Harghita

The Medieval Fortress of Odorheiu Secuiesc (XVI century)

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The Medieval Fortress of Odorheiu Secuiesc
Location:
Odorheiu Secuiesc

Landmark:
Monuments and Archaeological sites

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The medieval fortress of Odorheiu Secuiesc is located in the south part of the city, on Cetatii Street, at small distance from Libertatii Square.

 

The history of this fortress is a troubled one and over time it has passed under the property of several principles and families.

 

The medieval fortress of Odorheiu Secuiesc has known two stages of the construction. The first stage between: 1490-1492 and the second one between: 1561 – 1565, when it was rebuilt in Renaissance style.

 

The initial works started in 1490 by order of King Vladislav II as a response to the Székely uprising. He wanted to have a military outpost in the heart of the Szeklers to prevent and suppress other uprisings. The Szeklers did not agree with the construction of the military fortifications by a foreign authority on their territory. Through the Prince of Transylvania, they drew up a memorandum requesting the arming. Following this memorandum, their ruler was removed, but the Szeklers obtained the cessation of the works.

 

Between 1493 and 1561 the unfinished fortress did not serve the military purposes, but a Dominican Monastery was founded here.

 

In 1562, after another Sekler uprising, John II Sigismund Zápolya requested the construction of a fortification with the same purpose as the works in 1490, in order to keep the Seklers under control.

 

The fortress was seriously deteriorated after a military campaign carried out by Michael the Brave in 1599, and after his ruling, the Transylvanian Diet decided the restoration of the fortifications. The works begin 13 years later during the Prince Gabriel Bethlen ruling.

 

In 1621 the fortress was pledged by the Prince to the Royal Judge, Francis Kornis. The latter had an interest in restoring the city, in 1620 ordering the inventory of the fortress buildings and the assessment of their state. The Prince assured Francis Kornis that all expenses will be reimbursed.

 

In 1625 the city was recovered, and in 1657 was given as pledge to the Prince Rákóczi’s wife. The tax collection system of the time took possession of the fortress during the reign of Michael I Apafi.

 

After the kurutzy rebels uprising led by Francis Rákóczi II, great part of the city walls were destroyed, as the Satu Mare Peace of 1711 provided, and for this reason the fortress gained the name of Ciunta (Crippled) Fortress.

 

Over time, the fortress passed into the possession of Bornemisza Family, then Gyulai Family, and in 1852 the fortress was bought by the city, from Kornis Family. After 40 years, where the castle stood once, the Exact Sciences State High School was founded.

 

Presently the Eotvos Jozsef School Group operates here, as well.

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