Historical Monuments

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

TRANSYLVANIA’S PRINCELY PALACE

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

The Principal Palace, like many other monuments in the Alba Carolina Citadel, has got a long history, linked to personalities and outstanding events in the Transylvanian and even European history. The first phase of the existence of a palace in this area dates back to the end of the twelfth century and the beginning of the thirteenth century, and is related to the establishment of the seat for the bishop of Transylvania and for the members of the chapter. The edifice lived its glory days during the Transylvanian Principality when, for more than 150 years, the fate of the region was headed from Alba Iulia. It goes without saying that the princely residence was the center and the most impor [...]
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 MILITARY HOSPITAL

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

The building hosted the first military hospital in Romania. More specifically, the building functioned as a military hospital for nearly 300 years and then as a civilian neuro-psychiatric hospital. Concerning its military purpose, we must point out that the Austrian garrison in the fortress was the first one in Transylvania to benefit from services of such an institution. The place also sheltered and isolated patients suffering from plague, an epidemic that affected Alba Iulia city in the first half of the eighteenth century. The building is located on the western side of the Citadel, near the Coronation Cathedral, on Unirii Street, no.3. Recent archaeological research has revealed data [...]
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

THE PRINCIPIA MUSEUM

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

Located in the Citadel Square, the Principia Museum is the place where a part of the Principia building of the Roman castrum in Apulum is touristically highlighted. The headquarters of the 13th Legion Gemina was here, the 13th being the only legion that remained in Dacia province during the entire period of Roman occupation. The museum is one of the places where you can find the story of the castrum built by the Romans in Apulum. Principia was only partially researched and highlighted because a large part of the ensemble is under the street near the „December 1st, 1918” University. The exhibition in the museum courtyard presents artifacts discovered during the archaeological research [...]
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

THE SYNAGOGUE

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

Alba Iulia hosts the oldest Israelite community in Transylvania, with a permanent activity until today. The city centre preserves Alba County’s only brick wall synagogue. Constructed in 1840, the synagogue is also the oldest of its kind in Transylvania. Baring the name of Rabbi Ezekiel Paneth, during whose time the synagogue was built, the construction is austere, but also Baroque and Neo-Classical elements are visible in its style. The three metal „balls” on the façade of the synagogue are three cannon balls, which are left in the wall during the Revolution of 1848-1849. Nearly a century later (1938) the synagogue was strongly shaken by a bomb attack – an event which is depict [...]
October 23, 2017

THE JEWISH CEMETERY

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

The secular cemetery in Vasile Alecsandri Street is an integral part of the Israelite community in Alba Iulia. It is the oldest in Transylvania and among the oldest in Romania. A record of the cemetery discovered in Alba Iulia suggests it has existed for nearly 300 years. In addition, it was used by both the Sephardic Jewish community of Spanish rite and the Ashkenazi Jews in the area of German influence. The sacred dimension of the Jewish cemetery is extremely important. As a result, its monuments cannot be affected by human intervention and the tombs can no longer be used again. One of the most important funerary monuments is the tomb of Rabbi Ezekiel Paneth who built the first brick w [...]
October 23, 2017

THE EVANGELICAL CHURCH C.A.

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

The need to build a Lutheran Church in Alba Iulia can be linked to the construction of the Alba Carolina Citadel. When the construction site of the fortification opened, craftsmen from the Habsburg Empire's hereditary provinces came to town, a measure which increased the German community in Alba Iulia (a population of German Saxons also resided there). As such, there was a need to construct a place for the followers of Lutheranism. The city provided the land for the church in 1819. The area was a marshland at that time, so it required sanitation. The church was built between 1824-1826 alongside a church hall with an undetached apse, circular inside and polygonal on the outside. A bell tow [...]
October 24, 2017

THE CALVINIST-REFORMED CHURCH

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

This place of worship is the only Calvinist-Reformed Church in Alba Iulia. It is located in the lower town, in the former neighbourhood of ethnic Hungarians, long considered the central part of the city. The church was built between 1757-1761, on a land obtained with the consent of Empress Maria Theresa. The years of founding and the names of the founders appear on the inscription above the entrance to the church on the northern facade of the bell tower. The edifice of modest dimensions was built with a different plan from the other eighteenth-century churches in Alba Iulia. It is a hall-type structure, made up of a rectangular vessel enclosed at the east and west ends with a semicircula [...]
October 23, 2017

