TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

October 23, 2017

ALBA CAROLINA CITADEL

Scientific consultant: Tudor Roșu, PhD historian Script editor: Nicolae Neag, PR expert Translation made by: Cristina Ioana Cofaru, local expert.

The Alba Iulia bastion fortification is the largest fortress in Romania, which has been standing for more than 300 years. The fortress is the place where you can travel over two millennia back in time, strolling, among vestiges of three fortifications, dating back to as many different epochs. In other words, every fortress built here has embraced a previous one: the Roman castrum, the medieval fortress and the Alba Carolina Citadel. The latter was erected in Alba Iulia at the beginning of the eighteenth century. The first project of the fortification was drawn up by the Italian architect Giovanni Morando Visconti, who headed the first phase of the works. The architect died of plague and w [...]
October 24, 2017

FORMER ARCHEOLOGY MUSEUM

Scientific consultant: Tudor Roșu, PhD historian Script editor: Nicolae Neag, PR expert Translation made by: Cristina Ioana Cofaru, local expert.

Alba Iulia was among the first cities in Transylvania to set up a museum in the late 1800s. The initiative was coordinated by the „Society of History”, Archeology and Natural Sciences and materialized in 1888. The mission of establishing the museum was entrusted to Adalbert Cserni, the first custodian and subsequently manager of the place. At the beginning, the museum functioned in a kindergarten near the church in the Lipoveni neighbourhood. Then, in 1900, the museum was moved into a five room kindergarten building in the Maieri neighbourhood. The collections were mainly donations from amateur archaeologists or institutions such as the Batthyaneum Library. The main objects of inte [...]
October 24, 2017

NATIONAL COLLEGE „HOREA, CLOSCA AND CRIŞAN”

Scientific consultant: Tudor Roșu, PhD historian Script editor: Nicolae Neag, PR expert Translation made by: Cristina Ioana Cofaru, local expert.

The State High School of Alba Iulia was the first of its kind to be established in Transylvania after the 1918 Union. Founded on 1 February 1919, the high school was called „Mihai Viteazul” (Michael the Brave).  The new educational establishment didn’t have a place of its own and changed several places in the first phase of existence during the interwar decades. The first place was the building which currently hosts the „Regina Maria” High School of Music and Fine Arts. Its courses started with 300 students who were distributed in five classes. The foundation stone of the new high school headquarters was laid in 1923, on a four-hectare plot west of the citadel, on the Roman Pl [...]
October 24, 2017

FORMER HUNGARIAN CIVIL SCHOOL

Scientific consultant: Tudor Roșu, PhD historian Script editor: Nicolae Neag, PR expert Translation made by: Cristina Ioana Cofaru, local expert.

The building (which hosts the „Regina Maria” Arts High School today) was built between 1900 and 1901. Initially a Hungarian civil school, the edifice was taken over by the Romanian state right after the Union of Transylvania with Romania (1918). Then, the place hosted the first state high school established in Transylvania since the Unification of 1918. The educational institution was named „Michael the Brave” and functioned here until 1940, when the new edifice on the western side of the fortress went into use and which still exists, but under the name of the National College „Horea, Cloşca and Crişan”. Subsequently, the building in the Lower Town hosted the General School [...]
October 23, 2017

FORMER WARRANT OFFICER’S PAVILION

Scientific consultant: Tudor Roșu, PhD historian Script editor: Nicolae Neag, PR expert Translation made by: Cristina Ioana Cofaru, local expert.

Located near the Apor Palace, the building that currently houses both the „1 Decembrie 1918” University library and several other edifices of the Alba Carolina Citadel, had a former military purpose. The L-shaped building was erected in neoclassical style in the 1900's. It initially served as a pavilion for warrant officers in the Austro-Hungarian army. Maps of the period also listed the building under the name of „Officers’ Pavilion no. 6”. Unfortunately, historical sources offer rather scarce information on this building on the old street of the pharmacy. The edifice received a cultural purpose in 2003, when it was taken over by the „1 Decembrie 1918” University and bene [...]
October 23, 2017

FORMER JESUIT COLLEGE

Scientific consultant: Tudor Roșu, PhD historian Script editor: Nicolae Neag, PR expert Translation made by: Cristina Ioana Cofaru, local expert.

