Deva Castle

Deva Castle



Location: Deva, Hunedoara County Map

Constructed: 13th century

Be careful and watch your step. Don't stick you hands in crevices if you don't see what is inside.

This viper with rhombus pattern is poisonous and quiet common in the region


History of Deva Castle

Deva Castle is situated on the volcanic hill overlooking city of Deva in the Hunedoara County of Romania. Deva Castle was constructed to protect an important pass in the Poiana Ruscă Mountains. This particular fortification is easy to spot from a distance by the Hollywood - style white letters that mark the location of citadel. The Deva Castle now lays in ruins, but some imagination it is easy to imagine a bustling town that once existed here. With strong towers those remains you can see today and thick walls Deva offered safe haven for the dangerous war torn region.


Unfortunately little is known of the origins of both Deva Castle and the name that was given to it. One theory states that it was founded by the Dacian warriors and the name came from “dava”, Dacian word for “fortress”. Another theory grants the honor of establishing fortified structure to Roman legion, the Legio II Augusta. The unit was transferred here from British province in the third century AD then Trojan, the last great emperor of the Roman, conquered Romania. Legionnaires were previously stationed at Castrum Deva (now Chester, Britain) thus bringing the name to the new location. Some scholars give the origin of the name to the Slavic tribes that formed small settlement a top of the hill since “deva” means “virgin”.


Either theory has its own defenders and opponents, but the first documents that mention the castle’s importance in the area dates back to 1269 then under Voivod (army commander) John Hunyadi it grew to become an important administrative and economical center. The castle was partially destroyed in 1550 by the Turks, but it was quickly recaptured and extended further. In 1621 Prince Gabriel Bethlen reconstructed and extended Magna Curia Palace also known as the Bethlen Castle in Renaissance style. With gunpowder invention and change of military tactics the castle fell in disrepair. By the middle of the 19th century it was completely abandoned by its garrison. Parts of the Deva Fortress were torn down and reused by the local population.