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If you’re interested in visiting Corvin Castle, aptly designated one of the unofficial Seven Wonders of Romania, you’ll be thrilled to know that it’s open to the public. Located in Hunedoara, this medieval structure is one of Europe’s largest castles and (in my opinion) the most beautiful of the Transylvanian Castles. It’s definitely one of the best things to do in Transylvania! In fact, it’s one of the best things to do in all of Romania!
In Romania, it is the most popular castle to visit aside from the obvious choice, Bran Castle. It’s well worth a visit if you’re in the area, allowing you to take a step back into a different side of medieval Europe.
Here’s what you need to know about visiting Corvin Castle.
- How To Get to Corvin Castle
- History of Corvin Castle
- What to See at Corvin Castle
- Opening Hours & Admission to Corvin Castle
- Best Time to Visit Corvin Castle
- Where to Stay Near Corvin Castle
How To Get to Corvin Castle
Corvin Castle is a stunning medieval castle located in Hunedoara, Romania. The easiest way to get there is by car, but you can also take a bus or train from nearby cities like Timisoara or Sibiu. If you’re coming from further away, you can fly into Bucharest airport and then take a domestic flight or train to Hunedoara. Once you’re in the city, it’s a short taxi or bus ride to the castle.
Alba Iulia to Corvin Castle
From the city of Alba Iulia, Corvin Castle is approximately a 1 hour drive or just under a 2 hour train ride. You can also take a bus, which takes a little over 2 hours.
Cluj-Napoca to Corvin Castle
From Cluj-Napoca, the ride to Castelul Corvinilor is a bit farther. If you’re driving, you can expect to spend about 2 hours and 20 minutes on the road.
By bus, the time increases to 3 hours and 45 minutes. We don’t recommend taking the train, as it can take upwards of 5 hours!
Sibiu to Corvin Castle
From Sibiu, the drive is approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
As always, a bus or train ride will take much longer. The bus from Sibiu to Corvin Castle will take just over 4 hours (with a connection). The train takes just over 4 hours as well (direct).
Timisoara to Corvin Castle
Driving from Timisoara to Castelul Corvinilor takes just over 2 hours.
The train will last approximately 6 hours, while a bus takes a little less, at 5 hours and 15 minutes.
Bucharest to Corvin Castle
Bucharest is in no way, shape, or form close to Corvin Castle. However, if you don’t mind a lengthy train ride (or hopping on a plane), there’s no reason you can’t visit Hunyadi Castle from Bucharest.
By car, the ride takes 5 hours and 30 minutes, give or take. In approximately 9 hours and 30 minutes, you can take a train to Deva and then a bus to Hunedoara. Bucharest to Corvin Castle isn’t the most convenient option, but you can swing it!
The last option would be to take a plane to Cluj-Napoca or Timisoara from Bucharest and then go to Corvin Castle from there. Bucharest to Transylvania is a common route, so BlaBlaCar or rideshare is also an option.
History of Corvin Castle
Corvin Castle is also called Hunyadi Castle or Hunedoara Castle, or Castelul Corvinilor in Romanian. John Hunyadi (Iancu de Hunedoara), a Hungarian military leader and governor of Transylvania, was the primary builder of the castle.
This medieval castle has a long and fascinating history. Hunyadi Castle began of rather subtle origins when construction began in the 14th century by Roman Catholic nobleman Voicu Corvin. However, this imposing structure was significantly expanded and improved in the 15th century by John Hunyadi in the Renaissance Gothic style. The castle was then used as a military fortress and played an important role in defending Hungary from Ottoman invasions.
In the 16th century, the castle was occupied by the Ottomans for a brief period of time. However, it was eventually recaptured by the Austrians in 1688. The castle then changed hands several times between the Austrians and the Hungarians before finally becoming a part of Romania after World War I.
Local legend has it that John Hunyadi held Vlad the Impaler here while he was imprisoned. The truth of this claim is still up in the air, but it’s a very interesting site for Vlad Dracula enthusiasts, regardless.
