The Deva Fortress (Castrum Deve) is situated on the Hill of the Citadel, in the northern part of the city, at an altitude of 371 m. The Deva Fortress was built on the foot of a Roman daco-fort.
The first works of construction date from the early years of the 11th century, after the defeat by the Hungarians of the Ahtum of the Fortress of Morisena (Cenad). Other works were executed during the Hungarian king Geza II (1141-1161), when the first German colonialists arrived in Transylvania.
Most plausible, however, the fortress was erected around 1250, during King Bela IV, after the invasion of the Tatars in 1241, which devastated the Mureş Valley.
Elevated in a strategic area, the narrowing of the Mureş Valley and the penetration of the river into the gorge between Poiana Ruscă and Apuseni Mountains, Deva Fortress was one of the most important cities of Transylvania.
Following the course of history, the fortress played a role in defending against the Tartars and other potential enemies pursuing the occupation of the region, it was a refuge for nobles in the face of peasant revolts, noble residence, prisons and garrison, provided protection for travelers and traders running along Mureş Valley.
The first documentary testimony of the fortress dates back to 1269 when, in an act issued by Stefan Duce of Transylvania, "Castrum Deva" is mentioned. The fortress has been a voivodal residence since 1307, and in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries the Wallachian military district has four Romanian districts. Starting with 1453, Iancu de Hunedoara turned it into a noble castle, thus becoming one of the most powerful fortresses of Transylvania. During the Turks invasion of 1550, 1552 and 1557, the fortress suffered Ottoman sieges and was occupied in 1557 by Sultan Soliman the Great, who surrendered to Queen Isabela of Hungary and his son, John Sigismund. The fortress functioned in the 16th century as a prison, here being imprisoned the humanist David Ferencz, the founder of the Unitarian church and Moses the Szekler, the leader of the Tansilvanna nobility, hostile to the imperial power. In the cell where he was imprisoned David Ferencz was placed in 1948 a commemorative plaque.
The fortress played an important role in suppressing peasant revolts in 1437, 1514 and 1527.
In the seventeenth century, the fortress was dominated by the nobles Gabriel Bethlen and Stefan Bethlen, Gheorghe Rakoczy I and Acaciu Barcsay, during which repairs were done and the circular bastion on the southern side was raised. From 1686 the fortress goes into Austrian rule, which will be maintained until the 19th century. Beginning with 1713, the Governor of Transylvania, Ioan Steinwille, who resided in Deva, receives from the population a tax of 50,000 florins with which he builds new fortifications and strengthens the fortress, with two bastions in the east and casemates in the west.
During the 1782 uprising, the fortress was temporarily occupied by the peasants of Dobra and in 1786 besieged by the rebel peasants led by Horea, Closca and Crişan.
At the end of the 18th century, the city lost its strategic importance, being abandoned, but regained its importance after 1817, when Emperor Fracnisc I, passing through Deva, decided to restore it. The works lasted over a year, spending more than 216,000 florins. During the revolution of 1848-1849, the Austrian garrison in the fortress, led by Lieutenant Wurn, at the news of the victories won by revolutionaries on the imperial armies, mined the walls of the fortress.
The revolutionaries besieged the city in the spring of 1849, forcing the Austrian garrison to leave her. Against the backdrop of the latest revolutionary events, in August, along with the defeat of the Revolution, the explosion of the ammunition depot threw into the air the walls of Deva Fortress.
At present, the walls of reinforced walls with square or circular towers and monumental gates are preserved. From the main entrance gate, the lower wall of the enclosure rises to the hill and surrounds the fortress. The road that accompanies the wall leads to the second gate in the form of a long vaulted corridor. To the right of this gate are kept the traces of the guard's chambers. Passing through the second gate to the building complex on the hilltop, the path goes up to the gate of the second fortress.
The enclosure wall has crenels, being arranged for heavy firearms. After a semicircular bastion, it reaches the gate of the last enclosure that keeps massive constraints. In this enclosure the inner courtyard of the fortress develops, which is bordered by the tall walls that represent the ruins of some rooms, household dependencies, warehouses, etc.
