Alba

The Medieval Fortress

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The Medieval Fortress
Location:
Aiud

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The Medieval Fortress, situated in the centre of Aiud City, Alba County, is one of the most important touristic objectives of the region and it stretches on a surface of over three thousand square metres.

 

The Medieval Fortress of Aiud is recognized by historians as one of the oldest urban citadels in this region of Romania.
As resulting from researches, the stone fortress was built in two phases on the seat of a Roman settlement. In the first phase, during XIV century, the Saxons in the area raised a fortified church, similar to many others in Ardeal, but only in the second stage, around XVII century, took aspect of fortress.

 

On the other hand, the Aiud locals sustain that the fortress was raised earlier than the chronicles say, before the great invasions of the Tatars in 1240.

 

At first, the fortress had nine towers – with four, five and seven sides – named as follows: the Gate Tower, the Butchers Tower, the Locksmiths Tower, the Taylors Tower, the Kalendas Tower, the Shoemakers Tower, the Potters Tower, the Furriers Tower and the Coopers Tower, according to the gilds that oversaw each of them.

 

The connection between the towers was made by the watch road, inside the wall, which could be reached by climbing the wooden stairs. At that time, the citadel was surrounded by a ditch with water, which was designed to impede the enemy attacks.

 

Gabriel Bethlen, Governor of Transylvania had his residence in the Royal Palace within the Citadel in Aiud. Now the palace is the headquarters of the History Museum in the city, which displays thousands of items, mostly archaeological.

 

Inside the fortress, we can still find a place of worship which is about 500 years old – the Calvina Reformed Church, a religious settlement built in Gothic style, and near the Fortress, there is a more recent Lutheran church, from the nineteenth century.

 

There is also a parish house on the premises, presently still used by the priest who officiates in the fortress as well, and a bell ringer house.

 

The Ministry of Culture announced that the Medieval City of Aiud will be rehabilitated, because it is in an advanced state of decay. Recently a piece of wall near the Coopers Tower collapsed. The last restoration works took place more than 35 years ago.

 

In Aiud area you can also visit the Bethlen Castle, the Soloboda Forest Natural Reserve and Aiud Keys.

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