The Double-Star Fortress, Alba Iulia!
Alba Iulia! A place in Romania you probably haven’t heard of since there aren’t many tours to the place. Originally used as a fortress, the shape of a double-star helped with defending and attacking in the event of an invasion.
Getting to Alba Iulia From Cluj
After going on a free walking tour in Cluj, the tour company quoted me a custom tour to Salina Turda and Alba Iulia for 370RON. I had a flight at 6:30pm the next day, so the tour would have to start in the morning if possible. It was possible! The tour company contacted me and offered to pick me up at 8:30 the next morning and bring me back to Cluj by 4pm.
After my visit to Salina Turda, we then headed to Alba Iulia (It’s like “Julia” but starts with an “I”). I have no idea what to expect and I didn’t see this place on Atlas Obscura (my favorite site for interesting destinations). I was informed that it was a fortress, and when we got there my mind was blown. This place was amazing and an absolute must visit.
It’s about a 2-hour drive from Cluj which is the fastest way to get there. Ideally, a car is the way to go since public transportation was sparce.
The Double-Star Fortress of Alba Iulia
Built in the 18th Century and used as recently as World War II, Alba Iulia still stands strong and has been well maintained. They use a double-star pattern with two exterior walls before getting to the fortress.
Today, it is used as a University, a Unitarian Church, a Catholic church, a park, a music venue, restaurants and as a recreational facility. Best of all, there’s no charge to go AND there’s free parking!
KURTOS! Euro Churros!
I saw the giant “chimney cake” topped with cinnamon. I bought it hoping it would taste like a churro, not exactly the same but it was good.
Restaurant in the Wall
Within outerwall of the fortress, they have a medieval restaurant! The restaurant is exclusively for potential restaurant guests so stop in for a coffee and to check out the facility.
If you’ve ever seen the anime, Attack on Titan, the walls of the city, gates and bastions reminded me of the show. It’s definitely the most impressive fortress I’ve seen and it was in great shape! Clearly, it did its job.