The Fortress of Deva

The first impressions of Anna and her two boys, 13 and 10 after visiting The Fortress of Deva, Romania.

The  Fortress of Deva

Anna, the Mom

Perched on top of a tall volcanic hill, within the Western Carpathian Mountain Range, the Fortress of Deva, a medieval fortress that dates back to the second half of the 13th century, catches the eye of any visitor with its dauntless aura looking down at the present day city of Deva sprawling at its feet. It is located in Deva, Hunedoara County, Romania.

The Fortress has been in use beginning with 1269 until 1848.

The first records of a military operation at the fortress dates back to 1273. The Cumans, a Turkic nomadic people were defeated here by Peter the I Csak, the representative of the King of Hungary in this part of the world.

Ferenc David, the founder of the Unitarian Church in Transylvania, died in Deva Fortress being imprisoned there for his religious affiliation and beliefs by the Catholic ruler Istvan Bathory.

In an attempt to force the Hungarian nobility (landlords to the Romanian peasants in Transylvania) to give them a better fate and chance at life, Horea, Cloșca și Crișan, the leaders of the 1784-1785 Transylvanian peasant revolt together with their thousands of peasants tried unsuccessfully to besiege the fortress of Deva where the nobles organised their defence.

The walls of the top part of the fortress

We took the lift up to the fortress and strolled around the walls and the ramparts and the administrative buildings in the grounds. The incline of the lift is very steep but the view from top is amazing on all sides. We have visited some of the reconstructed points in the fortress, like the kitchen room, some gate towers, the staircase on the other side of the fortress, we have seen where the weapons were kept. Much of the fortress is still under reconstruction but you could get an idea of how the place was organised and how life might have been like there.

The wall facing the City of Deva

I would definitely go again for the view. I would love to go there, if possible, in the evening to see the lights of the city from up above. It must be magical.

The stairs to one of the Gate towers

Deva fortress is for me:

The sweet smell of linden blossoms in the air;
The buildings, the cars, the people becoming tinier and the city becoming larger as we are inching our way to the top;
The sturdy walls going around and around in circles to the top;
The creak of the wooden decks by the ramparts;
The vertigo gripping my guts at the sight of the chasm below the walls.

Mihai, 13

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

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

We got into the fortress using a rail lift which was extremely steep, thus very scary.

The lift to the fortress

Soon, the terrifying ride was over, and we were in the citadel. There was a small staircase leading down to a room, but we were not interested in this. The real eye-catcher was a gigantic staircase leading into the dark maw of a tunnel. We decided to go up, and soon got to the top, where there were some large ovens that were (sadly) empty.

A short stair led to the ramparts, so I climbed it promptly, and the view was not disappointing.

The view from ramparts

I could see the whole city and some fields in the distance.

Soon, we got to a tower, where we saw lots of pictures made by kids who visited the establishment.


After a lengthy climb of sadness, we got to the top of the -ahem- staircase and left.

Deva Castle is for me:

The sturdy walls right next to the cliff.
The smell of sweaty clothes.
The crunchy homemade pastry that our grandpa gave us.
The high-pitched sound of Paul's screams of pain as we climbed the stair of doom.
The flaky plaster on the tunnel wall.

I would go back to get some more exercise on the stairs.

Paul, 10

When we arrived at the bottom of the hill on which the castle was situated we went straight to the tickets office and bought tickets for five me, my, brother, my dad and mom, and my grandpa.

The only way to get up was a rail lift, a contraption invented in the dark minds of men one fell Monday night.

We explored the ancient ruins, but there was only one thing that caught my attention, it was a giant staircase.

The first thought that went through my mind when I spotted this giant eye catcher was: "What sort of devilry is this!?!"

Alas I needed to go on the stairs, thus causing me to almost faint of exertion.

My favorite part of this trip was the rail lift ride.

Deva Castle for me is:

The taste of sweat dripping from my hair.
The smell of sweaty clothes.
The feeling of the button that made the rail lift go down the hill.
The sound of me screaming in agony because of the strain of climbing the stairs.
The daunting sight of the evil stairs of doom where mighty men have fallen.
I would go again when the repairs are done so that I can see the rest of the fortress.