GATES OF ALBA CAROLINA
Favorite thing: The Vauban Bastionary fortress is outstanding both for its decorative elements and for the beauty of its GATES. The fortress has six gates, which are richly adorned and decorated with statues and reliefs.
MINTING FACTORY GATE - Entry to the fortifications is made through the Minting Factory Gate. The minting factory worked from the first half of the 17th century until 1885. Gold, silver and copper coins were minted there.
FIRST CITADEL GATE -On top of the Arch there are statues of Venus (symbol of beauty) - and Mars ( symbol of war).
THIRD CITADEL GATE - Statue of Carol VI on the top and four statues representing the four Virtues - Abundance - Wisdom - Temperance - Force.
FOURTH CITADEL GATE - Statue of Atlantis and the Fury, along with weapons, flags and trophies.
BASTIONS - BASTIONUL SASILOR
Favorite thing: The perimeter of the outside walls is about 12 kilometers. The fortification has seven BASTIONS - BASTIONUL SASILOR - Eugene of Savoia - St. Stefan - The Trinity - St. Michael - St. Carol - St. Capistrano - St. Elisabeth - making it into a star-shaped Vauban-style fortress.
The walls are made of bricks, quarry stones and in some cases, Roman ruins.
Favorite thing: In the past, THE PRISON was used by the Austrian authorities to imprison those who had broken the law. Those who were tortured during interrogation were also brought here.
Also the leaders of the Peasants' Revolution of 1748 - 1785 were jailed, tried and executed here.
The Prison was part of our "Route of the Three Fortifications" tour. Pictured here are some VT Members waiting to enter the long, steep stairs to the prison area. I did not go down as the stairs were just too steep. Hansi says there were just some chains and shackles, so I didn't miss much.
THE UNION HALL
Favorite thing: A symbolic building, it was here at THE UNION HALL where the session of the Great National Assembly took place, on December 1 1918, and decided the unification of Transylvania with Romania.
The original documents of the unification are exhibited here, together with the flags carried by the delegates from the whole country.
ALBA CAROLINA CITADEL
Favorite thing: Carol VI, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and King of Hungary, wanted to build the most powerful fortification in Transylvania. On Citadel's Hill, in the medieval city of Alba Iulia, he began construction of ALBA CAROLINA CITADEL. The fortification was constructed between 1715 and 1738.
Inside the fortification are The Union Hall with the National Honour Gallery, The National History Museum of Unification, the Princely Palace (Voivodal Palace), the Orthodox Cathedral, the Roman Catholic Cathedral, the Batthyaneum Library, the Roman Catholic Bishop's Palace, the Apor Palace, and the University of Alba Iulia. Built in the 10th and 11th centuries, the Roman Catholic Cathedral is the most representative building in the medieval Romanic style in Transylvania.
About 7.2 miles of ramparts made of brick and quarry stones form a seven-point star shape with seven bastions, guarded by six monumental gates.
The grounds of the Citadel are just amazing as are the ramparts and beautiful decorated gates. We had a tour guide with us in the afternoon, and she explained to us what the citadel was all about. The tour is called "The Route of the Three Fortifications". There is an entrance fee for this tour.
THE CAPONIERE - GUARD ROOMS
Favorite thing: The CAPONIERE looks like a covered gallery, running through the wall between bastions. The period when the citadel had a military role, the Caponiere protected the soldiers.
Currently, you will find here the Artillery Guard rooms and an exhibition gallery of images during restorations.
Favorite thing: The SAXON'S BASTION has four rooms. The first room is the "Weapons Hall". This was a Guard room until 1715. It is now decorated with weapons, armors and flags.
The second room is the "Roman Vestiges Hall" because of the presence of a section from the southern side wall of the Roman Castrum.
The next room is the "Knights' Templar Hall". Originally this room was the central Guard room. It is now decorated with furniture items, weapons, flags and symbols of the Knights' Templar,
The last room is the "Capitular Hall". The chamber is decorated with items of medieval furniture, flags, swords and shields.
CHANGING OF THE GUARD
Favorite thing: The military guard is a special attraction for tourists. The soldiers are dressed in 18th century Austrian Military uniform
The CHANGING OF THE GUARD ceremony starts at 11:50 a.m. Our VT Group arrived just in time to witness this very impressive ceremony. I loved the horses. They are Frisian horses known for their docility and for their aristocratic demeanor.
ORTHODOX UNIFICATION CATHEDRAL
Favorite thing: The ORTHODOX UNIFICATION CATHEDRAL was built between 1921 and 1923, following the plans of architect D.G. Ștefănescu. The frescoes were painted by Constantin in a traditional iconographic style. The first monarchs of the Unified Romania, King Ferdinand I and Queen Marie were crowned in the cathedral on 15 October 1922.
ROMAN CATHOLIC CATHEDRAL
Favorite thing: The ROMAN CATHOLIC CATHEDRAL, built in the 13th century on the site of a Romanesque church destroyed during the Tartar invasion of 1241, features one of the most impressive early Renaissance interiors in Transylvania. The light coming in from the Gothic windows helps create inside an ethereal atmosphere. The tomb of Prince Iancu de Hunedoara (c.1400 – 1456) is located in here, as well as that of Polish-born Isabella Jagiełło (1519 – 1559), former Queen of Hungary.
Visit the citadel
Favorite thing: The one thing of interest to visit in Alba Iulia is the citadel and the buildings in it. The citadel walls are very old, the buildings inside are of more recent date. Though on occasion and if you look well, you can spot an old medieval window frame still embedded in a wall.
On the hill in front of the citadel the 3 peasants that rebelled against the romanian serv-dom were executed. There is a memorial statue fro them there
- Historical Travel
STATUE OF MICHAEL THE BRAVE
Favorite thing: In front of the Princely Palace is the majestic STATUE OF MICHAEL THE BRAVE atop his mighty steed, Made of Bronze, the statue was created by the sculptor Oscar Han in 1968.