THE 5TH GATE OF THE ALBA CAROLINA CITADEL
It was built along with the construction of the bastion citadel of Alba Iulia (or „Festung Carlsburg” as named in the documents of the time), between 1715 and 1738, without knowing the precise moment when it was inaugurated. It is placed on the western side of the citadel, the on the exit of the soldiers towards the training field in the 18th and 19th century. Unlike the 1st to 4th gates, the 5th and the 6th are not decorated, being treated simply, in a utilitarian manner. The exuberance of the decoration seen at the first four gates is rarely g in other citadels of the time. The 5th gate is shaped as a 15 meters long vaulted brick tunnel that goes through the Saint Michael ravelin and makes the connection with another element of the citadel, the counterguard of the Holy Trinity Bastion. On the exterior façade, the frame of the gate is made in stone but the construction is a simple one. Through here, in 1919, king Ferdinand and queen Mary entered in Alba Iulia, when they first came in the city of the Great Union. Shortly after that, however, for the construction of the Crowning Cathedral, the Saint Michael ravelin was partially demolished, instead of the walls in front of the cathedral the architects of the time realizing a large open space so, since the gate route was no longer necessary, it was closed. Later, the 5th gate was blocked by a wall and was not part of the visited objectives in Alba Iulia for several decades.
The gate was restored and opened for public touristic access in 2011. An important part of the original stone pavement was preserved in good conditions, as well as parts of the frames. From the gate on, towards the exit, a short bridge was restored that makes the connection with the counterguard of the Holy Trinity bastion. The financing was provided by the Kingdom of Norway, by means of a project within the European Economic Space Financial Mechanism.
Scientific consultant: Tudor Roșu, PhD historian
Translation made by: Ciprian Dobra, PR 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 built, Saint Michael ravelin was partially demolished. Instead of the demolished walls, a large opening was made, so since the western gates were no longer necessary, they were closed.
The 5th gate was blocked by means of a brick wall and it was not part of the visitable objectives in Alba Iulia for several decades. The present form of the gate is the result of a restoration project that made it as it used to be. From 2011 it was given back to the touristic circuit. Nowadays, the gate makes possible the access inside the citadel from west and it is part of the most visited touristic circuit, „the Gates of the Citadel”, that cuts the fortification from east to west.