Hunedoara is a city in Hunedoara County
Hunedoara County
Hunedoara is a county of Romania, in Transylvania, with its capital city at Deva.-Demographics:In 2002, it had a population of 485,712 and the population density was 69/km².*Romanians - 92%*Hungarians - 5%*Romas - 2%*Germans under 1%....

, Transylvania
Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania. Bounded on the east and south by the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended in the west to the Apuseni Mountains; however, the term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but also the historical...

, Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

. It is located in southeastern Transylvania near the Poiana Ruscă Mountains, and administers five villages: Boş, Groş, Hăşdat, Peştişu Mare and Răcăştia.

The city contains the most important Gothic
Gothic architecture
Gothic architecture is a style of architecture that flourished during the high and late medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture....

-style secular building in Transylvania: Hunyad Castle
Hunyad Castle
The Huniad Castle is a Gothic-Renaissance castle in Hunedoara , present-day Romania.- History :...

, which is closely connected with the Hunyadi family
Hunyadi family
The Hunyadi family was a Hungarian noble family strongest in the Late Middle Ages. Their probable Romanian origins are claimed by medieval authors and by many modern historians....

. The castle was destroyed by fire five times, but underwent many reconstructions from Austro-Hungarian and later Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

n authorities.
Besides the castle, the town developed as a production center for iron and a market for the mountain regions nearby. During the 20th century, Hunedoara increased its population to 86,000 inhabitants. The city contained the largest steel works in Romania (later Galati
Galați is a city and municipality in Romania, the capital of Galați County. Located in the historical region of Moldavia, in the close vicinity of Brăila, Galați is the largest port and sea port on the Danube River and the second largest Romanian port....

 took the lead), but activity gradually diminished after the fall of the Iron Courtain due to the loss of the market. This was a blow to the overall prosperity of the town, who now recovers with new investments.
The population consists of a majority of Romanians
The Romanians are an ethnic group native to Romania, who speak Romanian; they are the majority inhabitants of Romania....

, with Roma, Hungarians and Germans as the most important minorities. The city contains many parks, with poplars and chestnut trees flanking the streets. There are many touristic attractions, including a large dam, with tourist facilities, located a few kilometers from the city, up in the mountains.


The name of the town seems inexorably linked to the name of the Hunyadi family
Hunyadi family
The Hunyadi family was a Hungarian noble family strongest in the Late Middle Ages. Their probable Romanian origins are claimed by medieval authors and by many modern historians....

 (also called Corvinus). The most probable explanation for the Romanian
Romanian language
Romanian Romanian Romanian (or Daco-Romanian; obsolete spellings Rumanian, Roumanian; self-designation: română, limba română ("the Romanian language") or românește (lit. "in Romanian") is a Romance language spoken by around 24 to 28 million people, primarily in Romania and Moldova...

 name "Hunedoara" is a transliteration of the Hungarian term "Hunyadvár" meaning "the town of Hunyad", as most Hungarian towns have this suffix
In linguistics, a suffix is an affix which is placed after the stem of a word. Common examples are case endings, which indicate the grammatical case of nouns or adjectives, and verb endings, which form the conjugation of verbs...

. Historically the name of the town is changed due to political circumstances Hungnod (1265), Huniad (1278), Hwnyadwar (1409), Vayda Hunyadi (1575). The latter Hungarian name Vajdahunyad (voivode Hunyad) might be a direct referral to John Hunyadi
John Hunyadi
John Hunyadi John Hunyadi (Hungarian: Hunyadi János , Medieval Latin: Ioannes Corvinus or Ioannes de Hunyad, Romanian: Iancu (Ioan) de Hunedoara, Croatian: Janko Hunjadi, Serbian: Сибињанин Јанко / Sibinjanin Janko, Slovak: Ján Huňady) John Hunyadi (Hungarian: Hunyadi János , Medieval Latin: ...

. The etymology of the Hunyadi family speculates a possible Vlach(Romanian) or Cuman origin.


