Visiting The Bethlen-Haller Castle

avatar

Last week was my lucky week as I got to visit another beauty of the Transylvanian region, which is the Bethlen-Haller Castle, situated at Cetatea de Balta, Alba county, which is called Küküllővár in Hungarian. The castle is a real beauty, even though it has a very colorful past.

The Bethlen-Haller Castle was built in Renaissance style by the father of the chancellor of Transylvania, Miklos Bethlen, between 1560 and 1624. With four towers located in the four corners, the castle was built according to the model of those in the Loire Valley. It was intended as a hunting and leisure castle, not as a defensive residence, therefore the attestation in the documents of the time is quite poor. Over time, the castle went through numerous transformations: the construction of the current building was completed in 1624, and between 1769-1773, the castle was remodeled in the Baroque style.

Several castles in Transylvania are named after the Bethlen family. Miklos Bethlen was chancellor of Transylvania, and Gabor Bethlen, from another branch of the same Hungarian noble family, was prince of Transylvania. source

20220911_132644a.jpg

How To Get There

The best way to get there is by road and you'd better have GPS set up as road marks are scarce around there. We drove to the village and had to turn around as there were no indicators guiding tourists to the castle.

image.png

It is frustrating to see this passive attitude as attracting visitors is important for everyone here, but it looks like they still need to learn this lesson.

Anyway, the good news is the road to the castle is good and there's a nice parking lot in front of the main gate and parking is for free.

20220911_132755a.jpg

The whole place looks new as it has been renovated not long ago and they are continuously working on not only maintaining but improving all there's there.

20220911_151218a.jpg

The gate looked interesting from outside already, so I took a photo of it from inside, when the gate was closed and look at it. Have you ever seen such gate? I've been to quite a few medieval places over the past few years, but have never seen such a gate.

20220911_132838a.jpg

As soon as you step through the gates, your jaw starts to drop, literally. This is the first scene you see, with one of the round bastions that is part of the castle.

20220911_132857a.jpg

20220911_133540a.jpg

I suppose everyone's first instinct is to rush to see the front part of the castle and I can't blame them as I did the same.

20220911_150857a.jpg

Seeing this castle reminded me of those in fairy tales honestly. With its interesting architecture, it would stand out of any crowd and you haven't seen the inside yet.

20220911_133704(0)a.jpg

As a door enthusiast (or addict?), obviously I could not get my eyes off this wonderful door or gate.

20220911_133718a.jpg

It is a real masterpiece, the king of doors I must say. If you look at the decoration, you may notice a few known elements, like the grapes. This is a wine producing region, there's a famous winery not far from here, called Jidvei. Some of you may know the brand as it's quite famous and good as well, but I'll tell you more about this later.

20220911_133728a.jpg

After taking these photos, we went to see where to purchase tickets. There's a wine shop next to the entrance (which I'm going to show you in another post), where tickets are sold. There are several options to choose from, depending on hat you'd like to do:

  • tour of the castle - 25 lei (5 euro),
  • tour of the castle + wine tasting (4 types) - 125 lei (25 euro),
  • tour of the castle + wine tasting (7 types) - 175 lei (35 euro),
  • tour of the castle + wine tasting (4 types) + lunch - 225 lei (45 euro)
  • tour of the castle + wine tasting (7 types) + lunch - 275 lei (55 euro). source

We kind of new what to expect, so we opted for the tour of the castle, without lunch and wine tasting, because honestly, everything is overpriced, so we saw no need to throw away money like that.

There are guided tours and that's the only way to visit the castle. For me, this was a bit frustrating because as a photographer, I knew I had to be smart, move quickly, choose what I want to capture quickly and try to avoid the crowd, while still catch what the guide is saying. not an easy task and honestly I'm not used to it, but there's a first for everything and this was mine. Oh, I forgot to mention there's one tour almost every hour and one tour takes about 40 - 45 minutes.

20220911_151249a.jpg

This is a short history of the castle, that you can read at the entrance.

20220911_133837(0)a.jpg

Before the tour started, we managed to go round the castle and see what it is like from behind.

20220911_134255a.jpg

This is the back part of the castle, with the added terrace that the description mentions. I'm just guessing here, but I think this terrace was added for entertainment purposes, most likely there were gatherings held here during communist times.

20220911_134337a.jpg

The terrace did not impress me at all, even though I see the use of it as you can serve a meal or have a drink there. The nice balcony however is a different matter. I love rounded, non usual balconies and this is a nice one for sure.

