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About Corvin Castle


Corvin Castle, also known as Hunyadi Castle or Hunedoara Castle, is a Gothic-Renaissance castle located in on a rock above the Zlasti River in Hunedoara, Romania. It is one of the largest and most impressive castles in Europe and it figures in a list of the Seven Wonders of Romania.
There used to stand an early 11th Century fortress built from clay and wood in this place. In 1409, Sigismund of Luxembourg donated the castle to Voyk Hunyadi. Hunyadi family has a raven as their coat-of-arms sign, therefore the castle´s name (“raven” is “corvus” in Latin). In Voyk Hunyadi times, the castle had walls 1.5-2 meters thick, small gates and galleries with battlements and wooden buildings inside. In 1440´s, constructions began under the orders of John Hunyadi (named Ioan in Romanian or János in Hungarian) and the old fortress was rebuilt into a late Gothic castle. The first stage was improving the castle´s safety – a double wall for enhanced fortification, seven towers, and two stone palaces were built in 1440-1444. Some of the towers served as prisons, while others had weapons inside. In 1446-1456, inner facilities were built – two large stone palaces, chapel and utility buildings. In 1462-1469, Vlad III. Dracula (“Drac-Ullah” means “Bad blood”), who was the inspiration for legends about the vampire Dracula or Vlad the Impaler, was imprisoned in Corvin Castle.
More changes were made during Matthias Corvin reign, esp. the Matthias Wing, bearing the first signs of Renaissance. After Matthias´s death, the castle switched owners and no significant changes were made till 17th century, when some new additions were built– the White Tower and Artillery Tower for military and artillery purposes, and the Large Palace for aesthetic purposes. In 1854, parts of the castle were ruined in a fire and were repaired later.
Let us introduce you some of the most significant parts of the castle:
The New Gate Tower is located on the northern side of the castle, it was used as a defense tower. It had three floors with weapons and loopholes. Later in 17th century, it lost in defense function and served as accommodation for women. In 19th century, it was destroyed in a fire and re-built into its today´s looks.
The Old Gate Tower was built on the opposite side. It was a large gate which allowed horse carriages in. Above the gate, there were two floors with weapons. The gate and the opposite hill were connected by a drawbridge. The tower was decorated with geometric motifs.
The Painted Tower was built in the 15th Century and it is the castle´s tallest tower. There were “killing holes” in the tower – hot oil or hot resin was poured through these to kill enemies in the most painful death. The tower was decorated with rhomboid patterns. In 1873, a steeple with a bronze knight was added to the top.
The Chapel, devoted to Saint John the Baptist, was built in late-Gothic style with tall Gothic arches and marble floor, has one nave and a small aertex. There is John Hunyadi´s tomb in the chapel.
The Neboisa Tower and the stone gallery – the name of the tower means “Don´t be afraid.” The tower is 36 meters far from the castle which allows it to protect in the castle in large perimeter from the south-west. The tower has five floors – the top floor was built on supports and again, it contains “killing holes.” The bottom of the tower is a gallery, standing on nine pillars and connecting the castle with the tower and being equipped with weapons for stronger protection of the castle.
The inner castle has three large areas:
The Knight´s Hall was built in 1452 and is 26x10 mts large, with tall Gothic arches. It was used for feasts and court meetings.
The Diet Hall was used as ceremony and formal reception place – it was the most opulent and richly decorated hall in the castle. The entrance into the hall is possible on a spiral staircase.
Matthias Wing is the first part of the castle bearing signs of Renaissance. It was the place where Matthias Corvin ( who was the king of Hungary) lived, so it was the most comfortable place in the castle, with the Golden room - the luxury bedroom with a fireplace and a canopy bed.
The White Tower was built in 17th Century – it was a mighty bastion with several floors and weapons – the size of the tower suggest that large cannons were placed there. During those times, also the artillery Tower and a yard used for administration and storage were added.
Nowadays, you can visit the castle and take a guided tour there.


Corvin Castle
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