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The Second Gate

The second gate is located in the upper part of the barbican. It was the second point of access in the fortress on the eastern side and the last one before the Third Gate. Together with the first gate it marks a chicane route designed to impede enemy access to the main gate whilst forcing foes to expose themselves to fire rained down by defenders. In the Alba Carolina fortress, the chicane route consisted of an access road with a steep ramp between the first and the second gates.

This gate had a rather turbulent history. It was partly demolished in 1937, during the preparations of the terrain in front of the third gate for the erection of the obelisk commemorating the three leaders of 1784 uprising, Horea, Cloșca, and Crișan. On the occasion the central elements of the monument were removed and the ground level was lowered with 1,10 m, so that the ramp of the barbican was rendered less steep.

We can see the original gate thanks to this photo. Between the two pillars embedded in the brick walls which mark the barbican were two masonry blocks with median flattered pilasters. Below them, on a strong pedestal topped by a column, stood two atlantes, one of them younger, the other older, supporting Ionian capitals with volutes. These are sustaining rampant lions bearing shields with the emblem of Emperor Charles VI.

The disposition of the pillars and the blocks of masonry mark, on the level of the gate, three access ways, one for vehicles and two for pedestrians.

The cornices on the upper side of the masonry blocks as well as other decorative elements, such as the wreaths in the upper parts of the pilasters were specific to Austrian imperial Baroque. On the lateral pillars were placed small aediculas supporting exploding cannon balls.

In 2009, the gate was reconstructed based on the extant original elements—lateral pillars, atlantes and one rampant lion—as well as this very image, after the ramp of the barbican was heightened to the original level. (C.A.)