Hunyadi Castle, Timişoara

Hunyadi Castle is a historical monument and the oldest building of Timişoara.

Image from here

The King of Hungary Charles Robert of Anjou decided after a visit in 1307, to establish a provisional residence in Timişoara. It was necessary ato build a castle to meet the needs of the King. The construction was carried out and completed by Italian manufacturers probably most likely in 1315, because in 1316, the King was already established in his new castle. He lived here for almost eight years. The building was developed around a rectangular courtyard with cylindrical towers at corners. Situated on an island, the castle was linked by a mobile bridge to the city of Timişoara, strengthened also by the King. Major renovations were done during count Pippo Spano.

Between 1441 and 1456, count of Timişoara was Iancu de Hunedoara (John Hunyadi). It has established residence here and ordered the building of a new castle on the ruins of the old palace, the royal castle, badly damaged by an earthquake. A major contribution to the building was brought by Italian architect Paolo Santini de Duccio, who was serving at the time the count. Both the castle and city fortifications were equipped with artillery adapted semicircular towers. Until 1552, the castle served as residence for all the kings who passed by. During the Ottoman occupation (1552-1716), it served as the residence of Turk dignitaries of Timişoara.

During the siege of the Austrian army which led to the reconquest of Banat, the castle was damaged, so in 1716 it was renovated being transformed into military barracks and artillery storage. In 1849, the Hungarian revolutionaries besieged the city and destroyed the castle to the ground, to the point where it was needed to rebuild it. Reconstruction and renovation works were completed in 1856, and the castle was very much modified, particularly to the facade.

Despite of many changes, the castle has kept the organization around a courtyard with corner turrets, the dungeon tower position and the "Knights Hall", details that are found also in the Corvin Castle in Hunedoara. The main facade was restored in a romantic style. Windows, ending in semicircular arc with neo-Gothic decoration above took place of the holes for the artillery and the facade was made in brick​​. The first floor with a height of two storeys comprises two vaulted rooms in Gothic style, one with three naves and the other with two, constructed of brick and supported by a series of massive columns. The building is finished in vertical plane through an attic floor and at the top of the facade is an embattled cornice.

The towers are low, rectangular, with small windows, and decorated with battlements at the top so that the roof is not visible. The main entrance has been modified and is flanked by two massive pillars that have at the top a specific collection of medieval weapons, which contribute to the aspect of a Gothic castle.

Since 1947 the castle hosts the history and nature science sections of the Museum of Banat.

Images from here.


Andreea said...

This is one of the most impressive and well-conserved Gothic castles in Europe. Nice!

Roofing Miami said...

Just read that this castle has been used as a filming location for movies like Ghost Rider 2 and Fright Night. Cool! :)

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