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Cluj Napoca Upper Castle

Cluj-Napoca Kolozsvár (Klausenburg, Kolozsvár) was the historical center and the second most important town of Transylvania, the birthplace of the Hungarian King Matthias Corvinus but Prince Bocskai István was also born here. The city can be found in Romania. Historically speaking, Kolozsvár used to be populated by Saxons and Hungarians alike but it has been heavily industrialized in the 20th century and now the Romanians are in majority that turned Cluj-Napoca into the second largest city of the country. There are three important fortifications that are situated in the city: the early medieval fort of Kolozsmonostor, the walls of Kolozsvár, and the impressive Upper Castle of Cluj-Napoca that was built in 1713. Now, we are talking about the Upper Castle.

History of Upper Castle

The Upper Castle is called Fellegvár in the Hungarian language, and Cetățuie in Romanian.

The huge fort’s history is closely connected to the city’s history. Naturally, it cannot be described without telling a few general words about the history of Kolozsvár / Cluj to understand why such a strong fortification had to be built there by the Habsburgs.

The first castle of Kolozsvár city dates back to the 10th century but the medieval town began to flourish after the arrival of German Saxons in 1272. Soon, the city became a free royal town in 1405. You can read more details about the town’s historical fortifications in the relevant article on our page. (more in the History section)

What can we see in the fort?

The Fortress Hill is located north of the historical centre, at an altitude of 405 meters, and has the appearance of a plateau. It is next to the Kis Szamos River.

There we can see the so-called Upper Castle but only part of the walls, four buildings and three gates remained intact. However, the star-shaped fort used to be surrounded by five earthen walls and several bastions protected it. One of the remaining buildings was the armory while the other one was used for storing gun powder.

Nowadays there is a public garden that was created in 1900. It included a 420-meter-long promenade. The Fortress Hill has also a Panoramic Point which offers a great view over the city.

Text by Gábor Szántai