Dezna Fortress

Dezna (Hungarian: Dézna) is a commune located in the Dezna River Valley (about 7 km from Sebiş) in Arad County, Romania. The first documentary record of Dezna dates back to 1318. According to a legend, László Nagy Peretseny (1817) says that the village name derives from the name of Dacian king Decebal.

The most important historical monument of Dezna is the citadel situated on the Ozoiu Hill (390 m). Dominating the region and the access road to the heart of Codru-Moma Mountains, the fortress was built probably at the end of the 13th century in the center of a Romanian principality (cnezat). First attested in 1317, it was for a long time an important Royal citadel. In 1318, the domain was donated to the Losonczi family.

The fortress had a most important role in 16-17th centuries, in 1552 being part of the defense system of western Transylvania as a boundary fortress, especially after the fall of Ineu, conquered by the Turks (1566). Since 1565 belonged to Ioan Sigismund. The citadel was strengthened with new reinforcements, among which the north-eastern bastion; the architecture in Renaissance style is somewhat similar to the Şoimuş Fortress. Probably in this period in the more vulnerable sectors of the citadel were added rows of parallel stone walls, then filled with river stones, bricks and high-strength mortar.

Conquered by the Turks in 1574 and recaptured by 1596, the fortress was between 1599 and 1601 in possession of the captain of Michael the Brave, Gáspar Kornis, who facilitated the passage of the ruler by his way to Prague. Between 1601 and 1658 know had more owners, and in 1619 was donated by Transylvanian Prince Gabriel Bethlen to Marcu-Cercel Vodă. In 1658 it was conquered again by the Turks, together with Ineu fortress, and in coming decades Dezna disappeared as fortification.

The Dezna Fortress is part of a simpler family of fortifications. The remaining walls suggest a simple construction with one tower. The polygon shaped precincts have a single tower, still standing, seemingly the only outstanding feature of this fortress. Over the years have survived three major walls of the main bastion. Equally, can be distinguished the footsteps of the other walls, the contour of the inner court and fragments of the city ditches. In spite of the modest construction type it was owned by royal and important noble families.

One story says that the Turks had gathered in the citadel a large number of girls, for the harem of a military leader. Unable to escape, one of the girls to avoid the sad fate waiting them, managed to blow up the deposit of gunpowder. Recent research does not exclude an essence of truth of this legend, because some signs shows that the destruction of the citadel by explosion is very probable.