December 14, 2010

Hunedoara Castle

Hunedoara (Romanian pronunciation: [huneˈdo̯ara]; German: Eisenmarkt; Hungarian: Vajdahunyad) is a city in Hunedoara County, Transylvania, Romania. It is in the Cerna Valley near the Poiana Ruscă Mountains within the Carpathian Mountains.
The city of Hunedoara has the most important Gothic-style secular building in Transylvania: Hunyad Castle, which is closely connected with the Hunyadi family. The castle was originally a small royal citadel and was given to Vajk (Romanian: Voicu) by King Sigismund of Luxemburg in 1409. Vajk's son, Johannes de Hunyad, began enlargement of the castle into a Gothic residence in 1446. The castle was damaged by fire five times, but underwent successive renovations in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by the Hungarian architects Imre Steindl, Frigyes Schulek and István Möller.
Besides the Romanian population, there are also ethnic Hungarians and Germans living in Hunedoara. A Roma population also thrives in a small village near the city, called Hăşdat. The city contains many green gardens, and old trees flank the streets. The castle has been turned into a museum, following recent reconstruction. A large dam, with tourist facilities, is located a few kilometres from the city, up in the mountains.
During the 20th century, Hunedoara increased its population to 86,000 inhabitants. The city used to contain the second largest steel works in Romania, but this has now closed down. However, the economy of the city is now benefiting from new investment.


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