Trascau Fortress (also called Coltesti Fortress) is located 50 km away from Alba Iulia and was built at the end of the XIII th century by the Count Thoroczkay of Trascau as home and shelter for the whole community in times of war. It was intentionally built on the top of a limestone hill, following the Tartar invasion of 1241, when many damages were done to the towns Rimetea and Coltesti.
On the north tower, which is 20 meters high, it was found an inscription attesting that the Thoroczkay family built this fortress in the XIIIth century. In 1470 the nobles lost the fortress to the king of Hungary, Matthias Corvinus. As a punishment for the Thoroczkays` disobedience, the king donated it to the voivode of Transylvania. For many years to follow, they tried to regain the castle from the Hungarian Crown, but their requests were each time denied.
Decades later, sick of the abusive high taxes and laws, the transylvanian peasants lead by Gheorghe Doja started a revolt against the nobility. The Colțești Fortress was attacked and set on fire. That`s how the Thoroczkays took it over again even if it was damaged by the rage of the peasants.
Because they opposed to the annexation of Transylvania by the Austrian House of Habsburg, the Thoroczkays were removed from the stage of history and their fortress met its end in 1713. Centuries have passed since its devastation but some of the walls and two standing towers are incredibly well preserved and still can be seen.
A such beautiful place gave rise to some popular legends that talk about a secret tunnel under the hills, or a hidden cellar full of noble wine barrels, or about Enikö, the daughter of Count Thoroczkay, who was desperate because did not receive any news from his father during a siege and she crossed the secret tunnel to the surface where came across the attackers who had occupied the fortress. Frustrated by the thought that his father was murdered and the fortress invaded, Enikö threw herself from the wall, rolled up into the valley, where she struck against the rocks and died. The legend talks also about the strange appearance of Enikö’s ghost, which, thirsty for revenge, tries even nowadays to take the lives of those who climb the hill.
But besides stories and legends, Colțești Fortress is definitely a spectacular ruin in the panoramic landscape of Trascăului Mountains and almost like a natural extension of the rock it was built on, seems determined to resist the passage of time.