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Mikó Castle, former defensive fortress, now a museum and symbol of Miercurea-Ciuc

Mikó Castle, former defensive fortress, now a museum and symbol of Miercurea-Ciuc

Mikó Fortress built between 1623 and 1631 in late Renaissance style it is located in Miercurea-Ciuc City Square. It is the oldest and most important monument and it is considered to be the best preserved Renaissance building in the area. The fortress bears the name of its founder, Hidvegi Miko Ferenc (1585-1635).

The fortress construction began in 1623, ten years after Mikó Ferenc became the supreme master of Szekely seats (counties) Ciuc, Gheorgheni and Casin; he was also the Prince Gabriel Bethlen’s adviser, a diplomat and a columnist. The land where the castle was built, was a gift from Prince Gabriel Bethlen. The first official document concerning the existence of the fortress dates from 1631.

After 1636 the city became the property of Damokos Tamas, the Supreme Judge of Ciuc County and then in 1659 the castle came into István Petki’ s possession. On October 21, 1661, the Turkish-Tatar army led by Ali, Ottoman Pasha of Timi?oara, invaded Ciuc County, occupied and burned down the citadel. In the first half of the 18th century, Miko Fortress was rebuilt by General Stephan Steinville and his name still lasts on a stone inscription placed above the entrance gate of the citadel.

The Austrians realized the strategic importance the fortress had in defending the eastern border of the Habsburg Empire where they could block the enemy assaults coming through the Ghime? Pass, so they made reinforcements to the fortification, by adding four towers with firing holes and building a warehouse for the gunpowder. The Castle remained a garrison for the Austrian troops until 1764. During the Revolution of 1848-1849 it was headquarter for the revolutionary army leader, Gál Sándor. In 1873 it was turned into Hungarian garrison, and after 1918, it passed on to the Romanian army.

In 1970, after a complete restoration, the fortress became the Ciuc Székely Museum, founded in 1930. Every year, the Museum houses five permanent exhibitions and ten periodic ones. Early music festivals also take place in the courtyard.

Program

15 March – 15 November: 9:00 -17:00;

16 November – 17 March: 9:00 -16:00;

Mondays and holidays excepted.

About Ramona Ciortescu