Cetate, former Cetatea Chioarului (Magyar: Kővár), is located in Berchezoaia village, Remetea Chioarului commune, Maramureş County, Romania.
Political and military centre of Chioar, "Cetatea de Piatră" (the Stone Stronghold) was raised in the 13th century (but mentioned only in 1319 as Cheewar), on an isolated hill at a bend of the river Lăpuş. The stronghold is situated at 400 m altitude, on the saddle of a hill surrounded by the waters of the Lăpuş which make at the hill foot a strait among the rocks.
It was attested again after 1372, in an undated document, as a Royal citadel. In 1378, the stronghold was donated to the voievodes Balc and Drag, and to their brother Ioan, the descendants of voievode Dragoş from Maramureş, who kept it until the last representative of the family died (1555).
Between 1599 and 1600, the stronghold and the domain were handed over to Mihai Viteazul (Michael the Brave) who unified the Romanian Principalities. This is when Chioar became a district (part of a comitat (county)) with certain autonomy.
After 1662, Mihai Teleki was nominated captain of the Stronghold Chioar; later on, his family extended its influence over the whole region. By the end of the century, Rákoczi’s revolt spreads over Transylvania and the inhabitants of Chioar take the opportunity to rise against Teleki. After the Satu Mare Peace (1711), the Austrian nobiliary authorities decided the demolishment of the Chioar Stronghold in order to prevent the anti-Habsburg forces from regrouping, and it was blown up in 1718.
From The Castles Catalog. Images from Castele si cetati din Europa.
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