The Alba Iulia Citadel distinguished itself over time as a place of a distinctive tradition in elite training and for preserving important national and universal heritage values. One of the places in the citadel that has still kept these attributes at present is the B wing of the „1 Decembrie 1918” University in Alba Iulia, which has inherited the patrimony of the Jesuit College. The Jesuit monastic order was established in Alba Iulia in 1579 along with the wave of countermeasures against the religious Reformation. The moment marked the beginning of priesthood training within the seminar established in the Báthory Church, also known as the Jesuits Church (today demolished). Historic [...]
October 23, 2017

FORMER BETHLEN COLLEGE

Scientific consultant: Tudor Roșu, PhD historian Script editor: Nicolae Neag, PR expert Translation made by: Cristina Ioana Cofaru, local expert.

In his ambitions as the protector of culture, Prince Gabriel Bethlen wanted to turn Alba Iulia into a „Heidelberg of the East". Therefore, he founded the Academic College in the heart of the citadel. It was set up in 1622 and it received the rank of academic school in 1629, providing three faculties: Theology, Philosophy and Philology. The humanistic school was attended by 40 students who received scholarship supported from the budget of the princely court in Alba Iulia. Here the youth were preparing for various secular careers and practical functions of the Principality of Transylvania. Through its size and the prestige of the teachers who taught here, this higher education institution [...]
October 23, 2017

CUSTOZZA MONUMENT

Scientific consultant: Tudor Roșu, PhD historian Script editor: Nicolae Neag, PR expert Translation made by: Cristina Ioana Cofaru, local expert.

Looking at the monument located in the central area of the Citadel Square you would probably wonder what is the connection between Alba Iulia and the battle of Custozza in 1866, during the military conflict between Italy and Austria for the possession of Venice. The 50th Infantry Regiment from Alba Iulia, formed mainly from Romanians and Hungarians, but commanded by Austrians, took part in the battle won by the Austrians in the north of Italy. The initiative of erecting a monument dedicated to the 133 soldiers and officers fallen in Custozza belonged to the officers of the Austrian Regiment in Alba Iulia and was realized 40 years after the battle in Italy - in 1906. The monument made out [...]
October 23, 2017

LOSSENAU MONUMENT

Scientific consultant: Tudor Roșu, PhD historian Script editor: Nicolae Neag, PR expert Translation made by: Cristina Ioana Cofaru, local expert.

The story of the Lossenau monument begins on February 11th, 1849, when in Simeria, the Hungarian revolutionary army faced the Austrian troops led by Ludwig Losy von Losenau. As a result of that battle, the Austrian commander was severely wounded and died a few days after. Although today little biographical data is known about the Austrian colonel, his death made Alba Iulia produce one more monument. The initiative for the erection of the monument belonged to the officers of the Habsburg army from the Alba Iulia garrison. The first stone was placed in 1852 in the presence of the emperor Franz Josef. Located in the middle of the Citadel Square, the work is shaped as a pyramid tower and deco [...]
October 23, 2017

„HOREA, CLOȘCA AND CRIȘAN” OBELISK

Scientific consultant: Tudor Roșu, PhD historian Script editor: Nicolae Neag, PR expert Translation made by: Cristina Ioana Cofaru, local expert.

