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History of the castle

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Corvin Castle (Hunyad Castle)

Corvin Castle (Hunyad Castle), in Hunedoara, was built in the XIVth century, on a cliff above Zlaști river and represents, by its greatness, the most important Gothic style secular building in Transylvania. The castle is a large and imposing building, with tall and colored roof tiles; showing towers, turrets, windows and balconies with intricate stone carvings.

This unique castle is representative for the XVth century military architecture in SE Europe; it is a special place and it shows the social & financial power of the Corvin family.

The castle, which initially belonged to Iancu of Hunedoara (John Hunyadi), a leading military & political leader in Central & SE Europe, has seen a lot of changes during the centuries, apart its initial strategic function - a royal stronghold, earning also the function of a nobleman's residence. Even though the castle is built in Gothic style, it has also Baroque and Renaissance influences, and tourists are told that it was the place where Vlad Dracul (commonly known as Dracula, courtesy of Bram Stoker's novel) was held prisoner for seven years, after being deposed in 1462.

The legend of the raven (Corvus in Latin): the coat of arms of the Corvin family shows a raven (symbol of wisdom and longevity in the Middle Ages) with a golden ring in its beak. Supposedly Iancu of Hunedoara was the illegitimate son of King Sigismund of Luxemburg of Hungary. 

In the castle's courtyard, near the chapel built also during the reign of Iancu of Hunedoara, there is a well that is 30 m deep. According to the legend, the well was dug by three Turkish prisoners, who were promised freedom when reaching the water. But after 15 years of toil, upon reaching the well water, the masters did not keep their promise. It is said that the inscription on the wall of the well means “You have water, but no souls”. Actually, experts deciphered the meaning to be: "Hassan, prisoner to the giaours’ in the fortress next to the church, dug here".

The Corvin Castle, a legacy of the Transylvanian Hunyadi dynasty, was included in the "10 most fascinating castles and palaces" list.