It was built in the 15th century by Ioan of Hunedoara on a rock at the foothill of which flows Zlasti creek. It began as a military building but it turned over time in a beautiful Gothic castle. After 1458 Matei Corvin brought here Renaissance influences. The military fortress was built on an older fortification, but the entire castle was built with dolomitic limestone and river stone. Over time to the original fortification were added circular and rectangular towers. The German influence can be seen on the so called the Mace Tower. It is the only one which is painted on the outside. It has only one defense level and is painted on the outside in a fresco with geometrical motifs.
An interesting point of this castle is the fountain dug between the old and new curtain wall. The fountain has a depth of 30 meters and it is said that it was dug by three Turkish prisoners with the promise that they will be set free if they reach the water. After 15 years when they have finally finished the fountain the castle’s masters did not keep their promise. The legend says that the inscription carved on the fountain’s wall means: “You may have water, but no soul”.
One of the most interesting buildings dating since around 1446 is the chapel situated on the eastern side of the castle. The chapel’s narthex has above it a gallery with a tribune sustained by hexagonal pillars.
The main palace situated on the western side consist of the Knights Hall, the Diet Hall and the spiral staircase and it is an unique example of civilian architecture of a high refinement in the Transylvanian space. Another unique military building are the gallery and the Nje Boisia (Don’t be afraid). This name was allegedly given by the Serbian mercenaries from the castle’s garrison.
On the Corvin family crest is a raven with a golden ring in its beak. It is said that Ioan of Hunedoara was the illegitimate son of Sigismund of Luxemburg (king of Hungary since 1387 until 1437) and a Romanian woman. The king arranged a marriage between his son’s mother and a local brave man. He gave a golden ring for his son to be recognized when getting to the royal court. But the ring was stolen by a raven. After many adventures Ioan of Hunedoara found the ring and the king decided to make the raven with a golden ring in its beak the symbol on the crest of Corvin family.
Nowadays the castle is a beautiful museum placed by huffingtonpost.com in the top 10 fairytale castles in the whole world. The museum has archaeological, ethnographical, decorative art, numismatics and military techniques collections.