20220911_134423a.jpg

Before the tour started, we were gathered in front of the castle by the tour guide, who started telling us about the history of the castle. I'm going to quote what she said as I don't know where the information is coming from.

The castle was built for entertainment purposes, has never served as defense point, therefore there has never been surrounded by water, as usually happens with every medieval castles.
There was another castle not far from where the castle stands, built of stone and earth, but because the place was quite mussy, it was destroyed by the water, after which this castle was built.
The name of the place is Cetatea de balta in Romanian, which translated to English is The Swamp Fortress and got its name from the previously mentioned fortress.
Over the years, the castle had several owners, it was lost and won during card games. (You know, nobles liked to gamble and properties were won and lost this way)
The name of the castle represents the name of the first owner and the last one, this is how it has become Bethlen-Haller Castle.
The closed balcony on the second floor was added later and the entrance too.
There's a cellar below the ground floor, where there's an elevator, which served and still serves for sending down food from the kitchen. This elevator was electrified during communist years.
There was a lot of damage done to the castle during the communist years.

20220911_140523a.jpg

After stepping through the front door, we found ourselves in this hall, where you can see the original door. The stairs were added later and there were quite a lot of artifacts stored here.

20220911_140507a.jpg

20220911_140516a.jpg

This stone is from the facade of the castle. I'm not sure when exactly was this taken off but looks like after the renovation works, there was no place for the stone.

We were told that the crown symbolizes the social position of the family and as this one had 5 branches (not sure it's the right word though), this meant the family belonged somewhere to the middle. On the right there is the serf, as serfs were forced to work 155 days of the year, to pay their duty, which was more than half a year. The snake most likely represented health.

20220911_140541a.jpg

An old and ugly candle holder, that was necessary as electricity came only in the second half or the 20th century.

20220911_140709a.jpg

Latin text carved in stone and a year marked with Roman numbers. This time I'm not going to let you guess as last time no one knew or took the time and effort to figure it out.

Anno Domini MDCCLXX means 1780.

20220911_142353a.jpg

Another stone from 1773. Please note how well decorated this stone is.

Both stones mention Nicolaus Bethlen's name.

This is the first part of my post about the Bethlen-Haller Castle and I'm going to show you the rest next time.

If you're a newbie, you may want to check out these guides:


presearch



0
0
0.000
36 comments
avatar

Congratulations, your post has been added to Pinmapple! 🎉🥳🍍

Did you know you have your own profile map?
And every post has their own map too!

Want to have your post on the map too?

  • Go to Pinmapple
  • Click the get code button
  • Click on the map where your post should be (zoom in if needed)
  • Copy and paste the generated code in your post (Hive only)
  • Congrats, your post is now on the map!

0
0
0.000
avatar
(Edited)

This is avery beautiful and interesting castle,

Have you ever seen such gate?
In some historical movies I have seen some gates similar to this.

The castle has quiet a lot of things to learn about

0
0
0.000
avatar

A very beautiful walk... Very interesting the history of the castle, a wonderful work of art, its facade, the door .... Each space is worthy of admiration!
Thank you very much for sharing, a big hug!

0
0
0.000
avatar

It is unique in its way and definitely worth visiting as there's a lot to see and learn here.

0
0
0.000
avatar

Love the castle and of course the carving of the door is awesome, I think to be there and to have luch and wine will probably give an impression of being a boble person who used to live there.

0
0
0.000
avatar

Wait to see the restaurant and the underground winery, where tasting is happening. Indeed, it would have been great to have lunch and participate in the wine tasting, but when you think that four of us could have had lunch (at a cheaper place) with the money you pay for one ... Maybe one day, when I'll be filthy rich 😁

0
0
0.000
avatar

What I want to see if given a chance to visit Europe someday are the castles.. I'm amused with European architecture.
Nice shots. Happy weekend 😊

0
0
0.000
avatar

Oh God, you have no idea how many castles are in Europe 😂 So please hit the jackpot (I can't recommend any illegal activity, like robbing a b**k 😁) and start your journey, which could take a good few years.

Thanks for the nice comment and have a nice weekend! 😀

0
0
0.000
avatar

Haha.. I guess I know that too 🤣. But really love seeing castles.. I can only see them in movies haha.