In the center there are the ruins of the noble palace with gothic remains and Renaissance elements. To the west of the gate there is a defense tower, and to the east the guard room.
Magna Curia Castle
Magna Curia (in Latin meaning High Court) is located in the city of Deva, at the foot of the hillside, south-east, near the city park. It is the oldest historical monument building in Deva.
In 1582 the captain of the garrison of the city of Deva, Francisc Geszty, builds a house on the location of the present monument. This house will be used as residence then by Sigismund Báthory, General Basta, Ştefan Bocskay, Gabriel Báthory and Gabriel Bethlen.
In 1621, Gabriel Bethlen has the radical transformation of the original construction, resulting in the Magna Curia palace. Designed initially in Renaissance style (under Gabriel Bethlen), the edifice reaches a definitive form at the beginning of the 18th century when the last changes are made. These changes give him the baroque appearance preserved to this day.
After the merger of Transylvania with Romania, in 1918, the Bethlen Castle became the property of the Romanian state, and from 1938 in the castle was set up the History Museum of Hunedoara County. The castle has been renovated in recent years, and the archaeological research in its yard continues.
At this moment in the castle there is the Museum of Dacian and Roman Civilization, and details about visiting can be found by visiting the site below.
Franciscan Monastery Deva
The Franciscan monastery was built between 1669 and 1752 on the place donated to the Franciscan order by Royal Judge Lazar Istvan. The monastery is a quadruple building, built in the characteristic style of the Franciscan monasteries of Transylvania, the building, the Baroque church being annexed to the southeast corner. The building was burned repeatedly: in 1707 it was fired by General Acton's troops in 1748 and 1872. In 1749, the material of the buildings affected by the church was greatly increased.
The monastery was completely rebuilt in 1752. After the fire in 1872, the reconstruction was completed in 1908. The 1940 earthquake made major damage to the northern wing of the monastery.
Until the early 1900s, the monastery also housed an elementary school.
Since 1951, the monastery has been abandoned, and its operation has been banned from the order of the Franciscans.
In 1992, the monastery became a home and school for little children who can not be raised by their parents. At that time, the "Saint Francis" Foundation, initiated by the Franciscan priest Böjte Csaba, came into being with a special purpose, namely to help children without a family. Moreover, the help is given by the fact that these children have seen the family's family: mother, brothers, sisters, and home. The dormitory has a school, a kindergarten, a medical cabinet, a cafeteria for the little ones and a guest house, all connected by invisible wires, which outline a universe of their own. The program of children "born" by the foundation is very well organized. I go to school or kindergarten, and after classes I am engaged in various activities. Priest Böjte Csaba is the president of the Hungarian Foundation and he is responsible for all activities carried out by children. They are poor children, so the priest has provided their table and house, clothes and supplies. All that is needed for children is purchased from the foundation's "pocket" or from donations, most of them from abroad. Besides Father Böjte Csaba, a few dozen people still care about the education of these children, trying to make them feel like they are in a "bigger" family.
Administrative Palace of Deva
The administrative palace of Deva is a historic monument built in eclectic style, designed by Alpár Ignác. Today is the headquarters of the Prefecture and the Hunedoara County Council, being placed on the list of historical monuments (Code LMI HD-II-m-B-03224).
The building's history
In the 19th century the prefecture of Hunedoara County functioned in the building of Bethlen Castle (Magna Curia). With the territorial reorganization, Hunedoara County was separated from Zărand County and all the archives were moved to Deva. Bethlen Castle (Magna Curia) was becoming more crowded. The prefect and sub-prefect of the county, Pogány György and Barcsay Kálmán, together with the County Council, requested funding from the ministry to establish a new headquarters for the two institutions. The ministry approves the application and allocates 5,000 forints. Thus, the County Council announces a competition for the construction of the new building. 14 designers compete, the jury being made up of known personalities of the time. The winners of the contest were the projects sent under the names "Salus rei publicae" and "Patria", both belonging to the designer Alpár Ignác. The building is executed by the Oriold and Endstrasser companies in Cluj-Napoca, and the interior finishes were made by the craftsmen from Cluj-Napoca and Budapest. The construction was completed in 1890, being financed by both the ministry and the inhabitants of the county, each contributing a special tax of 2%.