The stone obelisk is impressive on one hand by his 20 meters height that makes it visible from kilometres. The monument is placed in front of the 3rd gate of the Citadel, on an artificial hill that in the past was meant to protect the main gate of the fortification from the direct shooting of artillery during a possible siege. The obelisk was erected in order to celebrate 150 years from the execution of „Horea, Closca and Crisan”, the leaders of the 1784 Uprising. By its dimensions and artistic features, the monument was supposed to look according to the importance of a commemorated event. Although it was finished with a two years delay, the inauguration on October 14th, 1937 was an [...]
October 23, 2017

THE STATUE OF MICHAEL THE BRAVE

Scientific consultant: Tudor Roșu, PhD historian Script editor: Nicolae Neag, PR expert Translation made by: Cristina Ioana Cofaru, local expert.

The moment of the uncovering of the statue, November 28th, 1968, was a real special one. 50 years passed since the union of Transylvania with Romania. Nicolae Ceausescu participated to the event, while occupying the most important function in the state –Secretary General of the Romanian Communist Party. The word was that he decided that the work should be realized by the sculptor Oscar Han because the artist was an old man and this might have been his last important work. In reality, his artistic activity continued. The placing of the statue in front of the Princely Palace was not random. The edifice is the place where Michael the Brave lived and activated during his short 10 months ru [...]
October 23, 2017

SOUTH GATE OF THE ROMAN CASTRUM

Scientific consultant: Tudor Roșu, PhD historian Script editor: Nicolae Neag, PR expert Translation made by: Cristina Ioana Cofaru, local expert.

The most visible trace of the Apulum Castrum is the gate on the southern side named Porta principalis dextra. It is the only one of the four gates of the rectangular castrum that was preserved until nowadays. The monument, of a great importance for the ancient history of the Romanian space, is highlighted inside the Three Fortifications Tour, arranged in the southern and south-eastern side of the Alba Carolina Citadel. The vestiges present us only a small part of the former aspect of the gate and about a third of its 1880 years elevation. Nevertheless, it is a living testimony of the Roman civilization in this area and is about a flourishing period of the ancient Apulum. Porta Principal [...]
October 23, 2017

Via Principalis

Scientific consultant: Tudor Roșu, PhD historian Script editor: Nicolae Neag, PR expert Translation made by: Cristina Ioana Cofaru, local expert.

Rectangular in shape, with a gate placed on each side and with main roads that connected the gates placed on opposite sides. This is how the Apulum Roman castrum was planned by the engineers and the architects of the Roman Empire, almost two millennia ago. If you wonder how did the roads cutting the ancient Apulum looked like, we can tell you that in Alba Iulia we have a section of Via Principalis. It was the road that connected the main gates of the castrum, the southern and the northern ones. Via Principalis was passing in front of the „Principia” of the Roman castrum, that is to say the headquarters of the 13th Legion Gemina. Here, a part of the 1800 years old building is visible [...]
October 23, 2017

FORMER „MAJLÁTH” GYMNASIUM

Scientific consultant: Tudor Roșu, PhD historian Script editor: Nicolae Neag, PR expert Translation made by: Cristina Ioana Cofaru, local expert.

The main building of „1 Decembrie 1918” University is one of the most grandiose edifices within the fortress of Alba Iulia, erected in the late 1800s. Ever since it was established, it was designed for education, housing, at first, the Majláth Roman Catholic Superior Gymnasium. The edifice, of considerable size, was built on the site of a former Gothic hall church. The neoclassical building impresses in particular through its main façade decorated with columns with fluted shafts, monumental Ionic and Doric capitals, and various other ornamental registers with vegetal-geometric motifs. Triangular fronts, columns and other classic decorations bring to the viewer the image of an ancien [...]
October 23, 2017

TRADE UNIONS’ HOUSE OF CULTURE

Scientific consultant: Tudor Roșu, PhD historian Script editor: Nicolae Neag, PR expert Translation made by: Cristina Ioana Cofaru, local expert.