0
0
0.000
avatar

Ah, mi-ai luat-o înainte!! 😂 Am vizitat și eu castelul recent si voiam să scriu despre el dar acum trebuie sa mai aștept o perioada 😂😂🤗

0
0
0.000
avatar

😂😂😂 Oh God! In ce m-am bagat 😳 😁
Scuze, nu aveam de unde sa stiu, dar tu scrii altfel oricum, mai elaborat, mai stiintific, nu ca mine 😇
Mai am de povestit despre interior si restul, dar acum ma simt intimidata, cu ochii pe mine 😁👀
🤗

0
0
0.000
avatar

Hahaha, stai linistita, eu oricum le iau in ordine cronologica si probabil de abia la anul o sa apara postarea din partea mea. Era o gluma dar cu ochii pe tine si postarile tale sunt de mult timp 😍😁

0
0
0.000
avatar

Stiu ca era o gluma, dar era prea buna s-o ratez 😂
Insa 👀 puts the pressure on me 😂

Oricum eu termin intr-o saptamana, sau maxim doua. Chiar m-am uitat pe Pinmapple si nu am gasit pin, asa ca am zis, yay, eu sunt prima 💪, inca un pin pe harta din Transilvania! Usur, usor reusim ce ne-am propus! 😀

untitled.gif

0
0
0.000
avatar

Haha, cu siguranta! Eu momentan am postari de prin Moldova dar promit sa vin puternic din spate cu mai multe postari din Transilvania! 💪😃

untitled.gif

0
0
0.000
avatar

Cool post, looks like a lovely castle to visit. The entrance is quite striking with the row of windows above it !

I looked at the Latin number on the block and I think it has an extra I in there at the end to make it MDCCLXIX, which is 1769, I think.

Thanks for sharing !

0
0
0.000
avatar

Thank you! Ooops, I have checked and you are right, looks like I was too tired yesterday and missed that, it is indeed 1769 😀

0
0
0.000
avatar
Thank you for sharing this amazing post on HIVE!
  • Your content got selected by our fellow curator @priyanarc & you just received a little thank you via an upvote from our non-profit curation initiative!

  • You will be featured in one of our recurring curation compilations and on our pinterest boards! Both are aiming to offer you a stage to widen your audience within and outside of the DIY scene of hive.

Join the official DIYHub community on HIVE and show us more of your amazing work and feel free to connect with us and other DIYers via our discord server: https://discord.gg/mY5uCfQ !

If you want to support our goal to motivate other DIY/art/music/homesteading/... creators just delegate to us and earn 100% of your curation rewards!

Stay creative & hive on!
0
0
0.000
avatar

The surroundings of the castle were so beautiful not to even talk about the castle itself and even the interior itself, it look so good and nice

0
0
0.000
avatar

And I haven't even shown you the whole surroundings. It's a very beautiful place indeed.

0
0
0.000
avatar

I can imagine how beautiful it is going to be more if I see the whole surrounding

0
0
0.000
avatar

AMAZING POST @erikah friend!!!... Excellent data, excellent phrotography, an exquisitely well-made publication... This is one of those "Gems" that make #Hive a wonderful place to learn and discover the world!... Thank you very much for your work and for sharing it!

!discovery 45

0
0
0.000
avatar

I agree, we can all travel through Hive, see places we're never going to see in real life as who can go to all the places in the world. We're lucky :)

Thanks for the tokens and the nice comment. Have a nice evening.

0
0
0.000
avatar

What a great place indeed! Thankyou dor sharing this beautifu photos of yours, a must visit place. I loving all the details about the beautiful castle.

0
0
0.000
avatar

It is definitely a must visit place. Stay tuned for the next episode :)

0
0
0.000
avatar

This is an amazing place! I thought it was a place in the Middle East, since Bethlehem it’s a city in Palestina that I visited recently, but no! You’ve shown us a Transylvanian region!! This is why I love Pinmapple and Hive, I can travel to places that I’ve never thought about by sharing experiences with other hivers.

Thanks for sharing this!!

0
0
0.000
avatar

Bethlehem and Bethlen are two different things.

Indeed Pinmapple is amazing and quite a few are working on pinning as many places on the map as possible. In a few years it's going to take over the travel review industry in my opinion. Imagine this is not censored, not fake, like those reviews you see on web2 platforms.

0
0
0.000
avatar

Congratulations, your post has been added to Pinmapple! 🎉🥳🍍

Did you know you have your own profile map?
And every post has their own map too!

Want to have your post on the map too?

  • Go to Pinmapple
  • Click the get code button
  • Click on the map where your post should be (zoom in if needed)
  • Copy and paste the generated code in your post (Hive only)
  • Congrats, your post is now on the map!

0
0
0.000