Magna Curia

Magna Curia (Latin for The Great Court) or the Bethlen Castle is a palace located in Deva, Romania. The Bethlen castle is located in a beautiful park at the bottom of the citadel hill, across the street from the beautiful turn-of-the-century Administrative Palace (Prefecture).

In 1582 the captain Ferenc Geszty, in charge with the Deva Castle's garrison, built a manor house at the foot of the citadel hill, in which throughout the history lived personalities and princes of Transylvania such as Sigismund Báthory, general Basta, Steven Bocskay, Gabriel Bathory and Gabriel Bethlen. Construction of the palace took place in 1621 under the authority of Prince Gabor Bethlen. Under Bethlen's rule, Deva was, for a short time, the capital of Transylvania. Gabriel Bethlen dispose in 1621 the radical transformation of the initial house, the result being Magna Curia palace. The Bethlen Castle was a Renaissance style building, but in the 1700s the caste was remodeled in the Baroque style, when the beautiful baroque additions were made, like the adorned balcony on the façade and the monumental staircase on the side, leading into the gardens. It is a structure on two levels, with outward rectangular projections (tower-like) at its four corners.

Since 1882, the County Museum, the Museum of Dacian and Roman Civilisation, has been housed in the palace. Housed in a separate building next to the palace is the Natural History Museum (Romanian: Muzeul de Ştiinţe ale Naturii). Magna Curia was completely renovated in 2007.