Stone Age
Stone Age
The Stone Age is a broad prehistoric period, lasting about 2.5 million years , during which humans and their predecessor species in the genus Homo, as well as the earlier partly contemporary genera Australopithecus and Paranthropus, widely used exclusively stone as their hard material in the...

 tools were discovered in the Sânpetru (Saint Peter) hill near the castle and in the surrounding villages. The region was very rich in iron, which had been extracted in the area since the Iron Age
Iron Age
The Iron Age is the archaeological period generally occurring after the Bronze Age, marked by the prevalent use of iron. The early period of the age is characterized by the widespread use of iron or steel. The adoption of such material coincided with other changes in society, including differing...

 by Thracian tribes. The Dacian fortresses of Orăştie
Orăștie is a city in Hunedoara County, south-western Transylvania, Romania.-History:7th–9th century – on the site of an old swamp , which today is the old center of town, it was a human settlement whose traces have been scattered into the X-th century by the construction of the first...

 mountains, most notably Sarmiszegetusa, which became the most important religious and political center of Dacia
In ancient geography, especially in Roman sources, Dacia was the land inhabited by the Dacians or Getae as they were known by the Greeks—the branch of the Thracians north of the Haemus range...

, was located close to Hunedoara and was supplied by the iron produced here. The remains of eight Dacian iron furnaces have been found at the Sânpetru hill near the castle. The discovery of important monetary treasures of Dacian coins and Roman imperial coins testifies to the importance of the site.

After Dacia was conquered around 106 AD and turned into a Roman province, the iron-rich region attracted the attention of the Romans, who began to exploit it by building furnaces. A "Villa Rustica" emerged in Teliuc, a Roman fortification on Sanpetru hill, outpost of the famous legio XIII Gemina
Roman legion
A Roman legion normally indicates the basic ancient Roman army unit recruited specifically from Roman citizens. The organization of legions varied greatly over time but they were typically composed of perhaps 5,000 soldiers, divided into maniples and later into "cohorts"...

 whose main castrum was at Apullum
Alba Iulia
Alba Iulia is a city in Alba County, Transylvania, Romania with a population of 66,747, located on the Mureş River. Since the High Middle Ages, the city has been the seat of Transylvania's Roman Catholic diocese. Between 1541 and 1690 it was the capital of the Principality of Transylvania...

 in Dacia. Other Roman artifacts were discovered in the city area, and also in Pestis, where the remains of a Roman village were discovered. The new capital city of the Roman province of Dacia, Ulpia Traiana Sarmiszegetusa, was also situated in the proximity.

After the Roman military and administrative retreat during the Migration Period
Migration Period
The Migration Period, also called the Barbarian Invasions , was a period of intensified human migration in Europe that occurred from c. 400 to 800 CE. This period marked the transition from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages...

 the region had no significant historic sites, although it may be possible that the iron activity continued. The Daco-Roman ethnic structure of the region changed significantly, most notably with Goths
The Goths were an East Germanic tribe of Scandinavian origin whose two branches, the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths, played an important role in the fall of the Roman Empire and the emergence of Medieval Europe....

, Huns
The Huns were a group of nomadic people who, appearing from east of the Volga River, migrated into Europe c. AD 370 and established the vast Hunnic Empire there. Since de Guignes linked them with the Xiongnu, who had been northern neighbours of China 300 years prior to the emergence of the Huns,...

, Slavs, Pechenegs, Magyars and Cumans
The Cumans were Turkic nomadic people comprising the western branch of the Cuman-Kipchak confederation. After Mongol invasion , they decided to seek asylum in Hungary, and subsequently to Bulgaria...


Around 1000 AD the main political and demographic forces in the region were Vlachs
Vlach is a blanket term covering several modern Latin peoples descending from the Latinised population in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe. English variations on the name include: Walla, Wlachs, Wallachs, Vlahs, Olahs or Ulahs...

