Aiud Fortress

Aiud (Hungarian: Nagyenyed, German: Straßburg am Mieresch) is a city located in Alba County, Transylvania, Romania. Aiud Fortress (13th - 15th century), is among the oldest urban fortification in Transylvania.


The fortress with stone walls and towers is located on the site of an old earth fortification which in its turn overlaps a Dacian-Roman settlement from 3rd century AD. The building complex has known two-phase construction. The existence of an initial fortress (14th century) was attested by archaeological excavations (1974-1977). According to the local Saxon tradition, its beginnings had occurred before the great Tatar invasion in the years 1241-1242, but this dating was not yet confirmed.


The pentagon-shaped citadel is fairly small, with a perimeter of 350 m and an area of 3600 sq m, but has 1.2-1.3 m thick walls, with a height of 7 m and a supplementary brick guardrail of 2 m. At the meeting angles of the walls and the middle of their long sides were built towers with four, five and seven sides. Present form corresponds largely to the second stage of construction (16th-17th centuries), but were preserved also elements of the first phase, as well as some later additions and restorations. Inscriptions that were preserved on several places on the towers and walls bring information related to those works.


The communication between towers was realized by a way of guard behind the parapet, which could be accessed through several wooden ladders. Inside the 9 towers, their upper levels could be reached by timber stairs. The towers were under the care of craftsmen guilds, which had military obligations, the artisans choosing military commanders - the so-called "officers of the guild".


Inside the fortress walls is the Calvin Reformed Church, built in late Gothic style at the end of 15th century, a hall-type church with three naves, with polygonal apse and a 64 m high tower with battlements, modified in Baroque style. The second place of worship inside the citadel is the Evangelical-Lutheran Church, built in the second half of the 19th century, on the site of a chapel built in 1333-1334. Here can be found also the parish building (18th-19th centuries), the rectory building (17th century), the bell ringer's house (18th-19th centuries), the former Evangelical parish house.


On the northern side of the citadel is the Princely Palace (16th-17th centuries), which belonged to the Transylvanian Prince Gabriel Bethlen (in 1612-1629). Now, here is the Aiud History Museum.

The plan of the fortress:
A. Evangelical-Lutheran Church
B. Calvin Reformed Church
C. Bethlen Princely Palace
D. Rectory house
E. Parish house
F. Bell ringer's house
G. Former Evangelical parish house

The towers:
1. Butchers' tower
2. Tailors' tower
3. Shoemakers' tower
4. Furriers' tower
5. Coopers' tower
6. Potters' tower
7. Kalendas tower
8. Locksmiths' tower
9. Gate tower

Photos from Aiud Online.

3 comments:

Octavia said...

La Liceul Bethlen este un Muzeu de Stiintele Naturii cu multe lucruri interesante.

Adrian said...

Am in plan sa scriu si despre liceu, daca gasesc material suficient.

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