The Harau district of Hunedoara County, Romania has a long and fascinating history. Archaeological discoveries in the area indicate that the area has been populated since the Neolithic period, with evidence of a highly developed culture with complex religious, craftsmanship and trading activities. During the Roman era, the area was known as Ptolemea and served as an important regional center.
In the Middle Ages, the area was part of the Kingdom of Hungary. The Harau district was an important center for strategic defense and for communication between Transylvania and Hungary, with three fortresses (Harau, Criş and Tecka) controlling crossings over the Transylvanian rivers from Hunedoara to the Eastern region of the country.
In the sixteenth century, Hunedoara county was part of the voivodship of Transylvania, a fief of the Kingdom of Hungary, while the fortress of Harau served as a residence for princes of the area. During this period, Harau also became an important center of arts and crafts, as evidenced by the beautiful Renaissance courtyards and impressive churches in the area. Up until the late 18th century, the district was inhabited by Hungarians, Romanians and Saxons.
In the 19th century, the area saw the emergence of several large mines and metallurgical businesses, which came to dominate the region’s economy until the mid-20th century. Since the fall of communism, the district has experienced a decline in industry and a general economic uncertainty. Nevertheless, the district continues to be a cultural and architectural landmark in Hunedoara County and remains an important part of the county’s rich history.
Harau is a commune in Hunedoara District, Transylvania, Romania, located on the A1 motorway. It is composed of a single village, Harau, situated at an altitude of 577 m. It is located 20 km south-southeast of Deva, on the banks of the Mureș river. Its population diminishes year by year, due to the low birth rate and a large number of economic migrants to western Romania, Spain and Italy. According to the 2011 census, Harau has a total population of 1,531 people. The overwhelming majority of the population is of Romanian ethnicity. The majority of the population is Protestant (88%). The main economic activities are mostly rural, such as crop and livestock farming.
If you are travelling from outside of Romania, the best way to get to Hunedoara is by flying into one of the major airports such as Bucharest, Timisoara, or Cluj-Napoca. From there, you can take a bus or train to Hunedoara. Once in the city, you can take a bus or taxi to the Harau district.
1. Harau Fortress: Constructed in the 15th century, Harau Fortress is a well-preserved castle that sits atop a hill in the Harau district. It is surrounded by a deep moat and features two walls, towers, and two drawbridges. It was used for defensive purposes during the Middle Ages and is now a popular tourist attraction.
2. Hurenii Church: This small chapel is located in the village of Hurenii, near the Harau district. It dates back to the 18th century and is still in use today. The walls of the church are decorated with paintings and frescoes that are representative of the traditional folk art of the region.
3. Perlova Monastery: This medieval monastery was built in the 13th century, and is now a popular tourist destination in the Harau district. It is home to some of the oldest historical structures in the county, including a number of churches and a wide range of medieval artifacts.
4. Valarii Monastery: Located in the western portion of the Harau district, this monastery is known for its picturesque setting and its well-preserved frescoes from the 16th century. It also features a unique bell tower and several 16th-century tombs.
5. Poienii Manor: This manor is located in the village of Poienii, in the Harau district. It was built in the mid-19th century and is one of the most well-preserved manors in the region. It features a number of intricate wood carvings throughout the building, as well as a wide range of unique artifacts.
1. Medieval Castle Harau
Harau is a historical place in Hunedoara county, Romania, featuring a preserved medieval castle with fortress walls, towers and gates, located near the villages of Livada and Harau. The castle is listed as a historical monument by the Romanian Culture Ministry, as an ancient monument and as a tourist destination.
2. Corvin Castle
At just 120 kilometers away from the capital city, Corvin Castle is a popular tourist destination in Hunedoara County. The historic Gothic structure can be reached in 2-3 hours by car and it is one of the most spectacular castles in Europe. Inside Corvin Castle, you can admire its towers, galleries, bastions and workshops built throughout the centuries.
3. Densus Monastery
Densus Monastery is located in the heart of Transilvania, near the town of Hunedoara. It is a 15th-century Orthodox monastery and an important cultural heritage site of Romania. The monastery grounds house a church built by Mircea the Old, several chapels and the ruins of old fortifications. It is an ideal place to visit for those interested in religious and historical sites.
4. Seliștea Muncelului National Park
Seliștea Muncelului National Park is a protected area located in Hunedoara County. It covers an area of 6.88 km², surrounded by the Lăpuș and Gliorean Mountains. Here the visitor can find the traditional villages, river valleys, caves and cliffs. Also, it houses a wide variety of flora and fauna, including wild cats, lynx, wolves, foxes, deers and various species of birds.
5. Szászsebes Thermal Resort
The Szászsebes Thermal Resort is located in Hunedoara county and it offers year-round bathing and recreational activities in its thermal pools. It offers a wide range of services like sauna, massage, mud baths, bowling, mini golf, aerobics and many others. The hotel complex also has a restaurant, a cocktail bar and a souvenir shop.
Located in the Hunedoara county, Harau district is home to a number of scenic and historic sights, making it a must-visit for tourists.
Harau Nature Reserve: Boasting both stunning forests and rugged limestone massifs, this renowned nature reserve is one of the top attractions in the region. Visitors can explore the rich wildlife, including birds, reptiles and mammals, while enjoying a hike or camping in the area.
Cantacuzino Castle: One of the best-preserved castles in Romania, this is a must-see during a visit to Harau. It was built in 1893 by the local baron Gheorghe Cantacuzino and is surrounded by a beautiful landscape consisting of lakes, gardens and parks.
Beusnita Monastery: Dating back to the early 16th century, this monastery remains an important place of worship for the local Orthodox Christians. It is home to valuable works of art, such as Byzantine and Baroque frescoes.
Harau Waterfall and Cave: This majestic waterfall is a great place to explore. The nearby cave is also worth visiting and is believed to have been a refuge for people during the Middle Ages.
With its stunning natural beauty and abundant cultural and historical attractions, Harau district is the perfect destination for a memorable holiday in Romania.