Corvin Castle, Romania: Why You Have to Visit The Medieval castle of Transylvania

Have you ever heard of Corvin Castle?

In southwest Transylvania, one representative castle of the Middle Ages stands. The Hunedoara Fortress, which became the Corvin Castle (or as some call it, the Hunyad or Hunyadi Castle), is one of the most attractive places to visit today in Transylvania. The Corvin Castle in Romania is recognised as being one of the biggest and most impressive castles in Eastern Europe.

What to know about Corvin Castle

Corvin Castle is one of the top places to visit in Romania, offering a unique and memorable experience for tourists interested in history, architecture, and medieval culture. Here’re the most important facts to know about this place:

  • Corvin Castle is also known as Hunyad or Hunyadi Castle, or Hunedoara Castle.
  • It is located in Hunedoara, a city in Transylvania, Romania.
  • The castle is one of the largest and most impressive Gothic-style castles in Romania.
  • Visitors can see various towers, courtyards, a chapel, a knights’ hall, and other interesting architectural elements.
  • The Capistrano Tower, the Deserted Tower, and the Drummers’ Tower were used as prisons, while the Buzdugan Tower was built solely for defensive purposes.
  • The castle played an important role in the history of Romania and Europe, being linked to famous figures such as Vlad the Impaler and King Matthias Corvinus.
  • The best time of the year to visit is from April to October when the weather is pleasant, and the castle is not too crowded.
  • The entrance fee for adults is 40 Romanian Leu (about 8 US dollars).
  • Tourists who have visited the castle praise its beautiful architecture, rich history, and impressive collection of weapons and armor.
  • Other nearby attractions worth visiting include the Corvinilor Mansion, the Hunedoara Medieval Fortress, and the Retezat National Park.
Corvin Castle, the medieval castles of Transylvania

After years of longing to visit Hunedoara and get to see with my own eyes this breathtaking place, there I was, rushing through it.

Because I’ve got there only 1h before closing time. But managing time is one of my assets when travelling, unlike my other time when I have no clue when it flies.

Hunedoara Castle, Corvin Castle or Hunyad castle

Hunedoara Castle, Corvin Castle or Hunyad castle?

There are many castles in Transylvania, but the castle in Hunedoara is a special one.

Corvin Castle is a Gothic-Renaissance castle in Hunedoara, Romania, being one of the largest castles in Europe.

Like many other parts of Transylvania, the Hunyad Castle is an inheritance from the Austro-Hungarian Empire and, in general, Transylvania is an intermingling of Romanian culture and the inhabitants of the area, who are Hungarians, Germans and Szeklers (or in Romanian “Secui”, who are Hungarian speaking population, who live in what we call the Transylvania area). 

For me, even the name of Hunyad Castle is hard to get. It’s this magical place in my own country, but still, it feels foreign.

Here’s why Hunyad Castle feels foreign to Romanians.

People also know Corvin Castle as Hunyad or Hunyadi Castle, or Hunedoara Castle (in Romanian: Castelul Huniazilor or Castelul Corvinilor; in Hungarian: Vajdahunyadi vár).

Hunedoara Castle, or Hunedoara Citadel, is the castle of one of the best kings of medieval Hungary, Matia Corvin.

Why you should visit Corvin Castle, the medieval castle of Transylvania

What makes Corvin Castle castle so special?

The diverse architectural styles, the innovations it presents, both civil and military, and of course, the 400 years eventful lifestyle which it witnessed. 

The Corvin Castle is impressive in its size and it is a huge landmark for the city of Hunedoara. For those into the medieval lifestyle, this is a must-see place, as it is the only one of its kind in Romania, and it’s probably one of the most interesting from this part of Europe. 

medieval castle Corvin Castel

Interesting facts about the Corvin Castle

Tourists aren’t the only ones impressed by the Corvin castle. Film producers and directors also caught an interest in this castle from Transylvania.

The Corvin Castle is unique due to its military architecture, which is representative of the 15th century to SE Europe. The castle’s architecture was inspired by the French architecture of the time.

The Hunyadi Castle has appeared in several world-famous movies over the years, such as:

  • The Nun (2018)
  • Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011)
  • Nostradamus (1994)

You can find the entire list of movies filmed at Corvin Castle on IMDB.

The history behind Corvin Castle or Hunyad Castle

Why am I confused by the name of Corvin Castle? Because Corvin castle was owned in turns by different rulers, hence the name.

The list of Owners of the Corvin Castle
John Hunyadi (1419–56)
Matthias Corvinus (1457–82)
Gabriel Bethlen (1605, 1613–29)

medieval castle Corvin Castel

The first stage of the construction of the Corvin Castle was finished in 1446, ordered by John Hunyadi (Hungarian: Hunyadi János, Romanian: Iancu or Ioan de Hunedoara).

Later on, there were some modifications and additions made to the castle, which were finished in 1480. During these years, the North part of the castle was built, also called the Matia wing, composed of loggias, and the secular paintings found here are one of a kind. 

In the 17th century, the outer yard (the hussars ‘yard) was built, a space that housed the administrators’ homes, the clerks, the greyhounds, food and hay.

That was the same year he was elected as the regent-governor of the Kingdom of Hungary. Yes, Transylvania was part of the Hungarian Kingdom. Cultural influences are very visible to this day.

