Trascau Fortress (Cetatea Trascau)

Those interested in historical facts would definitely want to visit Trascau Fortress. This is a medieval fortification, built somewhere around 1296 by the sub-voivode Thoroczkay. The construction also goes by the name Coltesti Fortress, especially since it is located in Coltesti Village, from Alba County. This was built for defense purposes, as well as a refuge in times of turmoil when the region was pillaged by Tatar armies.

The fortress had been devastated by enemies once before, so the people of Trascau decided to rebuilt the citadel on a hilltop – the location being chosen in purpose on a steep calcareous rock so as to make it harder for invaders to take control of it.


The fortress had been confiscated by Matei Corvin in 1470 and left in the care of the Transylvania Voivodeship, but after 40 years it returns to the Thoroczkay (Trascau) family. The fortress suffered immense damage in 1514 when the peasants led by Gheorghe Doja pillaged the citadel. But the Austrian Imperial Army, led by General Tiege, was the one to devastate the fortress almost in its entirety in 1713. The armed confrontation was a consequence of the fact that the Thoroczkay noblemen refused to join Transylvania and the Habsburg Empire.

At present, only two towers and a significant part of the lateral walls are preserved. However, on the northern tower (which exceeds 20 meters in height) visitors can still read the inscription which attributes the construction of the fort to the Thoroczkay family.

Trascau Fortress has been recorded among the Historical Monuments of Alba County, a list issued by the Romanian Ministry of Culture and Cults in 2004.

Even if the keep has not maintained its original structure, tourists can still make out the towering edifice. The ruins of Trascau Fortress and the overall scenery will transpose any visitor to those historical times. One cannot help but feel respect and admiration for the historical past written in the walls of the fortification.

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