The building functioned as a prefecture until 1920, after which it was taken over by various institutions of the Romanian state, during communism being the seat of the County Council of the PCR. After 1989, he briefly hosted Deva City Hall, after which he became the headquarters of the Prefecture of Hunedoara County. Since 2007, the County Council has its headquarters, and in the same year the renovations of this building have begun.
Description of the building
The eclectic-style building has the shape of a V-shaped obtuse angle, located at the foot of the Deva fortress, opposite the city park. In relation to the central axis of the building, it is perfectly symmetrical. The road to the main entrance leads to the arcade loggia. From the central part of the building, opening to the left or to the right, there are two spacious halls overlooking the inner courtyard which lead to the two edges of the building. The rooms on the first floor were former offices of officials and offices. Nowadays, there are offices here. A marble staircase, richly ornamented, leads to the second floor. On the occasion of the Millenium ceremony, a black marble slab was placed on the staircase, with the following inscription:
In commemoration of the festive gathering of the Municipal Committee of the County Office on May 14, 1896, during the glorious reign of the Apostolic King Franz Joseph I, at the jubilee celebration of a thousand years of existence of the Hungarian state during the time of the prefect Baron Zágoni Szentkereszty György, Respectively of the sub-prefect Kishalmágyi Hollaky Artúr.
Over time, the marble plate has disappeared. Today, on the two walls on the stairwell, the works of Doina Ionescu can be admired: on the right are the ancient symbols of the place, and on the left the medieval ones. Upstairs, opposite the marble-covered stairs, there is a meeting room of more than 200 square meters, built in neo-Renaissance and Baroque style. The hall had the role of a meeting room from the beginning, but, over time, charity balls and concerts were held here. Then the balustrades along the three decorated walls became functional. The 9m high hall has the cassette ceiling, and two chandeliers made of wrought iron hang from the ceiling. In the past, there were 130 candles on each chandelier, which ensured the illumination of the room. The neo-Renaissance motifs predominate in the decoration of the room, and the balustrades and door heels contain sculptures of the coat of arms of the Hunziers. For a long time, Pataki Lajos's painting was exhibited in this room, depicting Iancu de Hunedoara, defending his army towards Belgrade.
The painting was restored in 2009 in Szombathely (Hungary). As the painting was restored, the frame was renewed by the experts of the Brukenthal Museum in Sibiu. Currently, the painting is exhibited at the Museum of Dacian and Roman Civilization, based in the Magna Curia Palace-Bethlen Castle, which is the oldest historical monument building in Deva that has been preserved. The main façade wall ensures triple doors to the balcony above the entrance. From here, a wonderful view towards the fortress opens to the square in front of the prefecture, and close to the building façade you can admire the decorative elements: the Corvin family's coat of arms and the Baroque-style decorations, as well as the manners. From here you can see the recesses made especially for the statues, which, according to the original project, had to accommodate Hungarian saints and kings, but, thanks to their small budget, they were never created.
In the past, in the wings of the two ends of the building, on the first floor, the prefect and the sub-prefect secured the service apartments.
The roof of the Zsolnay (Pécs - Hungary) tiled roof is darkened by the steep roof of the dark green roof of its center, and a narrow tower provides a view. Behind the building is a courtyard enclosed with a fence that imitates the wall of the city. The old garage and garage are currently immovable in offices.
The architectural significance
The Prefecture's building is a historical monument and, beyond its extraordinary functionality, it can also be called a landmark for the designer Alpár Ignác, for whom, following his extraordinary work, the road to many other tasks, such as : Designing the buildings of some schools, banks and administrative buildings, whose completion is worthy of all admiration nowadays. On the other hand, when the prefecture's building is lifted, the development of Deva actually starts. Thus, in the course of two decades, the city center is being built: the Regal Gymnasium, the real estate, the Homeland Defense House (currently the building of the Sports High School), the Palace of Justice (the current Tribunal), behind which is the prison and the town hall. The latter, the Reformed Church and the City Theater. Thus,
the city of Deva became one of the developed cities of Transylvania.