Râșnov Citadel - impressive refuge castle in Transylvania


Among the most scenic and impressive landmarks in the Transylvania (in Romania) are refuge castles, also known as peasants castles. These are a castles, that were not permanently occupied but were acts as a temporary retreat for the local population when threatened by war or attack. One of the most impressive castle is located in a town of Râșnov in the immediate vicinity of Brașov.


Rasnov Fortress (also known as Râșnov Citadel) is located on a rocky hilltop in the Carpathian Mountains, about 200 meters above the town of Râșnov. From the walls of the castle offers a beautiful view of the Bucegi Mountains and Piatra Craiului Mountains.


The citadel was built in 14th century by Teutonic Knights as part of a defence system for the Transylvanian villages exposed to outside invasions and was later enlarged by the local population. Strategically located on the commercial route linking the provinces of Transylvania and Walachia, Râșnov differs from other fortresses in that it was designed as a place of refuge over extended periods of time. As such, it had at least 30 houses, a school, a chapel and other buildings more commonly associated with a village.


The defensive system included nine towers, two bastions and a drawbridge. Citadel is surrounded by 500-foot-slopes on the north, south and west sides. The citadel is composed of two courts. The exterior court is located in front of the eastern wall, edged by a fortified wall, and fitted with a square tower. The interior court represents the inhabitable area, having a better protection by walls and towers. It has a simple architectonic style, similar to the ordinary houses of the time and adapted to the fortification requirements.


Castle remaining unconquered in 1335, during a Tatar incursion, as well as in 1421 during the first siege of an Ottoman army. The citadel was conquered only once, in 1612. The fall was caused by the lack of water due to the discovery of the path to a secret spring by the enemy troops. Thenceforth the need for a water source inside the fortress became a must, so in the first half of the 17th century, 146 metres deep well was excavated in it.


According to legend, the inhabitants forced Turkish prisoners to dig a well in the centre of the fortress, in order to gain their freedom again. The prisoners dug the well for 17 years and while doing this, they wrote verses from the Koran on the walls of the well.


The last siege of Râșnov Fortress took place in 1690 during the final Ottoman invasion of Transylvania. Citadel was damaged by fire in 1718 and by the earthquake in 1802. The fortress was last used as a place of refuge during the revolution of 1848. This was the last mission of the citadel as a place of refuge and defence.


Recently, the old fortress has been restored to its former glory and today, you can visit the impressive remains. There is also a museum here, which briefly presents slices from the local history, the area's habits and crafts, and also gathers pieces and weapons from the inhabitants past.




You might also like other articles about beautiful places in  Romania (click)

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Comments

  1. VERY impressive, and well captured by you. It's wonderful that the castle has survived.

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  2. Amazing place. Wonderful photos.

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  3. it's huge and expansive, what an awesome view!

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  4. Beautiful and quaint inside of the castle grounds. A castle of refuge, what a comforting idea (probably very necessary in the time it was built:) Many thanks for sharing this beautiful city of refuge in Romania! (When we were there - when we lived in Holland - it was difficult to see the sights, because it was raining to hard, so am pleasantly surprised to see something of Romania). Thank you much for sharing with ALL SEASONS, and have a beautiful December week!

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  5. Look how steep that road is - I bet it's a holy terror to drive in the winter!
    Thank you for joining the party at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2016/12/the-church-of-transfiguration.html

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  6. I want to go here~! Such a beautiful village.

    Worth a Thousand Words

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  7. I enjoyed this Transylvanian journey. Thank you! I found the story of the fortress interesting because we recently visited Athens, Greece, where the impressive landmarks on the tops of the hills were also a refuge for locals when the city was invaded.
    Kay
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

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  8. That is quite a place. A hugely expensive endeavor but worth it in case of attack. I love the story about the Turkish prisoners. Thank you for this post.

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  9. Thank you for sharing this wonderful citadel. A wonderful story in lovely photos. It has been well preserved.
    Happy blue Monday.
    Jeanne

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  10. That is an amazing building. Very stunning.

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  11. Incredible view! Great castle! Thanks for sharing!
    http://travelingbugwiththreeboys-kelleyn.blogspot.com/2016/12/happy-holidays.html

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  12. What a wonderful place! I love the way it is perched on top of the hill. The story behind it is so interesting, and nice to hear that it has been restored and people are visiting again.

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  13. This fortress is impressive and beautiful. The story behind it is very interesting. I heard tons of stories about Turks when I visited Hungary and the Czech Republic. I imagine there are tons of them in this area too. #WordlessWednesday

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  14. amazing!!!! i was there as a child visiting my relatives. thanks for showing.
    have a nice day
    gusta

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  15. What an incredible bit of history that has survived, I would have thought a well would have been the first thing on the list when it was built seems a little over sighted of them

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  16. Very impressive structure. Thank you for sharing some great images of a beautiful location. Have a blessed day.

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  17. Fantastic post! Thanks for sharing such great information and images.

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  18. I have never heard of a refuge castle before. Incredible history.

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  19. Cały post bardzo mi się podoba. Ciekawie napisany i bardzo fajne ujęcia.Pozdrawiam.

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  20. Welcome to Thursday Doors and thanks for sharing these.
    This place is amazing. I bet the ride up that funicular is pretty special too.

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  21. What a stunning castle! I'd love to see it in person, but I really enjoyed this visit.

    janet

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  22. I love how they rebuilt this fortress. During Ceausescu's time, when I live in Romania, this place was in shambles.

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  23. What an interesting place. I had no idea that some castles were not lived in by royalty--such a fascinating idea to be protection for simple citizens. Your photos are just fantastic and I'm glad to hear that it has been restored.

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  24. Such a beautiful collection of photos, once again! So lovely aspects, amazing views of the historical place. Many thanks for sharing them with us. A very good day and new week ahead!

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  25. Looks so full of character and history there

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  26. An impressive place to visit, I love the castle high up on the hill

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  27. That it has nine towers must mean it was a good size castle! Thank you much for sharing this very interesting castle with ALL SEASONS - and your photos makes me want to visit it!
    Have a great week! (No snow yet in Poland?

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  28. What an amazing looking fortress with a very interesting history. I'm glad it was restored for future generations to visit.

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  29. Having just toured an American fort, this was a fascinating virtual trip, and you chose wonderful images and angles. So happy you shared! =D

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  30. Zdjęcie robione z okna i zdjęcie ostanie mogłyby być wspaniałymi pocztówkami. Cudowna sesja. :)

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  31. Clearly, Incredible architecture and design. A ‘must see. Definitely a must place to go it you plan to visit there. Cheers! xx

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