Winter Adventures -the Rasnov Fortress

I have been writing bout my snowboarding trip to Poiana Brasov, Romania, which was so much more than just hitting the slopes. Having stayed at a quaint little pension in Rasnov, only ten kilometers from the resort, we were tempted by other attractions in the region. This town is probably most famous for its fortress – Cetatea Rasnov which towers over the entire region.

The first fortification on this steep cliff seems to have been during the Bronze Age. The medieval structure was then built between 1211 and 1225. In the 15th century Ottoman armies were unsuccessful in overtaking the fortress despite numerous attempts. Having to surrender the citadel to Saxon armies in 1612 because their route to the water spring was blocked off, the Rasnov people decided to build a well within the walls of the fortification. The 146 meter well was dug straight down into the rock cliff over a period of 17 years. The well was then used from 1640 to 1850.

After hundreds of years this structure is still standing tall, no longer defending against enemy armies, but welcoming inquisitive tourists from all over the world.

Fagaras and Beyond Intro

If you look at a map of Romania and try to point to the direct middle of the country, you’re probably pointing to the town of Fagaras. Fagaras, my home town, is most know to foreigners for giving its name to the Fagaras mountains, the range with the highest peaks in the country, and the Transfagarasean Highway, which crosses these mountains with hairpin turns at great heights.

I can recommend two more reasons to stop in Fagaras:

1. to visit the Fagaras Citadel in the center of town

2. to make it your home-base for visiting the area

I have recently discovered that Fagaras, being so central, is the perfect starting place for various day trips in the area. To the north you have got Sighisoara, to the east Brasov, to the south the Fagaras mountain range with varying options of hikes and visits and to the west Sibiu and Alba Iulia. Of course, a car is helpful, but the main train line Brasov-Sibiu passes through Fagaras, as do many buses.

In the next few posts, I’d like to let you know about the day trips we made around Fagaras with a car. Here they are in short.

Day 1: Sighisoara, the Viscri Fortified Church, and the Rupea Castle

Day 2: Alba Iulia, Sibiu

Day 3: Transfagarasean Highway (Balea Waterfall and Lake) and the Sambata Monastery

Day 4: Sinaia and the Peles Castle

But first, since it was our starting point, let me introduce you to theĀ  main attraction in Fagaras, the Citadel.