For the castle in Budapest, Hungary, see "Vajdahunyad Castle." For the castle in Timişoara, Romania, see "Huniade Castle." The Hunyad Castle (Romanian: Castelul Huniazilor or Castelul Corvineştilor, Hungarian: Vajdahunyad vára) is a castle in Transylvanian Hunedoara, present-day Romania. Until 1541 it was part of the Kingdom of Hungary, and after the Principality of Transylvania.
The castle is a relic of the Hunyadi dynasty. In the 14th century, the castle was given to John Hunyadi Serb, or Sorb by Sigismund king of Hungary as severance. The castle was restored between 1446 and 1453 by his grandson John Hunyadi. It was built mainly in Gothic style, but has Renaissance architectural elements. It features tall and strong defense towers, an interior yard and a drawbridge. Built over the site of an older fortification and on a rock above the small river Zlaşti, the castle is a large and imposing building with tall and diversely colored roofs, towers and myriad windows and balconies adorned with stone carvings.
It is believed to be the place where Vlad III of Wallachia (commonly known as Vlad the Impaler) was held prisoner for 7 years after he was deposed in 1462.
As one of the most important properties of John Hunyadi, the castle was transformed during his reign. It became a sumptuous home, not only a strategically enforced point. With the passing of the years, the masters of the castle had modified its look, adding towers, halls and guest rooms. The gallery and the keep - the last defense tower (called "Neboisa" which means "Not afraid" in Serbian language), which remained unchanged from Iancu de Hunedoara's time, and the Capistrano Tower (named after the Franciscan monk from the castle court) are some of the most significant parts of the construction. Other significant parts of the building are the Knights' Hall (a great reception hall), the Club Tower, the White bastion, which served as a food storage room, and the Diet Hall, on whose walls medallions are painted (among them there are the portraits of Matei Basarab, ruler from Wallachia, and Vasile Lupu, ruler of Moldavia). In the wing of the castle called the Mantle, a painting can be seen which portrays the legend of the raven from which the name of the descendants of John Hunyadi, Corvinus came.
In the castle yard, near the chapel built also during Vlad The Third's ruling, is a well 30 meters deep. The legend says that this fountain was dug by twelve 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, Hunyad 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.
- Information and images at Historical Text Archive
- Information and images about Hunyadi Castle at Castelul Corvinilor