Brief history

Siria CastleȘiria (Világos in Hungarian, Hellburg in German, “Enlightened Fortress” in translation) is situated in the central part of the county of Arad, at the border between the Arad Plain and the Zărandului Mountains.

Documented for the first time in 1169, the town of Syria presents itself in the mid fourteenth century as a residence of the principality. In the next century it is part of a vast domain held between 1444 -1445 by Iancu of Hunedoara.

Part of the history of the village, the Șiria Fortress dates from the thirteenth century (it is mentioned in the years immediately following the Tatar invasion of 1242). An important role in its existence was held by the Romanian princes and princes (voievozi and cneji). For instance, a document of 1440 talks about a certain prince called Stefan in Syria. Matei’s possession at the start of the second half of the fifteenth century, it passes under the dominion of the Bathory family between 1461 and 1464. During the uprising of Gheorghe Doja, the city is temporarily occupied by its peasant armies. Under Ottoman rule at the middle of the eighteenth century, the fortress serves as a garrison for Michael the Brave in the years 1599-1600. Subsequently, the city is again occupied by the Ottomans in 1607 and held by them until 1693. Due to strategic reasons, the Habsburg troops destroyed the city in 1784.

Over the centuries, the Syria Citadel was occupied by rulers like Iancu of Hunedoara, the regent of Hungary, Matthias Corvinus or Andrew Bathory. In the erection of the defense fortress of Șiria, the builders used, among other materials, bricks that came from the Roman occupation of these territories and which bore the seal of the XII Gemina Legion.

Another important event in the history of this settlement took place in 1849, when the library of the Bohuș Castle was used as a place to conduct negotiations between General Görgey Arthur, the supreme commander of the Hungarian army, and the Russian General Frolov, completed with the surrender of the former.

The Bohuș Castle, built right at the foot of the hill on which the city is situated, has hosted for more than 40 years the Ioan Slavici Memorial Museum (1848-1925) and the Emil Montia Museum (1887-1925), the famous composer, Șiria being the native settlement of these two great men of culture and art.