Harghita

Miko Fortress Vestiges

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Miko
Location:
Miercurea Ciuc

Landmark:
Monuments and Archaeological sites

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The Miko Fortress or Castle is located in Cetatii (Fortress) Square of Miercurea Ciuc and is the monument that this city of Harghita boasts about, as it is the best preserved Renaissance edifice from this Sekler area.

 

After a history of more than 400 years during which it has changed several masters and has fulfilled various functions, nowadays it is the host of the Székely Museum.

 

The construction of the fortress started at the beginning of XVII century, being the idea of the ​​royal adviser Miko Ferenc, his name remaining the name of the castle over the centuries.

 

The area where the fortress was raised was a gift from the Prince of Transylvania Gabriel Bethlen.

 

The first documentary attestation of the castle dates back to 1631. A few years later, the fortress was transferred to the ownership of the supreme magistrate judge of Ciuc Seat, Damokos Tamás, and then in 1659 to the ownership of Petki István.

 

After two years, the castle was destroyed by a fire caused during the invasion of the Turkish-Tatar troops in the Ciuc County.

 

In the first part of XVIII century, Miko Fortress was rebuilt by the General Stephan Steinville and his name still lasts in our days carved in stone, above the main entrance.

 

The Austrians realized what strategic importance the castle had in defending the eastern border of the Habsburg Empire where they could block the attacks of the enemies coming through the Ghimes Pass, so they brought reinforcements to the fortification, by adding four towers with firing holes and building a warehouse for gunpowder.

 

The Castle remained a barrack for the Austrian troops until 1764; thereafter until the revolution of 1848, it was barrack for the Szekler regiments.

 

During the Bourgeois Revolution, the Miko Fortress was occupied by the revolutionists and even became their headquarters of the area.

 

When the revolution was suppressed, the Miko Castle remained under the use of the Szekler regiments as the commander’s residence. In 1873 it was given in use to the Hungarian army, and after 1918, it was passed on to the Roman army.

 

In 1970, it was restored and given for use to the Székely Museum of Ciuc. The Museum houses five permanent exhibitions and ten periodic ones each year.

 

In front of the Castle, in a little park, there were installed statues representing the revolutionist Nicolae Balcescu and the poet Petofi Sandor. The Fortress has a rectangular shape, with an inner courtyard in the middle, where cultural programs are organized, such as the Old Music Festival. In addition, behind the castle, in the garden, you can visit the Village Museum.

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