COD LMI: AB-II-a-A-00130

Date of construction: sec. XVI - XVII

Besides the church, a residence for the Bishop was necessary after the foundation of the Episcopacy of Alba Iulia. This residence was possibly built at the same time with the cathedral. It is probable that the Bishop’s residence also served as living quarters. It was built on the North-South direction and placed to the South of the cathedral. The building extended towards the West – the Northern wing of the Episcopacy palace today is partially preserved. It is assumed that the palace was set on fire by the Mongols in 1241 and also during the Saxon uprising in 1277. The Bishop had access from the Palace into the Cathedral, by means of a staircase and through a Roman gate, which is blocked today. The oldest Roman sculptural element in Romania (Majestas Domini) is found here: a staircase existing in 1287, as documents mention it. At the end of the 15th century, a floor was added to the existing building. It is possible that in 1556, during the time of Bishop Paul Bornemissza, another staircase, even grander than the first one, was built to create an access from the Cathedral up to the Palace, the following inscription also included in G. M. Visconti’s plans leading us to believe so: "Paulus Abstemius Quinque ecclesiensis Dei et Apostolicae Sedis Gratia Episcopus Transilvaniensis incipit et perfecit A.D. M.D.LVI". This staircase was later destroyed by the Austrians.

After 1541, the palace became the residence of Queen Isabella and Prince John Sigismund, and after the secularization of church estates (1556), it became the Prince’s Palace, presenting as an ensemble formed of three squares (wings) of uneven dimensions.

Along with the instauration of the Habsburg domination over Transylvania, the Roman-Catholic Episcopacy was rehabilitated (1715), being placed in the Western wing of the former Princely Palace and separated from the rest of the ensemble by a narrow street.

At the middle of the 19th century, the Southern wing and a part of the Eastern extremities of the Northern and Southern wings were demolished. In their place, they built extensions which still exist today. Although they suffered modifications adapting them to the requests of time, the three wings, taken as an ensemble, preserve in situ valuable elements of architectural plastics, such as the Northern gateway, tri-fold windows, the triangular gable windows, fully mirroring the characteristics of the Transylvanian Renaissance.


No. 21, Mihai Viteazul Street.