, or Walachians, Romanized populations that inhabited the Carpathians and the Balkans as far South as Greece. Under Slavic influence small political feuds grew (ruled by knjazes) but were overwhelmed by the Magyars, who took control of Transilvania and formed the Hungarian Kingdom. South of the Carpathians the Pechenegs and Cumans
The Cumans were Turkic nomadic people comprising the western branch of the Cuman-Kipchak confederation. After Mongol invasion , they decided to seek asylum in Hungary, and subsequently to Bulgaria...

 hold political power, and Hunedoara acted as a buffer zone for the Hungarian Crown. In time the Vlach populations in the mountains nearby developed an original highlander culture. Their land is called "Tara Padurenilor" (Woodlanders Country) and they began to dominate the area demographically. The region also had a sizable population of German Saxons
The Saxons were a confederation of Germanic tribes originating on the North German plain. The Saxons earliest known area of settlement is Northern Albingia, an area approximately that of modern Holstein...

, colonizers brought by the Hungarian Crown after the Mongol Invasion and later Roma who migrated from the Indian subcontinent.

The first recorded evidence of the city was made in 1265 under the name Hungnod as a hub for leather tanning and wool processing. The city of Hunedoara became an important iron extracting and processing center in Transylvania. "Corpus Inscriptiorum Latinorum" refers to a local inhabitant as "natas ibi, ubi ferum nascitur", that is, "born where the iron was born". As the backbone for building weapons and tools the town industry was vital for the region.

The city has been known since the 14th century mainly as the residence of the Hunyadi
Hunyadi family
The Hunyadi family was a Hungarian noble family strongest in the Late Middle Ages. Their probable Romanian origins are claimed by medieval authors and by many modern historians....

 family. On October 18, 1409, Vajk
Vajk (given name)
Vajk or Vojk is an Old Hungarian masculine first name derived from the turkic Bajik which meaning is "True Man" or "rich, powerful"...

 (Voicu), a Wallachia
Wallachia or Walachia is a historical and geographical region of Romania. It is situated north of the Danube and south of the Southern Carpathians...

n (ethnicity is disputed with Vlach, Cuman and Slavic claims), was rewarded for military bravery by Sigismund of Luxembourg, and received the domain of Hunedoara and the title of Kenez (a Hungarian feudal title, see "Universitas Valachorum"). The same document mentions Mogoş and Radu, brothers of Vajk and John
John Hunyadi
John Hunyadi John Hunyadi (Hungarian: Hunyadi János , Medieval Latin: Ioannes Corvinus or Ioannes de Hunyad, Romanian: Iancu (Ioan) de Hunedoara, Croatian: Janko Hunjadi, Serbian: Сибињанин Јанко / Sibinjanin Janko, Slovak: Ján Huňady) John Hunyadi (Hungarian: Hunyadi János , Medieval Latin: ...

 (Ioan), son of Vajk. Ioannus Corvinus
John Hunyadi
John Hunyadi John Hunyadi (Hungarian: Hunyadi János , Medieval Latin: Ioannes Corvinus or Ioannes de Hunyad, Romanian: Iancu (Ioan) de Hunedoara, Croatian: Janko Hunjadi, Serbian: Сибињанин Јанко / Sibinjanin Janko, Slovak: Ján Huňady) John Hunyadi (Hungarian: Hunyadi János , Medieval Latin: ...

 (Hungarian: János Hunyadi; Romanian: Ioan de Hunedoara), the son of Vajk, spent his childhood here. His mother was a Hungarian princess with Croatian
Croats are a South Slavic ethnic group mostly living in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and nearby countries. There are around 4 million Croats living inside Croatia and up to 4.5 million throughout the rest of the world. Responding to political, social and economic pressure, many Croats have...

 origins. He married Erzsébet (Elisabeta) Szilaghi, a Hungarian noblewoman. Hunedoara received town privileges in 1448 from the King of Hungary. John Hunyadi consolidated the citadel on top of an ancient fortress, creating the two main halls, for Diet and Knights. A Franciscan
Most Franciscans are members of Roman Catholic religious orders founded by Saint Francis of Assisi. Besides Roman Catholic communities, there are also Old Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, ecumenical and Non-denominational Franciscan communities....

 abbey was built nearby the castle in 1448 and John of Capistrano, a famous Italian monk, was sent by the Pope to organize a crusade against the Turks, and lived in the castle. He became instrumental later in inciting the peasantry to crusade, starting from Frankfurt and marching towards Belgrade.