Corvin Castle structure

The Corvin Castle is a large and imposing structure with tall towers, bastions, an inner courtyard and balconies adorned with stone carvings. The well from the castle represents an important point of interest. 

The castle also features a double wall for enhanced fortification and has both rectangular and circular towers. I found it really impressive and better than any picture I could ever paint in my mind about medieval castles.

In the 19th century, people carried out the most important restoration works in the castle. They built the large facade from the city and raised the roofs, which are now covered with glazed tiles, much higher than the original ones.

Someone added a row of crenellations and a watchtower to the Artillery Terraces to increase the attractiveness of the monument. Meanwhile, they removed a series of decorative stone elements and replaced them with new pieces according to the rules specific to this historical period.

medieval castle Corvin Castel

The castle has some memorable areas:

  • the Knight’s Hall – used for feasts
  • the Diet Hall – used for ceremonies or formal receptions.
  • the circular stairway
  • multiple towers – the Capistrano Tower, the Club Tower, the Deserted Tower and the Drummers’ Tower, The Buzdugan Tower
Why you should visit Corvin Castle, the medieval castle of Transylvania

People used some of the towers in Corvin Castle (the Capistrano Tower, the Deserted Tower, and the Drummers’ Tower) as prisons.

Builders solely constructed the Buzdugan Tower for defensive purposes, and they decorated its exterior with geometric motifs.

medieval castle Corvin Castel

When John Hunyadi died in 1456, the Hunyad castle’s construction stopped. Only in the 17th-century new addition were made. The castle we see today is a restoration of what modern architects thought a Gothic castle looks like.

Corvin Castle was featured in video games, movies and tv shows. Apparently Age of Empires II HD The Forgotten features it as the wonder of the Magyar civilization.

Here are some pictures of Corvin Castle interior:

medieval castle Corvin Castel
medieval castle Corvin Castel
medieval castle Corvin Castel
medieval castle Corvin Castel

How to get to Corvin Castle in Hunedoara, Romania

The infrastructure is not great, and I admit I was there by car, as part of my 4-day road trip around Romania. It was the next stop after visiting Brâncuși’s sculptures in Tg Jiu.

The best way to see Romania is by car, and that’s why I strongly recommend renting a car. RentalCars has some of the best options for car renting, so check them out.

The Corvin Castle is right in the city of Hunedoara, about 1,5 km from the train station. There is also a bus station, connecting the city to Deva, Timişoara and Bucharest. Trains connections are to Braşov, Sibiu or Arad.

Hunedoara Castle, Corvin Castle or Hunyad castle

9 reasons to visit Corvin Castle in Romania

  1. Epic Vampire Vibes: Get ready to be transported to the spooky world of Count Dracula himself, as the Corvin Castle’s dark and mysterious atmosphere is gonna give you chills. Perfect for vampire buffs!
  2. Time-Traveling Adventure: Wanna journey back to the 15th century? The castle’s well-preserved architecture and medieval flair will make you feel like you’ve hopped in a time machine.
  3. Instagrammable Hotspot: Say cheese! You’ll snap drool-worthy pics for your feed, with the castle’s stunning Gothic and Renaissance details as your backdrop. Your followers are gonna be jelly.
  4. Hauntingly Beautiful: Feeling brave? Explore the creepy dungeons and secret passageways where Vlad the Impaler was once imprisoned. Get ready for a spine-tingling experience you won’t forget!
  5. Romanian History 101: Soak up the rich history of the castle and the noble Corvin family as you wander through its chambers. You’ll leave with a wealth of knowledge that’ll impress your mates.
  6. Fairy Tale Views: Enjoy jaw-dropping panoramas of the surrounding Transylvanian landscape from the castle’s towers. You’ll feel like you’re living your own fairy tale adventure.
  7. Budget-Friendly Fun: Visiting Corvin Castle won’t break the bank. Affordable entry fees and nearby accommodation make it a wallet-friendly experience that’ll keep you smiling.
  8. Explore the Town: While you’re there, don’t miss out on the charming nearby town of Hunedoara. You’ll find tasty local cuisine, friendly people, and even more historical gems to uncover.
  9. One-of-a-Kind Experience: Trust me, there’re not a lot of Medieval castles left in Europe. Make memories that’ll last a lifetime, and come back with epic stories to share with your friends and family.

Should you plan a visit to Corvin Castle?

Yeah, you have to visit Corvin Castle!!! Amazing place; it seems like a movie set, except it’s not. Real people lived there, and those torture tools were real. Hunyad Castle is one of the must-see places in Romania, and one of the top castles in Romania.

Please check the opening hours and get there early, to have enough time to explore it all, it’s quite big, and I suggest spending there around 3 hours.

The view of the castle it’s something you’ll want to take a picture of. Wait long enough, and you will see the castle lighted after sunset.

medieval castle Corvin Castel

It’s like stepping into a tale of princes and princesses, where there are many towers and secret doors to be discovered. Yes, you can rent an audio guide, but I like it more when I can do my own exploration.

There is one thing I wish to you once you get there: ENJOY!

Why you should visit Corvin Castle, the medieval castle of Transylvania
Iulia Vasile

Iulia is a travel expert, blogger, engineer, freelance copywriter, and a curiosity-driven personality. She sees travel as the ultimate tool for self-improvement and personal growth, and that's the main topic of her blog, Juliasomething.com.

View stories

3 comments