When I decided to visit Alba Iulia and read about Alba Carolina Gates, initially, I thought they surrounded the fortress, but it is not so. Three of the gates are located to the east, three to the west and one to the north. They were placed in this way to hinder the access of the invaders to the fortress.
1st Gate, 2nd Gate and 3rd Gate – East Side
The first 3 gates are located in the east of the fortress and you will pass through them one after the other (1st Gate, 2nd Gate and 3rd Gate)
The other three gates are located on the opposite side, in the west of the fortress. You will pass through them one after the other (4th Gate, 5th Gate and 6th Gate).
The last gate, the 7th Gate, is located in the north and is the only gate that takes you directly to the ditch of the fortress.
We entered through the east, we passed through the 1st Gate which we called the Gate of the Greek Gods because on it are scenes from Greek mythology and the statue of the god Ares and the goddess Aphrodite.
As soon as you pass the First Gate and look up, you see the Second Gate, the Gate of the Atlanteans. This gate is very beautiful. It is worth staying down the sloping street and taking some pictures with the second gate. If you catch the reddish sunset sky, you will take some beautiful pictures of the Second Gate.
Then climb the sloping street, go through the second gate and be enchanted by the high Obelisk of Horea, Closca and Crisan on the left and the greatness of the 3rd Gate on the right. The third gate is the one through which you will enter the fortress.
After entering the fortress, the beauty of the place will capture you and surprise you. If you cross the center of the fortress you will reach the Fourth Gate. Between 3rd Gate and 4th Gate are 450 m and can be cross on foot in just 5 minutes.
4th Gate, 5th Gate and 6th Gate – West Side
As soon as you pass the St. Michael’s Cathedral you will reach the 4th Gate which is the only decorated gate on the west side. The 4th Gate is a tunnel gate.
Then follows the 5th Gate and the 6th Gate, the gate through which King Ferdinand and Queen Mary passed. Through the 6th Gate, you leave the fortress, and you can admire the Monument of the Union and the Monument of Avram Iancu.
The 7th Gate – Northside
The 7th Gate is on the Northside. You can reach it, from inside, if you walk through the ditch of the fortress. For example, you can turn right after passing through the Second Gate and passing by the Roman Garden you will reach the 7th Gate. Or if you come from the city, you walk on Gemina Street and you will reach this gate, from outside.
Go see the gates in the evening
If you stay overnight in Alba Iulia, go and see the gates in the evening. The specially placed lights create a magical atmosphere near the main objectives of the fortress and especially near the gates.
The gates on the east side are spectacular and there are several places where you can take dream pictures.
For example, you can photograph 1st Gate from the top. Enter the fortress, go through the second gate and turn right towards Restaurant PUB 13. Pass by the restaurant and immediately to the right if you look you realize that you are standing on a hill, above 1st Gate and you have a very good view of the gate and the city.
You can take great pictures with the 3rd Gate by walking on the Route of the fortifications. At the end of the route, you will discover few viewpoints from where you will be able to capture the greatness of the 3rd Gate and the Horea, Closca and Crisan Obelisk.