Alba Carolina Fortress

Alba Carolina Fortress

Things to do - general

When Romanians say Alba Iulia they usually think unification city, a real heart of the Great Romania. The city lies in Transylvania, on Mures river.

The Alba Carolina Fortress, with a perimeter of 12 km, is the largests and best preserved fortress in Romania.

In the old town visitors can stroll along the wide, tree-lined streets of the Habsburg citadel, one of the most impressive in Europe, to discover the historical, cultural and architectural places of interest of Alba Iulia:

– The Roman Catholic Cathedral – the oldest and most valuable monument of architecture in Transylvania
– The Batthyaneum Library
– The Orthodox Cathedral of the Reunification
– The Babilon Building – housing the National Museum of Unification
– The Union Hall the Apor Palace
– The Princely Palace
– The University of Alba Iulia

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The Alba Iulia citadel, designed by Italian architect Giovanni Morando Visconti, was built between 1716 and 1735, using the Vauban military architectural system—the largest of this kind in Southeastern Europe. The fortress is outstanding both for its architectural elements and for the beauty of its six gates, unique in European military structures. Doubtless the artists, sculptors Johann Koning, Johan Vischer and Giuseppe Tencalla, had been inspired by ancient mythology. The gates, valuable samples of early baroque style, have served as a model for 18th century Transylvanian architecture.

The Princely Palace, built in the 16th century, was Prince Mihai Viteazul’s residence during the first political unification of Romanians in the 1600s. Following Ottoman and Tatar invasions the palace was destroyed. During the rule of princes Gábor Bethlen and George II Rakoczi the palace was restored but not to its previous condition. From 1700 on, the building was used as military barracks. Opposite the palace is the Union Hall (Sala Unirii), where the unification act between Romania’s other historical provinces and Transylvania was signed during the Great Assembly of December 1st 1918.

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Located near the western entrance of the citadel, the impressive Orthodox Cathedral was built between 1921 and 1923 to celebrate Transylvania’s reunification with Romania. The first monarchs of unified Romania, King Ferdinand I and Queen Marie were crowned there on 15 October 1922.

 

The Catholic Cathedral, built in the 13th century on the site of a Romanesque church destroyed during the Tartar invasion of 1241, features one of the most impressive early Renaissance interiors in Transylvania. The light coming in from the Gothic windows helps create inside an ethereal atmosphere. The tomb of Prince Iancu de Hunedoara (c.1400 – 1456) is located in here, as well as that of Polish-born Isabella Jagie??o (1519 – 1559), former Queen of Hungary.

Alba Iulia is a beautiful European city which is worth visiting, with tourists spending their time in a pleasant, and memorable way.

 

Sports and nature

Sports and nature For those interested in natural attractions and outdoor adventures, Alba Iulia is a good starting point for exploring the Apuseni and Retezat parks.

The Apuseni Nature Park in West Romania was created in 2004, its main appealing point lying in its carstic nature.Traces of the prehistoric man, as well as fossils of animals that lived in the Ice Age were found in several of the caves, along with rare bat populations.Deep valley and gorges, karrens and karst depression – where underground rivers and streams flow - give the landscape an exceptional character. Below ground lies the important and fragile ecosystem of the caves, the main attraction for amateur and professional cavers. Declared a natural monument and a speleological reservation, the Scarisoara Glacier cave (situated at 1150 m altitude) is famous for its glacier and perennial ice deposits older than 3000 years.

Retezat National Park, in the Southern Carpathians, has the status of protected natural area by a national and international interest. In 1979 it was recognized as a Reservation of the Biosphere. With almost 80 glacial lakes, 58 being permanent lakes, Retezat Mountain Mass holds almost 40% of the glacial lakes that exist in Romania.

Retezat National Park was chosen by New 7 Wonders Foundation as a great challenge for becoming one of the seventh natural wonders of the world.

Culture and history

Culture & history One of the oldest settlements in Romania, known in ancient time as Apulum, Alba Iulia served as the largest military and economic center during the Roman occupation. Temples, mosaics, thermae and statues, amphitheaters, the governor's palace "Daciarum Trium" – all rendered the original Dacian Apulul as the miniature copy of the mother Rome.

An Episcopal citadel and an important political, military and cultural center, Alba Iulia reached its peak between 1542-1690, serving as the capital of the independent Principality of Transylvania and the residence of the Transylvanian princes. It was here that on December 1st 1918 the province of Transylvania announced its unification with Romania. In 1922 Prince Ferdinand was crowned King of Romania in an act which mirrored the union achieved more than four centuries earlier by Mihai Viteazul.

Apulum Guesthouse 4*

Lalelelor Street 37, 515100

Set in Alba Iulia, 1 km from the Alba Carolina Citadel More info

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La Maison de Caroline 4*

Primaverii Street nr.11, 501010

Located in the old town of Alba Iulia, on a quiet street More info

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Hotel Medieval 5*

Militari Street 13, 510009

Medieval Hotel is located in a historic building of 300 More info

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Unfortunately there are no self-catering offers at this location at the moment.

Unfortunately there are no tour offers at this location at the moment.