Şiria Fortress

Şiria (Hungarian: Világos, German: Hellburg) is a commune in Arad County, Western Romania, near Zărand Mountains. Documentary certified for the first time in 1169, the village of Şiria was the residence of local landlord (mid 14th century). In the next century belonged to a vast area held between 1444-1445 by Ioan (or Iancu) de Hunedoara (aka Ioan Corvin or Corvinus, English: John Hunyadi, Hungarian: Hunyadi János).

The ruin of Şiria's fortress is one of the most important touristic sights of the commune. Located on the Fortress Hill (496 m high), the citadel dates from the 13th century and was enlarged in the 15th century. The citadel is built in Romanesque style, with a massive dungeon, provided with 2-3 floors and to the top has battlements. It was considerated to be an important strategic and economic point of the region, with 110 villages subordinated.

The central body is built on a rock of irregular ovoid shape with different levels. The western wall is 24 m long, very tall and with holes. To the north are seen the remains of a dungeon, that had a basement room and communicate in the outer court through a door. The outer court is 36-38 m long and has walls almost intact, 1.3 m thick and 3.5 m high. At north is an opening that was one of the citadel's gates. Over the ditch of the fortress there was a drawbridge. The tower and the surrounding wall are the oldest parts of the fortress. The dungeon was 109 m long and 18 meters wide, and before the central body is a protective wall at a distance of 2.5 m, closing a barbicane. The surrounding wall has a length of 28 m, with only an entry from the west. The ditch surrounding the fortress had in some portions a depth of 10 m and a width of 14 m, but some parts were less steep. Underground tunnels have a height of 1.9 m and 1.8 m wide at the base. The main gate on the northeast side, have 2.9 m and two adjacent openings - a large one for the vehicles and a small one for the pedestrians. The gate in the protective was for the access over the ditch more than 12 m wide and 6 meters deep; there are another two gates, one on the western side wall of the outer court and one in the central body. Construction materials used were quarry stone and Roman bricks with the stamp of the Legion XIII Gemina. The stages of implementation of construction works were:

- The tower, with annexes, the wall surrounding the central body part (after the Tatar invasion in 1241, the second half of the 13th century);
- The central body and the thickening of the walls with buttresses (during the reign of Ioan de Hunedoara).
- Fitting the central body, the outer court and the protective wall in front of the central body (during Báthory family rule - second half of the 15th century and the beginning of the 16th century). Under Ottoman rule the walls were strengthened increasing safety.

A particularly important role in its life had the Romanian voivodes and cneaz (princes, rulers of a large area). For example, a document of 1440 speaks of a certain prince Ştefan of Şiria. Corvinus's possession at the start of the second half of the fifteenth century, passed in the years 1461-1464 under the rule of the Báthory family. During the revolt of Gheorghe Doja (Hungarian: Dózsa György), the city is temporarily occupied by its peasant bands. Under Ottoman rule (17th century), the fortress was conquered and was Mihai Viteazu's (Michael the Brave) military garrison between 1599 to 1600. Subsequently, the city was occupied again by the Ottomans in 1607 and held by them until 1693. For strategic reasons, Hapsburg troops destroyed the citadel in 1784.

Another important event in the history of this locality was in 1849, when the library of the Bohuş Castle was used as a place for the negotiations between General Görgey Arthur, the commander of the Hungarian revolutionary army, and the Russian general Frolov, completed by the surrender of the first.


Radu Oltean said...

Vedeti ca fotografia de sus e tot a cetatii Soimus...

Adrian said...

Multumesc pentru precizare, am inlocuit fotografia. Nu am fost niciodata acolo, asa ca e usor sa ma insel.

Radu Oltean said...

Acum e ok!