Magna Curia Palace, the Museum of Dacian and Roman Civilization
Magna Curia or Bethlen Castle is located in Deva, near the city park. It is the oldest historic building still preserved in Deva. The building draws attention through its architectural and stylistic elements with Renaissance and Baroque influence.
There are no documents to testify the real date of the construction, the building certainly dating from the Renaissance period, most likely at the end of 16th century and has undergone several phases of reconstruction and several owners. This building was inhabited within the space of the years by voivodes, Sigismund Báthory, General Basta, Stephen Bocskai and Gabriel Báthory.
The current look of the building is due to Gabriel Bethlen, commander of the princely army, who received the domain from Gabriel Báthory in 1608, as a reward for services made during his election. Gabriel Bethlen donates the domain to his wife, Susana Károly, who remains owner of the castle until his death, in 1622.
In 1640 the citadel, the domain and the castle are sold to Prince George Rákóczi I for 6,000 thalers. On this occasion there was an inventory showing that about the same number of rooms are to be found today. After 1687, when the castle turned into Austrian garrison fortress, the Deva domain joined the tax administration. The restoration was made by Italian architect Giovanni Visconti Morendo.
On August 19, 1743 the domain is sold for 60,000 forints to John Haller, governor of Transylvania. Since 1882 the palace houses the Museum of Dacian and Roman Civilization.
Dacian and Roman Civilization Museum is among the most important cultural sights in Hunedoara County. The heritage of the museum is organized in four sections: art, natural sciences, history and numismatic, the exhibits on display here having great value in the national cultural heritage. Dacian and Roman Civilization Museum brings together the entire archaeological collection dating from different eras: the prehistoric age, Dacian, Roman, pre-medieval and medieval.
The numismatic collections, the art, and ethnographic one, bring together numerous traditional costumes, tools and valuable ceramic pieces representing an important part of the cultural heritage that our ancestors have left. Here there is also a library tha trejoins around 40,000 books.
You can visit other representative sights in the area, as Deva fortress ruins. Legends say Deva fortress is linked to Corvin Castle via an underground tunnel.