PALACE OF JUSTICE

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

Built in 1908 on the current Ion I.C. Bratianu Square, the Palace of Justice was an aesthetic success and impressive presence in the city’s landscape at the time. The architectural plans for the palace were originally drafted in Budapest, and included the construction of two inner courtyards housed within its hexagonal perimeters. From an architectural and stylistic point-of-view, the building was influenced by secession art (the German version of Art Nouveau), which favours harmonious forms partly inspired by classicism to emphasize functionality. The building’s most impressive design aspect can be witnessed along its southern facade. The palace has had different purposes over the [...]
October 23, 2017

THE FRANCISCAN CHURCH

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

The Transylvanian Franciscans, a group of the Catholic monastic order of the same name, arrived in Alba Iulia in 1691 and settled in the so-called „Lower Town”. This period overlapped with the Habsburgs taking over Transylvania and when Catholicism was restored in the region. In 1725, the Franciscans were allocated a swampy area in the Heiuş and German city (today Maieri) neighbourhoods to raise a house of prayer. Constructed between 1752 and 1770, the Franciscan Church was renovated several times due to repeated overflows from the Mures River and a fire. The latter is mentioned on the frontispiece of the church, where a Latin inscription describes how the edifice was „restored fr [...]
October 23, 2017

GREEK CHURCH OF THE „ANNUNCIATION”

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

The Greek Church is one of the four places of worship erected for the Romanians in „Lower Town” in the 18th century. Its name refers to the contribution of Aroman merchants to its construction. Nicolae Rat, the last confessor of Horea and Closca, was among its founders. Documents also mention the „un-united” church, namely Orthodox, unlike the Greek-Catholic churches. The need to erect the place of worship seems to be related to the taking over of the Orthodox Church from the present Lipoveni district by the Greek-Catholic after 1760. At the end of the eighteenth century, The Greek Church was built on the outskirts of Alba Iulia, in the field and later became central as new a [...]
October 23, 2017

MAIERI CEMETERY

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

Maieri Cemetery in Alba Iulia is a place of rest for both ordinary people and notable personalities of the city. It is located in the south-eastern corner of the citadel, on the same place as the old Orthodox cemetery belonging to the former mitropoly during the time of Michael the Brave. After the demolition of the Church, along with the opening of the construction site of the Alba Carolina Citadel, Romanian cemeteries were located near the „Lower Town” churches built in the 18th century. Over the years and with urban development these cemeteries have become overcrowded, taking up more and more wider space in the current location. In the Maieri cemetery, you will discover the funerar [...]
October 23, 2017

„HOLY TRINITY” ORTHODOX CHURCH OF MAIERI I

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

The Holy Trinity Church in Maieri embraced history on the morning of December 1, 1918, when the official Orthodox service was held there at the same time as the Greek-Catholic service at the nearby church - Maieri II. It was the day when the Union of Transylvania with Romania was decided in Alba Iulia. The place of worship in Maieri I was the last of the eighteenth century to be built for the Romanian population established in „Lower Town”, after those of Maieri II, Centru and Lipoveni. The church was built after 1785, the year of the execution of Horea and Cloșca, the leaders of the uprising that shook Transylvania. The execution that took place on February 28, 1785, on Dealul Furci [...]
October 23, 2017

„HOLY TRINITY” ORTHODOX CHURCH OF MAIERI II

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

The church in the Maieri II neighbourhood was the first brick wall church built for the Romanians settled in the „Lower Town” area. Its construction took place between 1713-1715, with the money received from the Austrian authorities as compensation for dismantling the Orthodox Metropolitan Church of Mihai Viteazul, located near the southeast corner of the medieval fortress. Interestingly, a part of the construction materials salvaged from the former metropolitan complex. Moreover, some massive limestone blocks visible in the church wall are supposed to have been conserved from the old Roman castrum. Following the town planning in the 18th century, the church was located on the edge of [...]
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