John Hunyadi was to become one of the heroes of the fight against the encroaching Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

. He fought in the service of Sigismund, mastering military tactics in the Hussite Wars and the Italian
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 republics, and became the most skilful warrior of Hungary. He advanced to be named Voivode (Prince) of Transylvania, which was at the time an autonomous part of the Kingdom of Hungary. Elected regent of Hungary, he formed a coalition with the principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia and engaged in crusades against the Turks
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 to free Serbia and Bulgaria. The crusade united for a moment the diverging force of the Balkans and the victories reputed in battles managed to secure the Kingdom of Hungary from the Turks for almost two centuries. Although he died in a military camp, his son Mátyás (Matthias
Matthias Corvinus of Hungary
Matthias Corvinus , also called the Just in folk tales, was King of Hungary and Croatia from 1458, at the age of 14 until his death...

) later became one of the most famous Hungarian kings. The rising nationalism in the modern era made John a celebrated hero of Romanians, Hungarians and Serbians. Statues of John Hunyadi can be found in Hunedoara and various other locations in Romania and Hungary.

In 1457 Matthias gave permission to the Wallachian serfs to build an orthodox church in Hunedoara, that was preserved with beautiful paintings. He continued to consolidate the castle and the feudal domain of Hunedoara. The castle of Hunedoara became one of the biggest in the medieval world, standing as a witness to the greatness of this family of noble warriors and statesmen, in an era of war and despair for the region, as the Ottoman Empire approached Central Europe. In the times of Hunyadi's, Hunedoara became a market (opidum) for iron. Matthias Corvinus named the city a tax-free area, and this privilege extended until the 17th century. The population varied between 784 people in 1512 and 896 people in the 17th century. After Matthias died, Hunedoara was owned by his son, John
János Corvinus
John Corvinus King of Bosnia . He was the illegitimate son of Matthias Corvinus, King of Hungary, and Barbara, supposed to be the daughter of a burgess of Breslau while there have been claims that he was actually the son of Beatrice of Naples, his father's second wife who was 16...

 (Hungarian: János; Romanian: Ioan), but he too died young. His wife, Beatrice de Frangepan, married Georg of Hohenzollern, Marquis of Brandenburg in 1509. But Georg de Brandenburg would not establish in Hunedoara, instead naming a representative, György Stolcz.

In 1514, during the peasant revolt of György Dózsa
György Dózsa
György Dózsa was a Székely Hungarian man-at-arms from Transylvania, Kingdom of Hungary who led a peasants' revolt against the kingdom's landed nobility...

, some were imprisoned in the castle and probably tortured. The town numbered 184 houses, a considerable size for the time, and was ruled by an appointed Orthodox
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents mainly in the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece,...

 priest. In 1528 a fire destroyed 124 houses. In 1534 as the Kingdom of Hungary was conquered by the Ottoman Turks, the castle was besieged during the rebellion of Czibak Imre, the bishop of Oradea
Oradea is the capital city of Bihor County, in the Crișana region of north-western Romania. The city has a population of 204,477, according to the 2009 estimates. The wider Oradea metropolitan area has a total population of 245,832.-Geography:...

