Rasnov Citadel is located on a rocky hill in the top of Barsa, about 15 km southwest of the city of Brasov, on the old trade route that connected – by Bran Pass – the old city of Brasov from the capital of the former Romanian Country Campulung.
The fortress was built of stone and brick, with a simple architectural style, similar to the houses in the area, adapted for fortification. The first documentary mention of the city Rasnov refers to a strong fortification that resisted the enemy siege and saved the lives of residents refugees and its walls dated back to 1335, when, during an invasion of the Tatars in Transylvania, Barsa was completely desolated.
Because of the numerous military invasions, the city was the ,, second hearth of Rasnov” residents escaping the city and then restoring their settlement. Inside the citadel, citizens had their own homes (so far identified 83 rooms), which served as a shelter and pantry during sieges.
The main disadvantage was the long lack of a water supply source . When sieges prolonged and the water reserves were running out, refugees from the city main gate and went out at night to fetch water from a spring known only to them.
The citadel was conquered only once, during the rule of Prince Gabriel Báthory, in 1612. The fall was caused by the mentioned lack of water, due to the discovery of the path to the secret spring by the enemy troops. In the summer of 1612, Râsnov, helped by Brasov, have tried twice to retake the city, but without success. Râşnov resumed possession of the city in June 1613 following an agreement with Gabriel Bathory by the Germans paying him a ransom worth 3,000 florins in for taking over Rasnov and Bran.
Between 1623 and 1642 a 146 metres (479 ft) deep well was excavated.
In 1718 the citadel was partially destroyed by a fire, and in 1802 it was damaged by an earthquake.
In 1821 refugees from Wallachia (the resurgent movement led by Tudor Vladimirescu) retreated to the citadel.
Between 1848-1849, because the locality was being crossed by the Hungarian revolutionaries and the Austrian imperial troops, the villagers retreated to the citadel. This was the last mission of the citadel as a place of refugee and defence.
In 1850, due to the political situation and the diminution of the citadel’s defensive role, the fortification was abandoned, becoming a ruin. There was only one guard left who had to announce the outbreak of fires by tolling a bell.
Impressed with the advantages gained by Bran after conversion Bran Castle in the private residence of Queen Maria, the Town Council of Râşnov, held a festive meeting on August 2, 1923 , decide dedication fortress Rasnov Prince Heir Carol of Romania, Râsnov hoping that the future King Charles II ,, to transform the city into rest home as a place to relax in this corner of Barsa healthy. ” But Carol did not seem at all interested to live in a medieval fortress, just as he never appeared particularly enthusiastic about the idea of his mother, Queen Mary, to turn Bran castle into a royal residence.
The citadel was restored for the first time in the years 1955-1956.
The elders from Râșnov always believed that deep in the well lies a treasure at least 400 years old, which recently proved to be true.
In July 2001 the treasure was discovered near one of the towers of stone at the entrance to the city. The treasure consists of 416 silver coins minted during 1509-1610 issuers in the Principality of Transylvania, along with other items inscribed: cups of pewter, knives, buckles, rings harnesses, arrowheads and crossbow parts for common use, a compass.
Râşnov Hall, owner of the city, terminated a concession contract which partially affected the citadel, in 2004 and since summer 2008 resumed administering entirely historical monument.
Inside Rasnov Fortress is open since 2008 Information Centre for Heritage, a project jointly operated by the City Rasnov and Mioritics Association under the aegis of UNESCO, aiming to promote cultural routes in Romania. Rasnov Citadel is a national monument class “A”.
Tourists can visit the historical monument and public holidays, including Easter, Christmas and New Year being the usual program. Watchmen, craftsmen and guides of the city welcomes guests with legends and artifacts meant to revive the glory days of Mandriva fortress on the cliffs, unconquered throughout the centuries.
Since July 2015 tourists visiting Rasnov Citadel benefit from a lift on the slope. The elevator goes from the center to the city Rasnov on a track 165 meters long, the rack system. During the trip, which lasts 50 seconds, tourists can enjoy the full panoramic view of the resort. The lift costed about 3 million and can carry up to 650 people in the city every day.
Only few people may know the citadel was called the “citadel of the Romanian historical movies”, as here were made several frames of the film “Immortals” – (1974) directed by Sergiu Nicolaescu, “Dacia”, “Michael the Brave”, or “Column” . In 2002, the famous Rasnov reached after American filmmakers chose to shoot the film “Cold Mountain”, the protagonists were Jude Law and Nicole Kidman. Some scenes were filmed in the city and in the citadel.
We are strongly recommending you to visit the Rasnov Citadel, in the same location you can recently visit with your kids Dino Park, a very nice place for spending a quality family time during weekend.
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