The Liteni Fortress

The Liteni Fortress (or Geczy Citadel, or Lita Citadel), is a medieval fortress built 3 km southwest of the present village of Liteni (Hungarian: Magyarléta), Cluj County, on a cliff above the Iara River Valley. The ruins (some of the most picturesque ruins of medieval Transylvania) are located in Apuseni Mountains (Western Carpathians), about 30 km southwest of Cluj-Napoca and about 30 km north-west of Turda, on the road between Luna de Sus and Buru, near the Muntele Băişorii resort.


It seems that here was a citadel in 1241, where the authorities of Cluj County fled during the Mongol invasion. Attested since 1324 as "Castrum Leta", the fortress had a very troubled past. In 1405 King Sigismund of Luxembourg (1368-1437) gave the citadel to the city of Cluj, and later the municipality shared the lands into three parts and gave them to Jakcs Janos, to judge Vana, and to Laszlo, voivod of Beiuş. After the death of Emperor Sigismund of Luxembourg, the fortress was first the property Losonczi Dezsö, and later (after year 1441) was owned by Herepei Márk.


In 1456, Ioan de Hunedoara (Ioan Corvin, Hunyadi Janos) gave the fortress to Csolnokosi Klara, a cousin of Pongracz Janos. Then, it has successively passed to several owners (Perényi Orsolya, Corvin Janos, Balassa Ferenc, Artanhazi Bornemissza Boldizsar etc.). It was badly damaged following the explosion of the powder warehouse in the underground on 12 February 1562, during a siege. In 1569, the ruins and the surrounding forests were given to Geczy Janos, who renovated the fortress, and his descendants lived here for a century (until approximately the second half of 17th century). There are no precise data on the causes of the definitive abandonment of the city, but seems that it happened during the Kuruts' war led by Francisc II Rákóczi in the early 18th century.

6 comments:

MewTwo said...

Looking great. How do I drive there?

Adrian said...

Hi, MewTwo. I see that you are living in Cluj, so the route is:
Cluj - Floresti (E60) - Luna de Sus (107M) - Vlaha - Savadisla - Lita - Liteni

MewTwo said...

Thanks Adrian!
Actually, I drove to the area thru villages of Lita and Liteni on last weekend, but did not find the ruin. Is the access to the ruins from the Liteni village?

Adrian said...

Sorry, MewTwo, but I don't remember where is exactly the access route, I was there many years ago. Try to ask some villager for "ruina" (ruin), "cetate" (citadel, fortress).

MewTwo said...

I will :) Thanks anyway for your help and excellent blog.

Ulmo said...

Hi. A much easyer access to the fortress is by driving further from Liteni, then, just near Baisoara village there is a road to the right, to the Valea Ierii village. You drive 5 km up the Iara Valley to a village named Moara de Padure. From here, there is a path to the right, going uphill to the fortress. 20-30 min.