 and two years later John Zapolya donated the castle along with other possessions to Török Bálint making him the richest nobleman of Hungary. In 1557 Török János, a proselytizer of Reformation is mentioned to have killed his unfaithful wife Kendi Anna in the castle. In 1601 the castle is besieged by the Wallachian army of Michael the Brave in his campaign to unite the Romanian-inhabited principalities of Wallachia, Moldavia and Transylvania against the Ottoman Empire, and to switch the Ottoman
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 vassalage to the Habsburg
The House of Habsburg , also found as Hapsburg, and also known as House of Austria is one of the most important royal houses of Europe and is best known for being an origin of all of the formally elected Holy Roman Emperors between 1438 and 1740, as well as rulers of the Austrian Empire and...

s. The town and the castle survive relatively unharmed to the Counter-Reformation of Giorgio Basta
Giorgio Basta
Giorgio Basta, Count of Huszt was an Italian general of Arbëreshë descent, employed by the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II to command Habsburg forces in the Long War of 1591-1606 and later to administer Transylvania as an Imperial vassal to restore Catholicism as a predominant religion in...

, general of the Habsburg Empire. In 1618 the castle is owned by the Bethlen family, Gabriel Bethlem Voivode of Transylvania consolidates and enlarges the castle, and gives it to his nephew Stephen Betlen who lived here with his wife Mary Széchy, famed for her beauty.

The Reformed Church is founded in 1634. Imre Thököly
Imre Thököly
Count Imre Thököly de Késmárk was a Hungarian statesman, leader of an anti-Habsburg uprising, Prince of Transylvania, and vassal king of Upper Hungary.- Early life :Imre Thököly was born at Késmárk, Royal Hungary Count Imre Thököly de Késmárk (Thököly/Tököly/Tökölli Imre in Hungarian, Mirko...

, one the leaders of the anti-Habsburg uprising and later Prince of Transylvania owns the castle and spends much time in it. The castle is confiscated by Apafy in 1685. Three mills are mentioned, one was located under the main bridge and it's walls are now in ruins. In 1710 the Franciscans received the old church again, and in 1725 it acquired it's monastic rank again. The majority of population is Romanian at the time.

The modern iron operations started at the foot of Saint Peter hill (Sanpetru), close to the most distant tower of the castle, called Nebojsa (Serbian for "have no fear", a tower that was a bit away from the castle in medieval times, to provide a last refuge in the case of a siege). The mine shaft can still be viewed. Iron manufactures were also situated nearby. Most of today Hunedoara was at that time a lush plain through which the Cerna river was meandering. The first blast furnace was built by 1903, followed by another four. In 1667 there was already a steel mill on the Cerna river producing 490 tons of pig iron and 66 tons of iron by 1699. In 1714 Georg Steinhilbert made a second one and a third was made in 1727. In 1743 the operations were handled directly by the Treasury.

The first tall industrial furnace in the world for iron extracting, it has been argued, was built in 1750 in Topliţa
Toplița is a city in Harghita County, Romania.The settlement has had multiple name changes: Taplócza, Toplicza, Gyergyó-Toplicza, from February 3, 1861 Oláh-Toplicza, or "Romanian Toplița", then from January 1, 1907 Maroshévíz, until 1918, when it received the Romanian name Toplița Română...

 near Hunedoara, and a later one in Govăşdia in 1806. Both furnaces can be visited today. To reach it, by road only through Teliucu Inferior
Teliucu Inferior
Teliucu Inferior is a commune in Hunedoara County, Romania. It is composed of four villages: Cinciş-Cerna, Izvoarele, Teliucu Inferior and Teliucu Superior.Iron mining began there in Roman times.-References:...

 (Alsótelek then) and Teliucu Superior (Felsőtelek then). There was a system of narrow-gauge railway built in the 19th and 20th centuries that ran from Hunedoara castle
A castle is a type of fortified structure built in Europe and the Middle East during the Middle Ages by European nobility. Scholars debate the scope of the word castle, but usually consider it to be the private fortified residence of a lord or noble...

