THE 2ND GATE OF THE ALBA CAROLINA CITADEL
In the past it was identified as the „Charles’ Middle Gate”. In the interwar period, for example, it was not counted among the gates of the citadel, because it was not actually a gate. Actually, it began to be counted as „the second gate” after it was demolished. There are contradictory date regarding its demolishment in the first part of the 20th century. It is certain, however, that beginning with the construction of the „Horea, Closca and Crisan” Obelisk, after 1935, from this monument only the side pillars were preserved.
The present form is the result of a restoration project finished in 2009. When restoring the gate, pictures taken back in the beginning of the 20th centuries were taken into account and within the new structure, the original atlants were placed, being brought back from the National Union Museum where, for several decades, they guarded the entrance into this building.
The construction is a simple one, with a large opening in the middle and smaller pedestrian openings on the sides. The side pillars are realized in a simple manner, with a few floral and vegetal decorations in their upper part and a flaming cannonball on top. The central pillars are more massive and they are decorated with atlats standing on columns and supporting capitals with garlands. In an antithesis specific to the baroque art, the atlant on the left is a beardless young man, while the atlant on the right is presented as a mature bearded man. Both have vigorous bodies, well proportioned, tensed by the weight they are supporting and partially covered by very long cloaks. We have statues of atlantes on the 3rd and the 4th gate, 8 in total. Besides their origins in the Greek-Roman antiquity, the atlantes were frequently used in the 16th-19th constructions, especially in baroque art.
On the top of the central pillars, lions bearing imperial heraldry signs are placed.
Scientific consultant: Tudor Roșu, PhD historian
Translation made by: Ciprian Dobra, PR 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 antithesis: on the left we have a beardless young man while on the right a bearded mature one. But both have well-proportioned vigorous bodies, tensed by the weight they support and partially covered by very long cloaks.
On top of the central pillars one can see lions bearing shields with the royal insignia of the emperor from Vienna under whose rule the Citadel was built – Charles VI.
The deployment of the pillars and the walls volume set three access ways: one for vehicles and two for pedestrians. In the past, along with the 1st gate, the 2nd gate was the limit of the Citadel’s barbicane. The barbicane was the 130 m long sloped way meant to hinder enemies to access to reach the main gate of the fortification – the 3rd gate. The monument was given back to the tourist circuit in 2009.