An attraction of utmost importance in Alba Iulia for the last four decades has been the Trade Unions’ House of Culture. Construction works began in April 1974 and were completed in a record time so that the building was put into service on 18 December 1976. 12 enterprises from both Alba County and the country contributed within a collective effort to build and furnish the new cultural edifice, focusing on modern techniques and solutions. The cultural institution has a 548-seat showroom and a 30-seat lodge, as well as a 165-seat for conference room. In addition to its cultural function, the building houses a gym, offices, and commercial premises. The Trade Unions’ House of Culture is [...]
October 23, 2017

THE FORMER „I.L.CARAGIALE” THEATER

Scientific consultant: Tudor Roșu, PhD historian Script editor: Nicolae Neag, PR expert Translation made by: Cristina Ioana Cofaru, local expert.

The former Caragiale Theater is a building in Alba Iulia which has been serving the culture for nearly 150 years. Its story began in the late 1800s when a kindergarten located in the city park was refurbished and was given the role of a public place of entertainment, a sort of „club” frequented by the „good people”: businessmen, magistrates, officials, teachers. The building was completely refurbished, extended and upgraded ahead of the Coronation celebrations in 15 October 1922. In those days it also received the name of „Caragiale Theater” and on 1 December of the same year, the theatrical season opened officially. The place kept its entertaining role during the interwar pe [...]
October 23, 2017

CAPITOLINE WOLF STATUE

Scientific consultant: Tudor Roșu, PhD historian Script editor: Nicolae Neag, PR expert Translation made by: Cristina Ioana Cofaru, local expert.

Located in Alessandria Square, the Capitoline Wolf statue was named after a northern Italian city which is twinned with Alba Iulia. The monument was donated to the city in 1993 by the Honorary Consul of Italy in the Alba, Hunedoara and Sibiu counties. Capitoline Wolf statues are similar all over the world, but their pedestals are generally different. The base used in Alba Iulia is a Roman column like the one used for the replica standing on Capitol Hill in Rome. In 2009, the Municipality of Alba Iulia gifted the Italian city of Alessandria with a replica statue, which was seated in the „Square of Alba Iulia” of the Italian city in the region of Piedmont. The she-wolf in Alba Iulia i [...]
October 23, 2017

CORONATION CATHEDRAL

Scientific consultant: Tudor Roșu, PhD historian Script editor: Nicolae Neag, PR expert Translation made by: Cristina Ioana Cofaru, local expert.

The Coronation Cathedral is the first important religious site built in Transylvania after the 1918 Union. The Orthodox Place of Worship was erected specifically for the coronation of the King Ferdinand and Queen Maria, as monarchs of united Romania, on 15 October 1922. The foundation stone of the cathedral was laid on 28 March 1921 and the construction works lasted about 9 months. From an architectural perspective, the cathedral was built in the Neo-Brâncovenesc style - the national architectural trend promoted during the debut decades of the twentieth century. Both the 52-meter-high bell tower and the tower of the Catholic Cathedral dominate the city view seen from afar The Orthodox be [...]
October 23, 2017

FORMER PREFECTURE

Scientific consultant: Tudor Roșu, PhD historian Script editor: Nicolae Neag, PR expert Translation made by: Cristina Ioana Cofaru, local expert.

The building was constructed in the North-eastern corner of the Citadel over the structure of some older noble houses from the 16th century. The edifice overlaps one of the four sides of the former Roman Castrum in Apulum which had the same alignment as the medieval citadel. Over time, the building used to have both civil and military purposes. The names under the edifice used to be known are in connection to the functionalities it used to have or the personalities it used to shelter. It was the House of the Saxon Thrones when Alba Iulia was the capital of the Transylvania principate. Like other buildings inside the citadel it was transformed so to reflect the political importance of the [...]
October 23, 2017

MILITARY ENGINEER GARRISON

Scientific consultant: Tudor Roșu, PhD historian Script editor: Nicolae Neag, PR expert Translation made by: Cristina Ioana Cofaru, local expert.

