Located off-the-beaten-path is one of the Seven Wonders of Romania, the stunning Corvin Castle, or Castelul Corvinilor in Romanian. Because the closest popular tourist destination (Sibiu) is a 1.5-hour drive away, many travelers don’t get to see Corvin Castle unless they are doing a road trip in Romania.
Also known as the Hunyadi Castle or Hunedoara Castle, this Gothic-Renaissance castle in Hunedoara is one of the biggest castles in both Romania and Europe!
Sitting on a rocky bluff with only a wooden connecting bridge for access, the exterior of the Corvin Castle is gorgeous, almost like a fairytale castle straight from Disney. The beautiful red and orange hues of the castle harmonizes, and a photo at the drawbridge is a must. With the magnificent towers soaring into the sky, Corvin Castle is simply a marvelous sight. However, it didn’t always look like this.
History of Corvin Castle
In the middle 15th century, the Voivode of Transylvania (highest elected official) John Hunyadi began orders for the construction of the Corvin Castle on the structural remains of a keep built by Charles I. The remains of the fortification gave a solid foundation for the imminent castle, and construction went smoothly.
The castle is split up into three major areas: The Knight’s Hall, the Diet Hall, and the circular stairways. The Knight’s Hall is the most impressive area, featuring rectangle and circular towers used as prison and fortification. The pristine condition of the Corvin Castle lasted until John Hunyadi’s death in 1456.
The maintenance and construction became stagnant after his death and the castle started to lose its glory. By 1480, work has completely stopped on the castle, but the construction has been so amazing that Corvin Castle became one of the most impressive structures in Eastern Europe.
It took over 100 years before people took more interest in this forgotten landmark. Restoration works began in the 17th century to return it to its former glory. However, the workers that restored the castle had no idea what it looked like, so they based their work on their own ideas of what a Gothic-Renaissance masterpiece would be.
The result? A fairytale castle that is considered one of the most beautiful places in Romania. Experts believe that the modern look we see now is much more fancy and gorgeous than its original appearance.
One feature you must see inside the Corvin Castle is the 100-foot deep well bored into stone. According to the legends, the well was dug by three Turkish prisoners to whom freedom was promised if they reached the water.
After 15 years and 28 days, water was finally reached but the captors refused to give the Turkish prisoners their freedom. It is said that the inscription on the adjacent walls means “you have water, but not a soul”.
Another common legend is that Vlad III, or Vlad Dracula, was held captive here by John Hunyadi. His captive inside the Corvin Castle eventually led to his madness and cruel ways, such as impaling his enemies to leave them to bleed out and drinking his enemy’s blood.
Though most likely just a legend, this hasn’t stopped some people from associating Corvin Castle with Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula and blood-thirsty vampires. However, Bran Castle is still more commonly referred to as Dracula’s Castle.
Because of such legends, some people believe the Corvin Castle is haunted. Paranormal investigations have taken place inside and the results were inconclusive. Paranormal or not, it is not going to stop the multitude of tourists flocking to this beautiful medieval castle.
One of the most unique exhibits is the torture room. Filled with medieval tools that were used to torture prisoners, it depicts a violent image that isn’t particularly suitable for children. Luckily for you, it’s completely avoidable. You can visit the different rooms and exhibits of the castle without entering the torture room.
How to get to Corvin Castle
If you are not arriving by car, you can also take public transportation. Getting to Hunedoara is difficult, as there are limited buses and trains per day. Many buses, such as the one from Bucharest, runs only once a day and the journey takes over 7 hours.
The trick is to first get to Deva or Simeria, where there are more frequent buses and trains to Hunedoara. Because of all the trouble and uncertainty, we highly recommend you to have your own car.
Once you have arrived at the Hunedoara bus or train station, Corvin Castle is 1.5 kilometers away. At this point, you can decide to take the bus that will take you to the historic center or walk the entire way. If you take the bus, the walk will be much shorter.
If you are arriving by car, there is plenty of free parking around the castle, no more than a 5-minute walk away from the entrance. There is also a parking lot specifically for the Corvin Castle, but visitors have to pay 10 lei for the day. If you are traveling on a budget in Romania, you would want to save every penny possible.
Corvin Castle Tickets
The entrance fee varies depending on the season. In the peak summer season, the entrance fee is around 31 lei, and 5 to 10 lei cheaper in the off-peak seasons. If you are a student, bring your student ID because you can get a big discount. If you want to take photos or video there is an extra fee (5 lei for photos and 156 lei for videos). For current information on the Corvin Castle, click here.
Tour guides are available in Romanian as well as in English, French, or Hungarian. A tour guide in Romanian costs 31 lei and one in the other languages costs 63 lei. An audio guide is also available for a small fee and helps tremendously in narrating the story of the castle.
Corvin Castle Opening Hours
The Corvin Castle is open daily. On Mondays, it is open from 12 PM to 8:30 PM. On Tuesdays to Sundays, it is open from 9 AM to 8:30 PM. Note that the last entrance is at 7:45 AM
Author Bio: Hey, I am Sean of LivingOutLau. On my travel blog, you will find personalized travel tips and guides to help you maximize your time and money on your next adventure!