"Székelytámadt" fortress - Odorheiu Secuiesc

"Székelytámadt" fortress - Odorheiu Secuiesc

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Cetatea Székely Támadt, Tompa László, Odorheiu Secuiesc 535600, Romania


The medieval fortress is one of the most important landmarks of the city, included on the National Patrimony official list of the Ministry of Culture as a historical monument.

The Renaissance fortress with bastions in the old Italian system, now in ruins, was built in the place of a monastery (using the materials from its walls), the existence of which can be already documented in the 15th century. Prince Báthori István was the one who tried to rebuild the monastery in the shape of a fortress, the first works most likely taking place between 1490 and 1492. The Szekler nobility regarded this plan as an assault on their privileges, and therefore resisted the Prince's plans.

The common Szeklers, feeling their freedom in danger, started a rebellion in 1562, but the Prince János Zsigmond quelled it with utter cruelty. Part of his act of revenge was precisely the construction of the fortress to keep the Szeklers in check. The fortress was ironically named Székelytámadt ("the attacking Szekler") and it was built according to the military vision of the time, with square bastions in the Italian system. The ditch surrounding the fortress could be filled with water from Tarnava Mare.

We know the names of the bastions from an inventory dating back to 1620: Fóris, Hajdú, Telegdy and Bánffy.

In 1599, after the fall of the Transylvanian prince Báthory András, the city's inhabitants demolished the fortress, but it was rebuilt in 1600.

The last time it played a military role was during the Habsburg rule. Eventually, during Rákóczi’s revolution in 1706, the last ruler of the “curuți”, Pekry Lőrinc, demolished the fortress so that it would not fall into the enemies' hands.

In 1852, the city bought the fortress from its last owner, the Kornis family. In 1891, the neoclassical building of the Real State Gymnasium was built, and this meant the complete dismantling of the buildings inside the fortress: the church and the monastery.

Text and photo source: http://www.odorhei-turism.ro/

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