, near Zlaşti through a 747 and a 42 meter long tunnel
A tunnel is an underground passageway, completely enclosed except for openings for egress, commonly at each end.A tunnel may be for foot or vehicular road traffic, for rail traffic, or for a canal. Some tunnels are aqueducts to supply water for consumption or for hydroelectric stations or are sewers...

 through the mountain, and the breathtaking landscape of "Ţara Pădurenilor" (Woodlanders' country) before arriving to Govăjdia. The rail system was dismantled and scrapped from Zlaşti to Govăjdia and Crăciuneasa in 2001 by the last owner the Talc-Dolomită Zlaşti company. The last remaining 2.3 km (1.43 mi) long narrow-gauge rail system from the Hunedoara castle to Zlaşti was in use by the Talc-Dolomită Zlaşti company till 2007. In the summer of 2009 they have removed this last remaining section of this line. There are efforts now for restoring the train line for touristic purposes.

In the 18-19th century, as Hunedoara became more and more industrialized, peasants from regions nearby began to move to the city and the population increased. Only the German, Hungarian and Seklers of Transylvania were represented in the Diet (see Unio Trium Nationum
Unio Trium Nationum
Unio Trium Nationum Unio Trium Nationum Unio Trium Nationum (Latin for "Union of the Three Nations" was a pact of mutual aid formed in 1438 by three Estates of Transylvania: the (largely Hungarian) nobility, the Saxon (i.e. German) burghers, and the free Szeklers...

). The Romanians therefore, who at the time formed about 50% of the population felt exploited and revolted a few times. The peasants of Hunedoara county supported the Revolt of Horea, Cloşca and Crişan
Revolt of Horea, Closca and Crisan
The Revolt of Horea, Cloșca and Crișan began in Zarand County, Transylvania, but it soon spread all throughout the Apuseni Mountains...

 in 1784, when they unsuccessfully besieged the nearby fortress of Deva. The castle in Hunedoara gave refuge to the local nobility, and it was its last function as military defense. Later representatives from the region were sent to the Romanian national assemblies held in Blaj during the 1848 Revolution where Romanians decided to demand equal rights and resist the attempt of Hungary of gaining independence from the Habsburg House. This started a small scale insurrection across Transylvania that was quickly quieted by the Hungarian army, except for the Apuseni Mountains
Apuseni Mountains
The Apuseni Mountains is a mountain range in Transylvania, Romania, which belongs to the Western Carpathians, also called Occidentali in Romanian. Their name translates from Romanian as Mountains "of the sunset" i.e. "western". The highest peak is "Cucurbăta Mare" - 1849 metres, also called Bihor...

, on the north of Hunedoara, where the tribune Avram Iancu
Avram Iancu
Avram Iancu was a Transylvanian Romanian lawyer who played an important role in the local chapter of the Austrian Empire Revolutions of 1848–1849. He was especially active in the Ţara Moţilor region and the Apuseni Mountains...

 struggled to keep the Hungarian forces away from controlling the gold mines. The subsequent failures of the later Austro-Hungarian monarchy to acknowledge equal rights for Romanians together with the Magyarization
Magyarization is a kind of assimilation or acculturation, a process by which non-Magyar elements came to adopt Magyar culture and language due to social pressure .Defiance or appeals to the Nationalities Law, met...

 campaigns further exacerbated and alienated the Romanian population of Hunedoara.

During World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 the Romanians from Hunedoara county actively supported the Romanian army and at the conclusion of the war Transylvania united with Romania by popular vote (see Union of Transylvania with Romania
Union of Transylvania with Romania
Union of Transylvania with Romania was declared on by the assembly of the delegates of ethnic Romanians held in Alba Iulia.The national holiday of Romania, the Great Union Day occurring on December 1, commemorates this event...

). The Romanian populations in and around the city quickly earned political rights and representation, and industrial development continued at an ever-increasing rate. During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 the steel works were part of the war support for the Axis, as the Romanian Army lost 700.000 soldiers on the Eastern Front and later for the Allies, as an additional 400.000 soldiers perished fighting against the Axis.

