Alba

Ardud Fortress Ruins

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Ardud
Location:
Ardud

Landmark:
Monuments and Archaeological sites

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Are you driving on E81 road getting closer to Satu Mare? Do not hesitate to make a stop at the ruins of Ardud Fortress, located at less than 20 kilometres from Satu Mare. The Ardud Fortress Ruins can be found at the north-west of the city with the same name, by the Homorod River.

 

Although there is not much left of the old seigniorial fortress of Ardud, you should know that this was one of the most important citadels in Transylvania in medieval times. Nowadays only the ruins and one of the battlements towers remained, but in its maximum glory period it had four defence towers and if necessary, the fortress could shelter even 1,500 warriors.

 

The Ardud Fortress was built around 1480 by Bartolomeu Dragfi, nephew of the Ruler Dragos Voda and Ruler of Transylvania for only six years, between 1493 and 1499. Bartolomeu raised the fortress from stone with defence purpose and some experts say he had built it on the spot where, centuries before, a Dacian fortress was located.

 

The seigniorial fortress in northern Transylvania was degraded over time. Only around 1730, making use of the walls and the foundation still standing of the Bartholomew’s fortress, Count Alexander Karoly raised a new stone fortress at Ardud. However, nowadays the bricks from the fortress have been used by the locals in order to build their own homes, so what you can see now is a ruin, a pale reminder of what was once the Fortress of Ardud.

 

Unfortunately there is not much left from the fortress, but the chapel altar was moved to the Episcopal Palace in Satu Mare, where it is preserved in its entire splendour.

 

The name of the city is also related to an important event from the Hungarian poet Petofi Sandor’s life, who in 1847 married here to the Ardud city Administrator’s daughter, Julia. Moreover, at Ardud, by the river, there is also a monument built in memory of the famous Hungarian man of culture.

 

In addition, here is an original element aiming to incite your imagination: when you visit Ardud Fortress, do not forget to ask the locals about the legend of the girl locked in the basement who haunts for centuries and who can only be released by a brave lad willing to kiss her ghost three times and not look back. The elders tell that many men tried to free the poor princess of the curse, but none returned alive from the basement of the fortress to tell about what he saw there.

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