Visit one of Transylvania’s most well-preserved historic citadels, a 13th-century fortress with a dramatic setting within the Carpathian Mountains.
Rasnov Fortress is set on a hilltop, 650 feet (200 meters) above the town of Rasnov. Constructed in the early 1300s to defend against invasions, the citadel encompasses the ruins of more than 30 ancient houses. Wander along the complex’s winding streets, admire picturesque views from the top of the fortress and explore its museum of art and artifacts.
The fortress was originally built by the Teutonic Knights to defend against Tatar and Turkish invasions. Marvel at the 5-foot (1.5-meter) thickness of the southern section of the wall. The fortress was expanded by the Saxons, who transformed it into a place where citizens could take shelter over extended periods of time. As a result, the citadel is similar to a small village, with the remains of homes, a school and chapel visible today.
Inside the fortress grounds, take part in traditional skill contests, such as archery or axe throwing. Many of the historic homes have been converted into shops selling traditional Romanian clothing, books about the area’s history, local jewelry and other interesting souvenirs. Stop at the Feudal Art Museum, where you’ll find an intriguing mix of exhibits that include medieval armor, torture devices, weapons and furniture.
Look for the fortress’ historic well, which is located near the school and courtyard. The well is 469 feet (143 meters) deep. According to legend, the well took more than 30 years for two Turkish prisoners to dig.
Discover the rooms inside the main fortress building, many of which are connected by wooden ladders. Explore the fortress’ many hidden passageways. Don’t miss the stunning views from the top of the towers.
Rasnov Fortress is located in the town of Rasnov, 12 miles (20 kilometers) south of Braşov. If you’re coming by car, find parking in the lot at the base of the fortress. Buses bound for the fortress also depart from Braşov. Enjoy beautiful mountain views and soak up the historic atmosphere at this striking citadel.