Friday, October 15, 2010

Postcard Friday and Sepia Saturday - Romanian Castle in the Sky

Carta Postala - Castlelu Huniadestilor
Hunedoara, Transylvania, Romania

The beautiful castle featured on today's postcard is nestled in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania.

It was given to the father of John Hunyadi by the King of Hungary, Sigismund, in 1409. John Hunyadi is thought to be the illegitimate son of Sigismund, and the castle was given as severance.

The castle was modified and enlarged over the years and the once Gothic facade took on the look of the Renaissance. One of the last additions was the castle keep. This tower shown in the far right on the post card is meant to be the last defense of the castle. It is called "Neboisa" which is Serbian for "Not afraid!"

A modern view

Many myths and legends surround this castle, and it is said to be one of the most haunted. Tourists are told that Vlad the Impaler was imprisoned here for seven years. I recall seeing a documentary about his imprisonment - perhaps on Discovery Channel.

John Hunyadi (Romanian: Ioan Hunedoara) is celebrated in the history of Hungary and Romania for his military genius and for uniting many of the Christian countries of Europe to fight the onslaught of the Muslim forces.

Hunyadi Coat of Arms

The family coat of arms includes a raven holding a ring in his mouth. An interesting family legend based on fact that can be found here.

The family seal also shows the legendary raven on a windowsill.

I found this - the one and only postcard - among pictures of my husband's family. His father purchased the card around 1925. and wrote "remembrance of Huneadora castle Hunyadi on the back. You will notice that the name V. Koncsat is crossed out. This is - according to Conciatu family myth legend and fact - the Hungarian spelling of the name Conciatu. It means - approximately - "handsome man on horseback". I'll go with that!

Emilia and Vasile Conciatu (c. 1911) in traditional Romanian dress

My Sepia Saturday photo shows Vasile at about age two. He was born in the USA and is the step brother of the young men, Evrin and John Jovin, featured in last week's post. I determined that the pictures posted last week are of John Jovin and found 2 additional and previously unidentified pictures of John. While solving mysteries I uncovered even more questions....stay tuned.

For more Postcard Friendship Friday fun click here

For more shades of Sepia Saturday click here


Beth Niquette said...

What a fun post! LOVE the postcards, and enjoyed the read.

So do you know where the saying, "keep me posted" came from?

Yep, Vlad the Impaler.

I'm SO sorry--I just couldn't resist...

Have a GREAT Day! Happy PFF!

viridian said...

What a romantic castle! It must be haunted, looking like that.
Happy Postcard Friendship Friday!
Thanks for a great post!!!

MrCachet said...

Great cards, and I definitely enjoy the history lessons that go with!

Sheila said...

It does look to me just how a castle should look. I can believe the haunting too!

Bob of Holland said...

Impressive post, which I really enjoyed. The postcard is a bit strange, like it's a fairy tale castle. On the modern photo the castle is magnificent. Then your information makes it into a haunted castle. And you even relate the castle nicely to your family history. Well done.

Snap said...

Enjoyed your post. There is just something magical and romantic about a castle ... Also, perfect post (haunting) for this time of year! Happy PFF!

Nana Jo said...

Something deliciously brooding and romantic about that castle. I am itching to explore. I like the way you tied it into your family history. Little Vasile looks like quite the imposing wee fellow in his traditional garb.

Jinksy said...

From castles to kids !! What a lovely post, Thank you. :)

daylily (Queenmothermamaw) said...

It is so true every time you get a question answered about ancestry another 2 come up. I have been doing genealogy for about 3 years and it is a never ending fascination. Great photo. Interesting photos and story at the top too.

Marilyn said...

I enjoyed this post. Fabulous castle just like ones in my dreams and your history is interesting. The last photo is especially wonderful, I could study it for hours as there is so much to see in it ...the way the little boy is standing and the fact he is standing on the chair, the fashions of the times much to take in. Wonderful that you piecing together who is who.

Tattered and Lost said...

Great castle, but I LOVE the young dapper fellow standing on the chair. I'm always fascinated by photos where kids have been stuck up on chairs. They always look a bit awkward and charming. I posted one the other day that I found on my vacation.

Meri said...

The history is fascinating, but I have to say that Vasile looks like a big child-sized doll in dress up clothes. It made me nervous to see him standing on that chair.

Nancy said...

This is so interesting to read the history to go with these postcards and the young man you highlighted several weeks ago in your Sepia Saturday post. It sounds like you're making progress identifying some folks in photos. Thanks.

Dorincard said...

I like your post about Castelul (not Castlelu) Huniadestilor (or Huniazilor, in modern Romanian).
I will post soon about John Hunyadi and The Noon Bell. :)
Very cool research into your genealogy...