An old ruined tower rises above the houses in the small village of Colţeşti. Remains of walls, windows and doors can be seen from a distance. All lie on the top of a sharp limestone hill, such as castles used to in fairy stories.
At the end of the 13th century, the noble family Thorocsay, together with the help of the peasants in the surrounding villages, built a terrain adapted fortress for protection against the Ottomans. Two sides were constructed above very steep rocky slopes. This was its natural defense. The oldest buildings were two towers. One of them, used for living in was five stories high and is now all ruins. The other was a dungeon tower, 20 m high and it’s the only one still preserved to this day. The walls that used to connect the two formed an inner yard. Other buildings have been added later, in the 15th and 16th century. Soon after, The Noble Castle of Colţeşti was partially destroyed during an Austrian attack in 1702, when the walls were blown off and the village was set on fire.
These days the fortress is abandoned. But it can be visited. It is found in the district of Alba, near Rîmetea. Locals will give you directions if you are in difficulty. There is a short pleasant walk to reach it. The entrance is actually opposite to the village, where the slopes are leaner and thus accessible. Some parts are quite well preserved, considering the attacks and the hand of nature, who tries to gain it back. The dungeon tower keeps an inscription regarding the noble family Thorocsay that built the fortification, a real evidence of what was happening centuries ago. From the upper part of the citadel we can look toward the valley and recognize the cliffs above Rîmetea, together with the climbing crags of which I talked about in Climbing in Romania: Rîmetea.
An abandoned fortification cannot be compared to a touristic attraction. It is always empty and quiet. It gives you the chance to explore each hole and shape and imagine life here a long time ago, in times of peace and in times of war.