi, who constructed the tall structure over the remains of a keep built by Charles I.

Corvin Castle is split into three large areas: The Knight’s Hall, the Diet Hall, and the circular stairways. Each of these three parts is surrounded by both circular and rectangular towers that were used for both defense and as a prison. 

The elaborate architecture was designed in a rich gothic style that accentuates the already impressive structure. The castle was kept in regal condition during Hunyadi’s lifetime, but after he died, the castle fell into swift decline. It was not until the 17th century that there was more interest in restoring this medieval castle. As the restoration work began, the workers redesigned the castle to reflect what they considered a gothic castle should look like, which explains much of its currently fanciful look.

Know Before You Go

The Castle is open daily, from 10:30 AM to 8:30 PM on Mondays, and from 9:00 AM and 8:30 PM from Tuesday to Sunday. A normal ticket costs around €5, but the prices for students and elderly people are lower. Corvin Castle is an attraction included in the Romania: Castles, Ruins, and Medieval Villages trip.

 

Legends

Tourists are told that it was the place where Vlad the Impaler, Prince of Wallachia, was held prisoner by John Hunyadi, Hungary's military leader and regent during the King's minority. Later, Vlad III entered a political alliance with John Hunyadi, although the latter was responsible for the execution of his father, Vlad II Dracul. Because of these links, the Hunedoara Castle is sometimes mentioned as a source of inspiration for Castle Dracula in Bram Stoker's 1897 horror novel Dracula. In fact, Stoker neither knew about Vlad's alliance with Hunyadi, nor about Hunyadi's castle. Instead, Stoker's own handwritten research notes confirm that the novelist imagined Castle Dracula to be situated on an empty top in the Transylvanian Călimani Mountains near the former border with Moldavia.

In the castle yard, near the 15th-century chapel, there is a well 30 meters deep. According to the legend, this fountain was dug by 3 Turkish prisoners to whom liberty was promised if they reached water. After 15 years they completed the well, but their captors did not keep their promise. It is said that the inscription on a wall of the well means "you have water, but not soul". Specialists, however, have translated the inscription as "he who wrote this inscription is Hasan, who lives as slave of the giaours, in the fortress near the church".

In February 2007, Corvin Castle played host to the British paranormal television program Most Haunted Live! for a three-night live investigation into the spirits reported to be haunting the castle. Results were inconclusive.

In 2013, the television show Ghost Adventures filmed an episode at the castle as part of their Halloween special. The castle has been also featured in the video game Age of Empires II HD The Forgotten as a civilization wonder.

The final action sequence (climax) for the 2015 Bollywood movie Singh Is Bling starring Akshay Kumar was shot at the castle.

In 2016, beginning in April, scenes for Dragonheart: Battle for the Heartfire were filmed at the castle for months.

In 2018, the castle was used as the "Cârța Monastery" in the horror movie The Nun.

 

Source: atlasobscura.com, wikipedia.com

Keywords: corvin castle | hunedoara castle | legends of corvin castle

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