October 23, 2017
October 23, 2017


The Roman-Catholic Archbishop’s Palace is located in the south-western corner of the citadel, in the immediate vicinity of the Roman Catholic Cathedral. The history of the palace is closely linked to that of the prestigious institution that has been established here for centuries: The Roman Catholic Diocese of Alba Iulia which became the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Alba Iulia in 1991. It’s difficult to mark the earliest times of the palace. The first documentary reference that remind of the Palace’s existence dates back to 1287. The edifice, the bishop’s residence, was built at the same time with the cathedral in the immediate vicinity.

All buildings on the southern side of the citadel originally belonged to the same complex which was used as the bishop’s headquarters. The status of the complex changed in the middle of the sixteenth century, when Alba Iulia became the capital of the Principality of Transylvania. When the episcopal assets were secularized, the building passed into the ownership of Queen Isabella, John Sigismund’s mother, that is, after the middle of the 16th century, the edifice became the residence of the Transylvanian princes. Its function changed at the end of the 17th century, when Transylvania came under Habsburg rule. The new owners divided the buildings: the eastern courtyard of the old Princely Palace returned to the army, and the western courtyard to the Catholic Diocese. The Catholic Bishop returned here in 1715.

In 1736, the current episcopal palace was separated by demolition from its eastern wing and other wings which had been added in the 17th century.

During older periods, it is believed that the eastern wing of the palace was linked with the cathedral upstairs, through a passage.

The palace today is the result of centuries of transformations and expansions. Recent works of restoration have highlighted frames of doors and windows of the Renaissance. The restorers have also highlighted elements of the window gallery with openings in three separate registers dating back to the 16th century.

Currently, the palace’s square plan encloses an inner courtyard in the middle of which there is the statue of the confessor bishop Márton Áron. It hosts the Roman-Catholic Archdiocese of Alba Iulia. Interested public can visit a spectacular museum collection, the only visiting point in the complex.

Due to its history and architecture, the Palace is listed on the most important monuments of Alba Iulia.