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Deva Fortress Transylvania (13th century) | by londonconstant
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Deva Fortress Transylvania (13th century)


Deva Fortress. was built in the XIIIth century, on a volcanic hilltop bordering the Mures River valley in central Transylvania. "Castrum Deva" is first mentioned in 1269, in a document of Stefan, king of Hungary: it was part of a defensive system against the scourge of the Tartar invasion which devastated Central Europe in 1241 .Between the 14th and 15th centuries it becomes the princely residence of the local Wallach (Romanian) voyevodes.

In1453, Iancu de Hunedoara, mindful of the rise of Ottoman power takes up residence in the castle.The Turkish iin their expansion towards Central Europe besiege the castle on several occasions, first in 1550, then in 1552 and finally they take it in 1557, during the invasion of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. The Sultan gives the castle to Queen Isabella of Hungary and her son John Sigismund.

Deva castle held as prisoners some illustrious leaders of Transylvanian history such as David Ferencz, the founder of the Unitarian church and Moise Szekely, leader of the Transylvanian nobles hostile to the Austrian imperial power.which annexed Transylvania from 1686 until the first world war.


The last siege of Deva castle took place in 1786, the year of the great peasant uprising whose leaders were Romanian from the Transylvanian Alps: they were trying to regain ancient civil freedoms and were demanding to be enfranchised from serfdom.

By the end of the XVIIIth century, the fortress loses it's strategic importance, and is abandoned for some time, until 1817, when emperor Francis I, passing through Deva decides to restore it and makes it a garrison castle. The revival of the castle is short-lived as it comes under threat from the 1848 revolutionaries.At this point, he garrison commander of the castle decides too have the fortress blown up, as a pre-emptive strike, rather than having it surrendered.


What we see here in this set of photographs is all that remains today from this old castle-fortress, still very impressive with a lot of the curtain walls intact.


The Deva volcanic hill which dominates the town below and the whole of the Mures Valley is a natural reserve, known for its micro flora and fauna.

Here one could see the Horned Vipers (Vipera Amonytes). At the northern foot of the hill there are still signs of post-volcanic activity in the thermal springs of bicarbonatic clorosodical mineral waters, whose medical cure was used since the 17th century for salt baths.

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Taken on October 1, 2006