Hunedoara County in Western Romania is a county with beautiful landscapes, historical vestiges and mountain resorts.
Our visit starts in the town of Hunedoara. Monica Cioran from the Hunedoara Tourist Information Centre explains why we should visit Hunedoara County:
“Hunedoara County has got everything from a tourist point of view: Dacian fortresses, Roman castra, medieval castles and fortresses, museums, churches and monasteries and one of the most important parks in this country. The highlight of the county however is the Corvin Castle also known as the Hunyadi Castle, that has a rich history and a special look. The castle annually attracts a lot of tourists, both Romanian and foreign. It is an important monument of Gothic architecture in Romania, considered to be one of the most beautiful castles in the world, ranking among the ten top fairy-like destinations in Europe. An annual medieval festival is organized there, with princesses, knights, witches, medieval dances and film screenings.”
The Corvin Castle holds pride of place among the tourist attractions in Hunedoara County. Erected in the 14th century, the castle is one of the most beautiful and best-preserved constructions of the kind from the Middle Ages. It has 42 rooms, two terraces, and two bridges, covering 7,000 square meters. You can go into the castle crossing a wooden bridge standing on four massive stone pillars, which is quite a sight, as Ioan Bodochi, the museographer of the castle says:
“The Corvin Castle is the best-preserved monument of Gothic civil and military architecture in Central and South-Eastern Europe. Any tourist should expect to see an imposing monument. Those who visited the Bran Castle should imagine a fortress that is twice bigger, with a large inner courtyard, two stately reception rooms, the Knights’ Hall, where one can visit an exhibition of military technology and the Diet’s Hall. The original layout of the halls where council meetings were held has been restored. There are also other exhibitions displaying medieval artifacts. In full summer season or at weekends, an order of local knights tries to revive the medieval atmosphere.”
In May, the Corvin Castle hosted the European Castles’ Fair. Participating were representatives of the Bran Castle, the Seat Fortress of Suceava, the Fagaras Fortress, the Clock Tower of Sighisoara, the Palace of Balchik from Bulgaria, the Postojnska Fortress from Slovenia and the Castle of Eger from Hungary.
Tourists from all over the world came to the Corvin Castle and were impressed by what they saw, as museographer Ioan Bodochi says: “Reaching the outer courtyard of the castle, tourists will undoubtedly be impressed by the gallery with small balconies with a beautiful late Gothic design above the windows; also getting your attention are the blazons and coats of arms of the families that took care of the castle. Getting into the Castle you can see the neo-Gothic gallery, a relatively recent construction of the second half of the 19th century.”
The most important medieval fortress in Transylvania can be found in Hunedoara County. Restoration works at Deva Fortress took three years and the site was reopened in the spring of 2016. There are several routes available to tourists who visit Deva Fortress, while a complete tour takes about two hours. Local authorities plan to stage various cultural events for tourists this summer.
Monica Cioran: ”One of the county’s important tourist attractions is also the Deva Citadel, built in the 13th century, on the hill surrounding the town with the same name. Since the hill is quite high, a cable car taking tourists to the citadel is also available. Nevertheless, locals recommend that the return trip should be made on foot to have the chance to enjoy the beautiful landscape. In terms of historical vestiges, in our county we’ve got Sarmizegetusa Regia, lying in the Orastie Mountains. Together with the Dacian fortresses in Costeşti, Blidaru and Piatra Roşie, Sarmizegetusa Regia still preserves the remains of a former crafts center, which was Dacia’s political and religious capital. According to archaeologists, the town was built in the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC. Today you can only see the ruins of the former center, such as a circular sanctuary and an andesite sun. It is also in Hunedoara that the former capital of the Roman Province Dacia, Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetuza, can be found. The ruins of the fortress offer tourist the image of a Roman city with a forum, a Palace of the Roman Imperial Priests, thermal baths and an amphitheater.”
Nature lovers have also come to the right place as well. The Retezat National Park is Romania’s largest nature reserve, a nature monument included on UNESCO’s heritage list since 1979. In 2004, the Retezat National Park became a member of the PAN Parks, a European Foundation that seeks to promote national parks as special European eco-tourist destinations. This is Romania’s first national park certified by PAN Parks.
Monica Cioran has more details: ”People who want to visit areas with special landscapes can choose the Retezat National Park. It is one of Romania’s most important national parks. Here you can find 80 glacier lakes and peaks of more than 2, 500 meters high. In terms of mountain resorts, Straja, Parang, Rausor and the Pasul Valcan are some of the best known in the area.”
A complete tourist offer in Hunedoara County must include the county’s spas, such as Geoagiu, Calan and Vatra Spas.