Corvins' Castle, Romania

Three first impressions on Corvin Castle, Hunedoara, Romania. A mom and her two sons, aged 13 and 10 write about their experience of the castle.

Corvins' Castle, Romania

Anna, the mom

Corvins' Castle also known as Hunyadi Castle or Hunedoara Castle counted among the largest castles in Europe can be found in Hunedoara, Romania. It is a beautiful Gothic -Renaissance construction with a large bridge over a moat, fortifications, towers, great halls with high gothic ceilings, an inner courtyard, a deep well and various chambers.

The entrance to the Castle, through the new Gate Tower

The construction of the castle started in the 15th century on the orders of Voivode of Transylvania John Hunyadi who wanted to transform a former keep built by Charles I of Hungary into a sumptuous home, not just a strategic fortification. The construction stopped for awhile when John Hunyadi died and then the castle was continually modified over the centuries by its new masters who added new chambers, towers, halls.

The inner courtyard

It is said that the Vlad the Impaler was held prisoner in this castle by John Hunyadi.

We managed to see some of the Castle, some of it is behind closed doors undergoing restoration work.

The entrance to the Castle is very imposing. We crossed a very tall bridge built over a sizeable moat that has at the bottom of it a picturesque little river zig-zagging through the trees and vegetation.

At the entrance we were introduced into the atmosphere of a medieval court by actor guards wearing medieval garb, weapons, even peregrin falcons. We were free to go and explore the castle on our own. On the left side to the entrance we could see the Matia Wing with the Kitchen, the wine cellar and the sleeping chamber of the King.

The Council Hall

In front to the entrance tower, the Chapel and a large hall upstairs. On the right hand to the entrance we saw the Council Hall and the Knights Hall. There was an artist there playing medieval music on a medieval mandolin. On the next floor we could see the chamber of the princesses and a collection of Romanian folk art: clothes, different items used by Romanian peasants in everyday life etc. We could also visit the oldest part of the castle, the hall leading to the Nebosia Tower which was used as a fortified defensive tower. The word "nebosia" means "do not be afraid" in Serbo-Croatian.

The "Don't Be Afraid" pose in the Nebosia Tower

We enjoyed the experience thoroughly even though we weren't able to see everything. We would have like to see Mace Tower which looks quite imposing and big compared to the other towers of the Castle. Still, over all we could get a little glimpse of what life in such a castle would be like, with all the ceremonies being held in the great halls and the foods being prepared and eaten, the battles being fought at the ramparts, services being held in the chapel, horseback visitors being welcomed in the inner courtyard, horses being fed and taken care of in the stables, young princess and princes being allowed to play hide-and-seek in the moat among the trees, by the river, the swords being beaten straight with a loud clang in the smithy, the well being dug by the Turkish prisoners, the prisoners being held in the towers groaning...

The Mace Tower, for military purposes 

I would definitely go back to see it again if possible after all the restoration work is finished. I would love to be able to hike the bottom of the moat, alongside the river, among the trees and just watch the castle from below. Or I would probably take a book with me and spend some quiet time reading a medieval tale under the big windows in the Knights Hall.

Mihai, the older son

On the 5th of July, we visited two castles that were a few hours away from our house. One of the these castles was Corvin Castle.

We had to pay to get in the castle, but there was a discount for seniors and kids.

The ginormous castle is surrounded by a moat that looks more like a canyon and has a stream flowing down the middle. While we were crossing the bridge spanning the moat, I noticed a ruined stable near the moat wall. The gap must never have been filled with water, because the builders wouldn't have put a stable in it.

When we actually got in the building, I saw a sign leading to the dungeon and another one to the torture chamber. We went into the dungeon and saw a mannequin being hung on the wall with chains in a large cage.

The torture chamber consisted of many devious torture devices being used on unsuspecting mannequins.

Before we got in the building, we saw the wine cellar. There was no wine in it, but there were some books and sculptures. Me and my brother conjectured that these artefacts were carried in by the former inhabitants of the castle... while they were drunk.

Inside the castle buildings, heavy wood and iron doors led to different chambers, most of which were locked (on account of the renovation program), but my favorite rooms were:

The Council Hall, which contained three chairs, but was interesting because of its size and the echoes that could be made in it.

The Nebosia tower, which was very crooked and dilapidated. Nebosia means "don't be afraid" in Serbo-Croatian language.

The Knight's Hall, which was used for dining, but now houses a weapons showcase, which contains the usual swords, halberds, and spears, but also includes some more interesting weapons, such as the peasants' crude pitchforks and axes and glamorous Turkish scimitars.

Sadly, we had to leave the castle, but we got a map of Transylvania as a souvenir.

Corvin Castle is:

The majestic towers and chasm-like moat.

The musty odor of the torture chambers.

The sweet flavour of mandarin mineral water.

The deep tones of the informational video in the great hall.

The tough leather of the demonstration sword's handle in the Knight's hall.

I would go again after some more rooms are opened so that I can see what we missed the first time.

Paul, the younger son

My first view of the majestic castle took my breath away. It was shocking, that men could create such an enormous castle.

I liked the feeling of the cold stones of the castle, and hearing the river flowing in the moat.

When we entered the castle the first thing I smelled was that musty smell that is present in old buildings.

One of my favorite rooms in the castle was the Knight's Hall because there was a man in it playing a medieval mandolin.

Corvin Castle for me is:

The musty smell of old buildings.

The sight of the majestically tall ramparts of the castle.

The cold firmness of the stones that made up the walls.

The enchanting sound of the river in the moat.

The taste of Fanta to refresh one's mind.

I would go again to Corvin Castle to see Hunedoara once again from up on the castle ramparts.