Deva Travel Guide

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casa petru groza

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DEVA (de:va:) [45.9° N and 22.9° E] is a city situated on the left bank of the middle course of the MURES, (mu:resh) river, (mentioned by Herodotus c 484 BC as the Maris river, by Strabo as Marisos and by Iordanes as Marisia), and lies between the Western Transylvanian Alps ( Munt,ii Apuseni) and the Poiana Ruscãi Mountains at a height of 187 m above sea level. Traces of neolithic Iron Age occupation have been found together with evidence of Dacian (Thracian) and Roman civilisation. DEVA known as Diemrich or Schlossburg in German and Déva in Hungarian appears on mediaeval maps as DEUA or DEWAN.   Nowadays, DEVA is the county capital (Hunedoara county) with more than 70,000 inhabitants (est. 2002) with mining-processing (20%), food and agriculture (18%), civil engineering and building materials (12%) and power industries (6%). DEVA is at crossroads linking the Western Romania via DN7 (E15) towards Arad (W) and Sebes (Centre) and also North-South on E79 towards Brad and Oradea (NW) and towards Petrosani-Craiova-Calafat (S). The main railway 200 Bucharest-Deva-Arad-Curtici to Hungary goes through DEVA.   Documentary evidence of the town's existence first appeared in 1269 AD .
It became a Residential Town under a Duke (Voevode = Romanian Duke) in 1307 and later under the Voevode John Huniady (Iancu de Hunedoara, Ioannus Corvinus, Janos Huniady) became an important military and administrative centre. Partially destroyed by the Turks in 1550, was rebuilt and the fortress extended. In 1621 Count Gabriel Bethlen transformed and extended the Magna Curia Palace also known as the Bethlen Castle in the Renaissance style. Since 1882 it has housed the County Museum and houses one of the most important archaeological collections in Transylvania, with rich numismatic, ethnographic and natural science exhibits. DEVA is dominated by Citadel Hill (371 m =1,217 ft), a truncated volcanic plug, with stunning views of the Mures valley. Citadel Hill is a protected nature reserve thanks to its rare floral species and the horned adder ( Vipera Ammodytes ). Perched on the top of the hill are the ruins of the Citadel (Cetatea Devei) built in XIII c at the time of the Mongol invasions, on earlier Roman foundations. Under the protection given by the fortress, the city grew in the following centuries. An important military and administrative centre it has played a significant part in Transylvanian history. In 1849, just before the Central European Revolution defeat, after the general Bem retreat and occupation, the fortress was blown apart by a powerful blast in the storehouse filled with explosives. Since then, the ruins are silent and now a historical monument. Accessed by foot, on winding alleys up to the top of the hill the ruins can be visited and also a rewarding panorama of the surrounding valley delights the visitors. Another important historic monument is the Franciscan Monastery (also known as the Bulgarian Monastery) built in the XVII c. Several important sites are situated around DEVA, the Bejan Forest natural reserve, unique in Europe for its variety of rare species of oak tree and flowering plants. The Simeria Arboretum, 6 miles from Deva, on the banks of Mures river has over 70 hectares of woodland and grassland, 250 years old, with rare species of trees and flowering plants from China, Japan and North America, together with some rare local species. Another important landmark is Mintia (the ancient municipium and castrum Micia ), a Roman port on the Mures river, now with an archeological open site, rich in artifacts and also a coal-fired power station. DEVA has one 3-star hotel (Vila Venus, Decebal Hotel) , two 3-star B&Bs (Paradis and Venus), two 2-star hotels (Deva and Sarmis) and two Motels (Beno Oil and Oil Glat Exim). With close-by access to the Apuseni Mountains (Western Transylvanian Alps) to the North, to the Retezat Mountains and National Park (to the South), to areas of outstanding natural beauty and with traditional crafts such as Tara Zarandului, Tara Hatzegului, Tinutul Padurenilor, the Hunedoara Medieval Castle, the Dacian fortresses, DEVA is expecting its visitors to discover this enchanted SW Transylvanian area at the cross-roads of historical Principality of Transylvania and the Banat province.
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