It is said that Colț Fortress was the main source of inspiration for the novel “The Castle of the Carpathians” by Jules Verne.
It seems that the author himself was sometime a guest at the inn in the foothills of the mountains where the fortification was erected, and the love story he shared with the young lady of the castle inspired him to write the novel.
Only the ruined walls of the medieval fortress have survived until today. And even if you don’t believe Jules Verne’s romantic account of the Castle in the Carpathians, it is still worth climbing the rocks of the old fortress.
You will notice that it was erected in a strategic location. From here the nobleman could watch the road used by shepherds and their sheep. And this was also a safe place where he kept his goods and retreated with his family in case of danger.
One of the small medieval fortresses where nobles lived in Țara Hațegului.
Are you curious to see what one of the smallest medieval fortresses in Țara Hațegului looked like?
Then you can visit Mălăiești Fortress. It developed just like other fortifications in the area. At the beginning a tower (keep) was built: it was then enclosed with defensive walls to which, later, four bastion towers were added.
It is said that the fortress was much too small to withstand a serious attack, and it was rather used for its defence role in the conflicts between local noblemen. Even so, it seems that it was not strong enough, because it was destroyed in a civil war.
The Răchitova Tower
It is worth climbing the volcanic hill in Răchitova!
Not only can you admire the surroundings from a scenic viewpoint, but you can also see the ruins of the medieval fortress from here.
As in the case of other fortifications erected by the noblemen in the area, in Răchitova a stone tower (keep) was built first. In time, other fortresses in Țara Hațegului were consolidated with defensive walls. But the noble family in Răchitova, financially weakened by internal conflicts, could not afford this.
This is why the tower here was surrounded by a ditch (moat) and a raised earthwork (motte) as well as a stakewall (palisade). This was made of very strong hewn logs driven into the ground, which looked more like a fence than a fortification wall. Some of the walls of the keep have survived to this day.
One can even notice the traces of the moat and the motte.
The Crivadia Tower
It is what has survived from a medieval customs tower.
You might think that the Crivadia ruins are the remains of a fortification. But in fact, it is what has been preserved from a medieval customs tower. It is said to have been built at the request of the noblemen from Țara Hațegului, who complained about the smuggling between the people of Hațeg and those from Oltenia.
The tower watched over the old road that linked Wallachia to Transylvania. No one knows how efficient it was because nowhere is its name mentioned in the following years. But it must have been a real fortification. It has very thick walls and narrow windows through which those who defended it could shoot without being shot at.
It was built on the edge of the Crivadia Gorge. In the past, the deep gorge offered extra protection to some of the fortification wall. Today, they make the Crivadia Tower a site with an overwhelming view.
The Noble Court of Sălașu de Sus
Would you like to know how a noble family from Țara Hațegului used to live during the Middle Ages?
Have you ever wondered how big a noble court was? Well, in Sălașu de Sus you can see the ruins of such a place.
The noble court of Sălașu de Sus was built in the late Middle Ages. The nobleman of these lands also had a fortress in Mălăiești, where he could flee to in case of danger. So in Sălașu de Sus he arranged a more comfortable home, where he could live in times of peace.
The rooms, built around an inner courtyard, were larger than those of the fortress. Besides, they had large windows with hand-made round glass panes. The windows were brick-vaulted but only a few pieces have survived until today.
The setting of the noble court was not chosen at random. There seems to have been an older fortified tower here, which was used to defend the road to the village, and which was integrated into the new building.