THE 3RD GATE OF THE ALBA CAROLINA CITADEL

THE 4TH GATE OF THE ALBA CAROLINA CITADEL
October 23, 2017
THE 2ND GATE OF THE ALBA CAROLINA CITADEL
October 23, 2017

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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 mounted emperor Charles 6th is visible, the one under whose rule the citadel was built. The emperor appears triumphant, sober, dominant, and his horse was carved in a warrior frenzy manner, stepping over Turkish militaries. The gate has three entrances: one for vehicles and two smaller ones for pedestrians.

Two panels placed above the pedestrian entrances come into notice, both having as a main character the famous Prince Eugene of Savoy. On the right bas-relief, he receives the sword and the cross in order to go to war against the Turks. On the panel on the other side, the military commander is represented in a carriage, some sort of cart on two wheels, pulled by two lions, while receiving the model of the Alba Iulia citadel from a woman who personifies the victorious Austria.

The spaces on the upper case above the entrances are decorated with weapons and different ancient military equipment.

The central part of the eastern façade is dominated by Austria’s emblem – the double-headed eagle having on its chest Transylvania’s emblem.

Exceptional! Is the word that best describes the baroque decoration on the western façade of the Gate. The four statues from above the gate represent the four classic virtues: Moderation, Wisdom, Justice and Courage. The openings of the gate are enclosed by four statues for which the technical term is „atlants”. By the lateral openings two young men are represented and the ones flanking the central opening appear as bearded mature men.  The two angels above the central opening present a shield with the monogram of Charles VI: a laurel crown having inside two opposite „C” letters that is the symbol for the emperor as a Caesar, the descendant of the Roman Emperors –„Carolus Caesar”. The monument, alongside the other gates of the citadel influenced the evolution of the baroque sculpture in Transylvania.

The monument is also known as „The Gate of Horea”. Popular tradition considers that in the small room from the base of Charles 6th’s statue was the place for the incarceration of Horea, the leader of the upraised peasants in 1784.

The 3rd gate was given back to the tourist circuit in 2008, after an elaborated restoration process.

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