The military engineer garrison was built between 1897 and 1898. The military unit received the name of the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph. The edifice was built on the entire eastern side of the citadel square on the site of a former monastery and church. When new buildings emerged independently on the four sides of the garrison, an ample inner courtyard was shaped. During World War I, a large Austro-Hungarian military storehouse functioned there. In the autumn of 1918, the barracks were one of the first and most important military units in the Alba Iulia Citadel taken over by Romanian soldiers. The building became the headquarters of the National Guard, also known as the „Alba Iulia Le [...]
October 23, 2017

„SAINT MICHAEL” ROMAN-CATHOLIC CATHEDRAL

Scientific consultant: Tudor Roșu, PhD historian Script editor: Nicolae Neag, PR expert Translation made by: Cristina Ioana Cofaru, local expert.

Built 800 years ago, the Roman Catholic Cathedral is the oldest cathedral in Transylvania. It has also the oldest and tallest building both in Alba Iulia and the Alba County for centuries. Its 56.7 meter tower dominates the city skyline seen from afar. The cathedral is considered to be the third religious building on the same site. It is built out of stone blocks from the walls of the Roman camp at Apulum. The works started at the beginning of the thirteenth century. From an architectural perspective, the edifice encompasses all styles used between the tenth and thirteenth centuries: Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque. The Romanesque is the most prominent. Started in this period, [...]
October 23, 2017

ARCHBISHOP’S PALACE

Scientific consultant: Tudor Roșu, PhD historian Script editor: Nicolae Neag, PR expert Translation made by: Cristina Ioana Cofaru, local expert.

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 cita [...]
October 23, 2017

RUINS OF THE TENTH CENTURY CHURCH

Scientific consultant: Tudor Roșu, PhD historian Script editor: Nicolae Neag, PR expert Translation made by: Cristina Ioana Cofaru, local expert.

In 2011, during rehabilitation works of the fortress, a random discovery determined the archaeological research of the green area in front of the Roman Catholic Archbishop's Palace. Excavations have highlighted the vestiges of a church. The church's dimensions are 20 meters on the east-west axis and 12 meters on the north-south axis, with a wall thickness of 1.2 meters. Experts believe that the church functioned between about 950-1050. From an architectural point of view, the church had a kind of a provincial Byzantine plan „in Greek inscribed cross”, characterized by a square central room framed by four pillars that could support a dome. The place ceased to exist when the first cath [...]
October 23, 2017

FORMER STOREHOUSE

Scientific consultant: Tudor Roșu, PhD historian Script editor: Nicolae Neag, PR expert Translation made by: Cristina Ioana Cofaru, local expert.

The takeover of Transylvania by the Austrians in the late 17th century signified the start of a new era for Alba Iulia. When Viennese authorities decided to build the Alba Carolina Fortress, the city turned into a large garrison. One unit of the imperial army in the citadel was the storehouse whose main duty was to procure flour and provide bread for the soldiers from the citadel; and, secondly, to serve as a warehouse for supplies. Located on the eastern side of the citadel, the building where the storehouse was built was a massive one, quadrilateral in shape, with an inner courtyard. The southern wall of the storehouse is built right over the wall of the Roman castrum, which was used a [...]
October 23, 2017

FORMER WAR COMMISSARIAT

Scientific consultant: Tudor Roșu, PhD historian Script editor: Nicolae Neag, PR expert Translation made by: Cristina Ioana Cofaru, local expert.

The War Commissariat represented an important structure within the Austrian garrison in the Alba Carolina Fortress. Its main duties were military, economic and social: from soldier recruitment to construction and maintenance issues to supply, accounting, and healthcare purposes. The Commissariat building was one of the first projects bearing the signature of the first architect of the Bastion Fortress (eighteenth century), the Italian Giovanni Morando Visconti. Square-shaped and massive, the edifice is typically military of a commanding appearance. Its window openings - probably built at a stage subsequent to the first construction phase - contain stylish stone frames that were specific t [...]
October 23, 2017

THE 1ST GATE OF THE ALBA CAROLINA CITADEL

Scientific consultant: Tudor Roșu, PhD historian Script editor: Nicolae Neag, PR expert Translation made by: Cristina Ioana Cofaru, local expert.

