The Castle Building Activity of the Teutonic Order in Transylvania Cover Image

A Német Lovagrend várépítő tevékenysége a Barcaságban
The Castle Building Activity of the Teutonic Order in Transylvania

Author(s): András Sófalvi
Subject(s): 13th to 14th Centuries
Published by: Magyar Tudományos Akadémia Bölcsészettudományi Kutatóközpont Történettudományi Intézet
Keywords: Transylvania; border protection; Teutonic Order; castles

Summary/Abstract: We have only an approximate knowledge of many aspects of the Teutonic Order’s settlement history from the beginning of the 13th century in the southeastern part of Transylvania (called also Barcaság, Burzenland). This statement particularly applies to the knights’ castles, as archaeology also has methodological problems and it has to face certain objective obstacles in identifying and defining these castles – the study analysing the characteristics of this castle building activity and its research situation reflects this. The difficulties in determining the remains of wooden-structure castles of the period with archaeological methods and in exploring the stone-wall castle-periods which were only partly built during the one and a half decade and were changed or demolished by later constructions – are multiplied by the mistakes of castle research in Transylvania: destruction of important historical monuments and the often amateurish research of the still existing castle remnants. As a result, it is quite difficult to name the five Teutonic Order’s castles of Barcaság and the sixth one built beyond the mountains, mentioned in the written documents of that time. The author of this study makes an attempt to identify the Teutonic Order’s castles by analysing the testimony of written sources, using and in some cases reinterpreting the results of archaeological excavations. At the current stage of researches the most probable locations/buildings in Barcaság are the following: Keresztvár/Kreuzburg/Teliu – Kis-Várhegy/Wallburg II, Barcaszentpéter/Petersberg/ Sânpetru – Lempes/Lempesch, Brassó/Kronstadt/Brașov – Gesprengberg, Brassó – Cenk-hegy/Brasovia-burg and maybe the still unknown antecedent of Feketehalom/Zeiden/Codlea – Schwarzburg castle; the Höltövény/Heldenburg/ Hâlciu castle is an uncertain location of the question. The castle built beyond the mountains which appears in written sources might have been the castle of Királykő/ Königstein/Oratea standing at the entrance of Törcsvár/Türzdorf/Bran Pass.

  • Issue Year: 2019
  • Issue No: 01
  • Page Range: 5-15
  • Page Count: 11
  • Language: Hungarian