Today, the castle is a popular tourist destination. The Corvin family no longer owns it – instead, it is owned by the Romanian Ministry of Culture.
It is open to the public and visitors can explore its many rooms and towers. The castle is also a popular setting for films and TV shows. It has been featured in several films, including “Dracula” and “The Nun’s Story”.
What to See at Corvin Castle
There’s plenty to see at Corvin Castle, from the imposing exterior to the beautiful interior chambers. The circular and rectangular towers create a lovely juxtaposition for photography enthusiasts. For a stunning medieval castle that rivals the best found in Western Europe, Corvin Castle does not disappoint.
After paying the admissions ticket, you’ll cross the bridge that traverses the huge moat and enter the main inner courtyard. With its stunning circular stairway and terraces with cascading flowers (depending on when you visit), you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped onto a movie set. The balconies are adorned with flowering plants and intricate carvings.
After spending some time exploring the courtyards, you’ll head inside to discover the splendors of the castle interior.
The Knight’s Hall is the most popular room inside. It has towering stone columns, hanging banners, and period furniture to transport you back in time. The Knight’s Hall also has plenty of opportunities to learn more about Corvin Castle’s interesting history.
Be sure to visit the Great Tower, which offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Other highlights include the prison cells, which were used to hold political prisoners during World War II, the bear pit, the white tower, and the artillery tower.
Medieval Arabic Inscription
One of the most interesting points to see on this older fortification is the Arabic inscription that Castelul Corvinilor is famous for. These stone carvings refer to the castle’s well, which was originally dug by Turkish prisoners. Iancu de Hunedoara had promised the three prisoners their freedom upon completion of the well. However, upon completion, Iancu’s wife instead sentenced the prisoners to die.
The stone carvings were a dying wish of the prisoners. It reads “You may have water, but you have no soul“. There is some contention on the exact translation of the inscription, however, as erosion and time have prevented it from being read clearly. Some claim it says “The one who dug here is Hassan, prisoner to the giaours in the fortress next to the church”.
Opening Hours & Admission to Corvin Castle
Castelul Corvinilor is open 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM Tuesday through Sunday. \
On Mondays, the castle is open from 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM.
Tickets to Corvin Castle are 30 lei (approximately $6.20 USD). To take photographs with a professional camera, there is a 5 lei surcharge (just over $1 USD).
Best Time to Visit Corvin Castle
A great time to visit Hunyadi Castle is during the summer months (June-August), when the weather is warm and dry. This is when Romania sees much of its international tourism, and you may find that the castle is more crowded during this time.
The castle is also open during the winter, and can be a magical place to visit if you don’t mind braving the cold. Keep in mind that hours may be shorter and some parts of the castle may be closed off during the winter months.
As Romania has been having some serious heatwaves in recent summers, you should definitely consider visiting Corvin Castle in the spring or fall. Spring is magical in Transylvania, and is undoubtedly one of the best times to visit, as the entire country begins to pop with bright colors.
Fall is equally as beautiful! The cooler temperatures provide some much needed relief from the heat of summer.
In short, there’s no bad time to visit Corvin Castle. Expect larger groups of tourists in the summer.
Where to Stay Near Corvin Castle
There are a number of places to stay within Hunedoara itself. Though you won’t find as extensive selections as you would in cities such as Alba Iulia or Sibiu, you can still find a few cazare in which to stay. However, aside from Corvin Castle, there’s not much to see in Hunedoara.
Deva is a slightly larger city and offers more in terms of accommodations and attractions. It’s about 15 minutes by shuttle bus between the two cities for the price of 6,50 lei (a little less than $2 USD).
Corvin Castle is a fascinating place with a long and rich history. If you’re interested in learning more about medieval history, or if you just want to see a beautiful place besides Bran Castle, then Corvin Castle is definitely worth a visit. Spend a day visiting one of the Seven Wonders of Romania.