This palace is to be found in the northern area of the bastion citadel and overlaps the northern side of the Roman castrum. Nowadays it is the headquarters of the rectorship of the “December 1st, 1918” University.
It is properly said that it was built in the second half of the 17th century, although it presents earlier elements. The palace is part of the civilian architecture works category from the Alba Iulia citadel. Stefan Apor, the one who bought the palace towards the end of the 17th century, wasone of the most important people within the court of Michael Apafi, a very rich man and a fervent catholic. He probably bought the palace when he was the treasurer of Transylvania (1693-1703).
The palace has a rectangular shape with an extension on the southern side, while the northern wall is built on the curtain of the Roman Castrum and of the medieval citadel. The architectonic elements are specific for the late Renaissance. From noble residence, the palace became a military building. At the beginning of the 18th century it was the residence of the count of Steinville, the commander of the Austrian troops in Transylvania, when the building suffered significant renovations. The masters who worked at the gates of the bastion citadel probably left their mark on this building as well. Anyway, several baroque elements were added: a monumental two-ways staircase with capitals, reliefs and baroque windows as well as the monogram of the emperor Charles the 6th on a badge (with the double headed eagle and supported by two lions) placed above the central entrance. In the years to follow, the palace had different destinations even an Agricultural Production Cooperative residence during the communist times. Between the 80s and the 90s, it was completely deserted, then restored and it received its present destination.
The palace can be visited and it has an archaeological exhibition in the basement.
Scientific consultant: Tudor Roșu, PhD historian
Translation made by: Ciprian Dobra, PR expert
The Apor Palace is the first Baroque style civilian building in Transylvania. It is located in the northern area of the Alba Carolina Citadel, overlapping the northern side of the Roman castrum. The core of the construction enclosed parts of a former medieval house.
The edifice – built in the second half of the seventeenth century and showcasing even earlier architectural elements – accommodated several famous people: in the seventeenth century, it was owned by Stephen Apor – one of the most influential and wealthy people in Transylvania at that time; when Austrian troops settled in Transylvania, the former nobiliary residence started to be used for military purposes and count Steinville, commander of the imperial troops in Transylvania, established his residence here.
The building underwent notable transformations around that period as craftsmen – who had likely worked on the fortification gates as well – brought it improvements worthy of a palace. They increased wall heights, added structures on the southern side and merged the eastern wing of the house owned by Nicholas Bethlen, located on the western side. The inside of the palace was also transformed: they built a monumental two ramp staircase, framed by two lateral corridors. The Baroque extensions transformed the edifice into the first Transylvanian civilian building built in this style.
The building’s front wall holds an impressive monogram of Emperor Charles VI which was integrated into a coat of arms (a double-headed eagle framed by two lions). He was the Emperor during whose time the Alba Carolina Citadel was built.
Nevertheless, the former nobiliary edifice was subsequently used for purposes that would tarnish its glorious image over time. It hosted the offices of an agricultural cooperative during the time of the communist regime and in the 80s and 90s the palace was completely abandoned.
Nowadays, following an ample restoration process (that took place in the early 2000s), the vice-chancellorship of the „1 Decembrie 1918″ University is located in the building. The edifice has now both administrative and touristic function. You can visit an archeological exhibition hosted in the basement of the building.