After the soviet occupation and the subsequent communist regime, industry was favored, and Hunedoara had for a time the biggest steel-producing factory in Romania and even the Balkans
The Balkans is a geopolitical and cultural region of southeastern Europe...

. The city grew larger, and the factories extended so much that they equaled or exceeded the size of the city. The population also increased to over 87,000. The football team, Corvinul Hunedoara, was for a very long time one of the highest-rated football teams in Romania, rivaling Steaua or Dinamo. A big stadium was built along with other sports facilities such as covered swimming pools and a skating ring. Besides the Corvinul sports club, two other sport clubs were constructed, Constructorul and Siderurgistul, each offering different sport facilities. Other notable constructions included a theater house, several large cinemas, many schools and high-schools and an engineering faculty.

The communist collapse
Romanian Revolution of 1989
The Romanian Revolution of 1989 was a series of riots and clashes in December 1989. These were part of the Revolutions of 1989 that occurred in several Warsaw Pact countries...

 meant that the old markets for steel vanished, and many enterprises had to be closed or abandoned. However, investment from Romanian and foreign capital ventures started offering new job opportunities to the people. Currently Arcelor-Mittal runs what is left of the steel works. The steel mill now operates the No.2 Electric Steel Mill, Continuous Caster and the rolling mills. Production is scheduled to rise above 500.000t of steel in 2007 and above. The rest of the production facilities have been demolished or have been sold to private investors.


Before the modern times the ethnic balance of Hunedoara was more fragmented, as was the general case in the region. During the rise of Nationalism in the region the Romanians already had a solid majority there was little of the ethnic friction that could be found elsewhere in Transilvania (see Maghiarization and Romanianization
Romanianization or Rumanization is the term used to describe a number of ethnic assimilation policies implemented by the Romanian authorities during the 20th century...

). However, the number of Hungarians dwindled after Transylvania united with the Kingdom of Romania, while the fall of Communism in December 1989 saw most German families leaving the town and the country to Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. In the transition era that followed the fall of communism large percentage of the Romanian population lost their jobs and many left the town in search for better opportunities elsewhere.

The 1850 census shows 1937 residents, of which 1275 Romanians, 248 Hungarians, 237 Germans, 101 Slovaks and 86 Roma. The religious denominations included 992 Orthodox, 370 Greek Catholics, 316 Roman Catholics, 181 Reformed, 42 Evangelic and 36 Judaism.
The 1900 census shows 4419 residents, of which 1987 Romanians, 1896 Hungarians, 365 Germans, 101 Slovaks.
During the Communist era, as the Steel Works were functioning the population peaked at 89,000, as workers moved in from the surrounding countryside as well as Oltenia and Moldova.
According to the last census, from 2002, there were 71,257 people living within the city of Hunedoara, making it the 32nd largest city in Romania. The ethnic makeup is as follows:
  • Romanians
    The Romanians are an ethnic group native to Romania, who speak Romanian; they are the majority inhabitants of Romania....

    : 91.43%
  • Hungarians: 6.08%
  • Roma: 1.64%
  • Other: 0.85%

The Hunyadi/Corvins

The Castle is known both by the name Corvin's Castle and "Hunyadi Castle". "Hunyadi" is a more internationally recognized name for the same family, "Corvins" being used mostly by Romanians.

The impressive size and architectural beauty sets it among the most precious monuments of medieval art, subsequent developments mixing Gothic style with Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 and Baroque
The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

. The building lies on a rock around which flows the river Zlasti. It has an impressive draw bridge, countless towers, a number of interior courts, and two large halls, "Knight Hall" and "Diet Hall", as it housed the diet of Transylvania
Transylvanian Diet
The Transylvanian Diet was the constitutional and political body of Principality of Transylvania, and later of the Grand Principality of Transylvania...

 for a very short period.

