What’s that on the Hill?

Apart from the obvious sign telling the visitor the name of the location, an old fortress is looking over the city of Deva from the top of the hill. The big grey building is actually the Fortress of Deva and has been an important position in the history of not only Transylvania but also of Medieval Hungary. Unfortunately since then the fortress (or sometimes even castle, depending on the time period) got greatly deteriorated and so not much is really visible of it.
Deva
In the last years, however, some important development has commenced on the fortress and the local authorities started an ample renovation program to restore the fortress to a more “visitable” state. For this reason, we gave a shot to go and visit the old ruin.

Actually getting to the hilltop to the castle is not easy-peasy (or at least we thought so). First of all, when entering the city from the direction of Hunedoara, it is not marked anywhere where to start the ascent from. If you ask the local people, first they will tell you to go round on the path to get to the top: that route however is not for everyone. Instead there is a nice new “vehicle” that can get you on top, you just have to know where it’s base-point is. The local’s told us, that if we go to the stadium, we can get up using a funicular… Wow, that is cool: but where’s the stadium? Well, look for a football-field (for the mentally challenged: soccer-field) and do not, by any means, look for a stadium. Then, maybe, you’ll get to the base point 🙂 . Getting up is actually quite fun: the funicular is modern and new (a bit shaky at some key-points), a two-way trip costs 10 RON (€2.40) (half price for students) and it gets you up to the top in a few seconds. Actually it seems to be quite unique, I have never seen such a funicular: it is kind-of a mix between a funicular and a cable-car…

Once up on the top, do not, by any chance, try the heroic approach, to first go around the fortress: the road towards the right leading a “just a bit” downwards will actually lead down to the bottom of the hill, so unless you are curious of the old gatehouses (which are in a really bad shape), that direction can be skipped. Instead follow the stairs into the heart of the fortress to get a glimpse of the interior. Although it is limited since construction has begun, much of the interior court is visible and if you have a good zoom on the camera, some details can also be admired. Hopefully when renovation works will finish, a better access will be allowed for tourists, to actually admire the cells and maybe even some of the intact rooms (sort of) of the fortress.

Apart from the actual fortress, a magnificent view opens up from the hilltop not only towards the city center but also towards the surrounding areas of the city of Deva. Now for this, the great zoom of the camera is really useful 😉 .

“All in all” it was a great half an hour visit and hopefully it will get better after renovations finish. Oh…. one more thing: there is a very important sign on the walls of the fortress: “Be careful Vipers”. They mean it: the hilltop is also a natural reserve for the horned viper. We did not encounter any, but I’m guessing they did not put up the sign just to scare off tourists…

Photos here

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