The Hunyad Castle

The Hunyad Castle (Romanian: Castelul Huniazilor or Castelul Corvineştilor, Hungarian: Vajdahunyad vára) is a castle in present-day Hunedoara, Romania.

It is a relic of the Hunyadi dynasty. In the 14th century, the castle was given to a Vlach (Romanian) knyaz Serb, or Sorb by Sigismund king of Hungary as severance. The castle was restored between 1446 and 1453 by his grandson Iancu de Hunedoara (John Hunyadi). It was built in Gothic style, but has Baroque and Renaissance architectural elements. It features tall and strong defence towers, an interior yard and a drawbridge. Built in the 14th century, on the place of an old fortification, on a rock below which flows the small river Zlasti, the castle is a large building, with tall and diversely coloured roofs, towers, windows and balconies adorned with carvings in stone.

Being one of the most important properties of John Hunyadi, the castle was transformed during his ruling. It became a sumptuous home, not only a strategically enforced point. With the passing of the years, the masters of the castle had modified its look, adding towers, halls and guest rooms. The gallery and the keep - the last defence tower (called "Ne boisa" = Do not be afraid), which remained unchanged from Iancu de Hunedoara's time, and the Capistrano Tower (named after the francescan monk from the castle court) are some of the most significant parts of the construction. Other significant parts of the building are the Knights' Hall (a great reception hall), the Club Tower, the White bastion, which served as a food storage room, and the Diet Hall, on whose walls medallions are painted (among them there are the portraits of Matei Basarab, ruler from Wallachia, and Vasile Lupu, ruler of Moldavia). In the wing of the castle called the Mantle, a painting can be seen which portrays the legend of the raven from which the name of the descendants of John Hunyadi, Corvinus came.

In the castle yard, near the chapel built also during John Hunyadi's ruling, is a well 30 meters deep. The legend says that this fountain was dug by three Turkish prisoners to whom liberty was promised if they reached water. After 15 years they completed the well, but their captors did not keep their promise. It is said that the inscription on a wall of the well means "you have water, but not soul". Specialists, however, have translated the inscription as "he who wrote this inscription is Hasan, who lives as slave of the giaours, in the fortress near the church".

In February 2007, Hunyad Castle played host to the British paranormal television program Most Haunted Live! for a three-night live investigation into the spirits purported to be haunting the castle.