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History of Arad Fortress

One of the most important historical monuments of our country is Arad Fortress.

Arad fortress was built during the  Maria Theresa  reign of Austria Empress (1740-1780). The place chosen for the construction was strategically beacuse of two important trade routes, one leading from the Western Plain to Transylvania and one that comes from the north, from Oradea and Satu Mare and Timisoara way to the Danube waterway offered.

Work began in 1762 and lasted over 20 years until 1783 and is carried out under the supervision of the plans developed by the Austrian military architect Filipp Ferdinand Harsch.

Walls, arranged in three rows, with the earth, and their thickness is around three meters  at that time, were surrounded by a moat filled with water from Muresy bounded out of small wave of earth.


In such angles as they are built fortification walls are calculated such that artillery projectiles can be deflected by ricochet and land filling explosions force diminishes.

Arad Fortress walls circumference have 3180 meters and they were provided with bastions type knight, flanked by redoubts Pentagon. In total bastions included 296 guns.
Inside were raised three main bodies of buildings, which included command, guard the fortress and monastery hospital, which included baroque church, which today is in a state of ruin. The last four monks dedicated to St. John of Capistrano lived in the monastery until 1861


When was built the fortress was attended by over 1,500 families nearby, and had demolished 169 homes. In total has been spent by the imperial Austrian government over three million florins, a staggering sum at the time.

Arad fortress have an important role in the Revolution of 1848-1849, was besieged for nine months, from October 1848 to June 1849. From the city, the Austrian army bombed the city for eight months with over 40 000 artillery shells.

On October 6, 1849 in the surroundings of the fortress were executed by the Austrian 13 Hungarian revolutionary army generals.

One time the fortress was used as a prison there is imprisoned Romanian revolutionary Eftimie Murgu or during armed conflict, 1,200 French soldiers (in 1794) or Turkish soldiers taken prisoner in Bosnia in 1881.

The most famous prisoner of the prison was Gavrilo Princip, who on 28 July 1914 assassination in Sarajevo of the heir prince of the Austro-Hungarian throne, Franz Ferdinand. This assassination was the signal the start of WWI.

During World War I, the city was held thousands of prisoners of war Serbs. Due to the harsh conditions of detention 4317prizonieri died and their memory was placed at the entrance gate a commemorative plaque.

The inhuman conditions in which prisoners are held in the city of Arad and attention Romanian National Party MP, Stefan Cicio Pop in an interpellation in Parliament in Budapest during 1917.




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