The 1st Gate of the Alba Carolina Citadel stands proudly at the base of the terrace on which this grand fortification was built. Carved out of stone in the shape of a triumphal arch, it is the first access point to the citadel from the East. The gate also provides an insightful history lesson, particularly with regards to Rome and its legacy, which were claimed by the Habsburg Empire. The monument carries rich sculptural ornamental work, with scenes carved in relief depicting mythical characters, such as: Aeneas, the legendary founder of Rome; Perseus, the most important hero until Hercules; and, Antaeus, the giant whom Hercules wrestled and killed. A bicephalous eagle boasts prime [...]
October 23, 2017

THE 2ND GATE OF THE ALBA CAROLINA CITADEL

Scientific consultant: Tudor Roșu, PhD historian Script editor: Nicolae Neag, PR expert Translation made by: Cristina Ioana Cofaru, local expert.

The story of the 2nd gate of the Alba Iulia Citadel had some troubled episodes. The monument began to be counted among the gates of the fortification only after 1935, when it was demolished to allow the construction of the nearby „Horea, Closca and Crisan” Obelisk. The present form of the gate is the result of a restoration project finished in 2009. Until then, only the lateral pillars and some hinges reminded the passer-by about the monument. In the new structure, on the central pillars the original atlantes were placed, being brought back from the National Union Museum where they guarded the entrance until then. We are speaking about two statues realized in a specific baroque antit [...]
October 23, 2017

THE 3RD GATE OF THE ALBA CAROLINA CITADEL

Scientific consultant: Tudor Roșu, PhD historian Script editor: Nicolae Neag, PR expert Translation made by: Cristina Ioana Cofaru, local expert.

Located on the eastern side of the Alba Carolina Citadel, the 3rd gate is the main access point into the actual fortification. The gate is placed right in the middle of the part of the wall that links two of the Citadel bastions – Saint Eugene and saint Capistrano, the latter also being known as the Transylvania bastion. The monument, shaped as a double triumphal arch is remarkable both by its dimensions and the richness of its decoration. The monumental feature of the gate is also given by its pillars that consolidate it but, in the same time, they give the gate a special ornamental aspect. The technical term for the pillars is „pilasters”. In the upper case the statue of the mou [...]
October 23, 2017

THE 4TH GATE OF THE ALBA CAROLINA CITADEL

Scientific consultant: Tudor Roșu, PhD historian Script editor: Nicolae Neag, PR expert Translation made by: Cristina Ioana Cofaru, local expert.

„The Bishop’s Gate” and „ The New Gate” are the names under which the 4th gate of the Alba Iulia Citadel was known in the past. The monument has the shape of a vaulted corridor that pierces the wall between two of the citadel’s bastions: the Trinitarians and Saint Michael, and it is placed on the western end of the main road that crosses the citadel. It is the only richly decorated gate from the three on the western side of the fortification. The opening of the gate is limited by two statues technically named „atlants”, representing two mature bearded men, wrapped in cloaks that partially cover their nakedness. The median quoin of the gate’s arch presents a mask symbol [...]
October 23, 2017

THE 5TH GATE OF THE ALBA CAROLINA CITADEL

Scientific consultant: Tudor Roșu, PhD historian Script editor: Nicolae Neag, PR expert Translation made by: Cristina Ioana Cofaru, local expert.

The 5th gate of the Citadel is one of the secondary entries placed on the western side of the fortification. In the 18th and 19th centuries it had a utilitarian purpose: it ensured the exit of the soldiers towards the training field placed in the present Roman’s Plateau area. The architecture of the gate is a simple one. The monument is shaped as a 15 meters long vaulted tunnel that ensured the link between Saint Michael ravelin and the third line of defence of the fortification, named counterguard. Through here entered the king Ferdinand and the Queen Maria in 1919 when the sovereigns of Romania visited the city of the Great Union. Shortly after that, when the Crowning Cathedral was b [...]
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