Romanian: Cetatea Râșnov|
German: Rosenauer Burg
|Former names||Cetatea Țărănească|
The citadel was built as part of a defence system for the Transylvanian villages exposed to outside invasions. A decisive aspect for building the citadel on the actual location was the route of the invading armies which were coming from the Bran pass and were passing through Râșnov, on their way to Burzenland. The only chance of survival for the inhabitants of the area, inclusively from Cristian and Ghimbav, was the refuge inside the citadel. Compelled to stay there for decades, the people of Râșnov and the nearby villages turned the fortification into a dwelling.
The citadel was conquered only once, during the rule of Prince Gabriel Báthory, 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.
Because of the lack of a source of water interior to the citadel, between 1623 and 1642 a 146 metres (479 ft) deep well was excavated in it.
In 1718 the citadel was partially destroyed by a fire, and in 1802 it was damaged by an earthquake.
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.
The legend of the wellEdit
The absence of an internal water source led to the limitation of long term resistance during sieges. Because of this lack, it was decided to start the digging of a well in the rocky soil, in 1623.
The legend says that during a siege, the inhabitants of the citadel made two Turkish prisoners dig a well in the middle of the citadel in order to regain their freedom. The captives dug for 17 years, during which time they wrote verses from Quran on the well walls which can be seen even today. The fate of the prisoners isn't known, with some saying that they were released, and others that they were killed.
The well was used until 1850 when a broken wheel in the well windlass caused its abandonment.
The citadel has a simple architectonic style, similar to the ordinary houses of the time and adapted to the fortification requirements. The peasants used stones and bricks for building the walls, and woods for making the gates and platforms. The towers and walls are covered with roof tiles for preventing the fires from besiegers. The walls are 5 metres (16 ft) high and the widest part is constituted by the South wall which in some areas is 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) thick.
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.
From South, West and North the citadel is protected by sharp cliffs of about 150 metres (490 ft), very hard to climb. The whole superior precinct is defended by exterior towers gathered in the northern flank and western corner. Because of its u-shape, the eastern side of the citadel was more vulnerable due to less natural obstacles. To boost its defensive capacity, the citadel holds in this sector the heaviest fortifications.
The eastern, western and northern sides are protected by a continuous gallery with two ante forts and seven towers. There are only two towers on the southern side which is more abrupt.
The interior courtyard is paved with narrow paths made of stone, which ribbon among the tile-roofed houses. Inside there have been conserved the ruins of a school, a chapel and over thirty houses fated to refuge the villagers and their assets.
The feudal art museumEdit
Inside the citadel there is a museum which briefly presents slices from the local history, the area's habits and crafts, and also gathers pieces and weapons from the inhabitants past. The exhibition contains the following sections: document photocopies, weapons, tools, stamps and period objects.
View of Bucegi Mountains from the citadel
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Râşnov Castle.|
- romanianmonasteries.org. "Cetatea Rasnov". Retrieved 7 August 2011.
- rasnov-turism.ro. "Râşnov - oraşul rozelor". Retrieved 9 August 2011.
- internetus.ro. "Comoara din fântâna Cetății Râșnovului". Retrieved 10 August 2011.
- infoghidromania.com. "Cetatea Rasnov - Brasov". Retrieved 10 August 2011.
- infopensiuni.ro. "Muzeul Cetatii Rasnov". Retrieved 10 August 2011.