The castle history is mostly related to the Hunyadi family, being the place where John Hunyadi
John Hunyadi
John Hunyadi John Hunyadi (Hungarian: Hunyadi János , Medieval Latin: Ioannes Corvinus or Ioannes de Hunyad, Romanian: Iancu (Ioan) de Hunedoara, Croatian: Janko Hunjadi, Serbian: Сибињанин Јанко / Sibinjanin Janko, Slovak: Ján Huňady) John Hunyadi (Hungarian: Hunyadi János , Medieval Latin: ...

 spent his childhood. Today the castle is being cared for by the municipality, as there are no recorded descendants of the Hunyadi that could pledge for it. Vlad Dracul
Vlad II Dracul
Vlad II , known as Vlad Dracul , was a voivode of Wallachia. He reigned from 1436 to 1442, and again from 1443 to 1447...

, the ruler of Wallachia, father of the notorious Vlad Dracula, was imprisoned here, as he had fallen into disgrace with Hunyadi, not providing the help promised in the battle against the Ottomans. (Dracula, who had once been traded as a hostage to the Ottomans by his own father, later became a protege of Hunyadi and took over Wallachia shortly before his mentor's death of a fever). The castle and surroundings are often used by international film companies for the production of movies about medieval times
Medieval Times
Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament is a family dinner theater featuring staged medieval-style games, sword-fighting, and jousting performed by a cast of 75 actors and 20 horses. Each location is housed in a replica 11th-century castle, with the exception of the Toronto location, which is housed...


The Iron Museum

Unfortunately the Iron Museum no longer exists. The museum contained exhibits illustrating the evolution of metallurgy in the Hunedoara area from the Dacian
The Dacians were an Indo-European people, very close or part of the Thracians. Dacians were the ancient inhabitants of Dacia...

 period until present. It also used to house a large scale model of the Hunedoara steel works and models of steel producing installations from the factory.
Recently efforts began to restore the iron museum as some of the exhibits and the photographic archive were recovered. Two locations are being discussed as a new home for the museum: an old cooling tower belonging to the former blast furnace no. 4 and the former human resources building which is declared a historical monument.

Oak Forest of Chizid

Standing on a hill near Hunedoara, this is also a spot to get a panoramic view of the city.

Hunedoara Zoo

Located near the forest of Chizid, the zoo houses, among other animals, lions, bears, and wolves.

Cincis Accumulation Lake

Built in the 1958-1964 to supply industrial water for the steel mill in Hunedoara on the Cerna river, it covers the remains of five villages: Cinciş Cerna, Valea Ploştii, Banea Lui Crai, Moara Ungurului, Ciuleni. Before flooding the area, the villages where moved uphill on new land. The remains of the villages are still under water: foundations, walls of houses, churches wells, etc. Today the lake developed into a small resort for Romanian and foreign tourists.

The Poiana Ruscă Mountains

Vast and easily accessible by foot or by car, the mountains are inhabited by an ancient population of Romanians, called pǎdureni (woodlanders). They have retained their culture and a sense of identity, and hold a number of festivals annually. The Romans mined marble in the quarry nearby.

The Nandru Caves

The caves contain cultural artefacts and burial grounds of Neanderthals. As of February 2007, they are closed to the public.

The Paleontological Natural Reservation of Buituri and Nandru

The natural reservation contains fossilized snails and fish.


Hunedoara boasts one of Europe's most modern bowling alleys, that hosted the 2002 Bowling World Cup. Other sports facilities include red-clay tennis courts and an indoor swimming pool. Some of the notable athletes originating from Hunedoara include Mihai Leu
Mihai Leu
Mihai Leu also known as Michael Loewe is a Romanian former professional boxer who lived and fought out of Hamburg, Germany. He is the former WBO Welterweight Champion....

, former WBO boxing world champion and national rally champion, Michael Klein (footballer), as well as Maria Cioncan
Maria Cioncan
Maria Cioncan was a middle distance runner from Romania, best known for winning a bronze medal in the 1500 metres event at the 2004 Summer Olympics. Born in Maieru, she set personal bests in both 800 and 1500 metres during the games...

, Olympic bronze-medal winner.

External links

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