Short description: Râșnov Fortress is one of the most beautiful fortresses in the Romanian country, and you can’t help but notice this wonder on the road from Brașov to Moeciu, so you will definitely want to stop on the way for a visit. It was chosen by several directors for filming from various eras, one of the most important films shot here being Cold Mountain, the Oscar-winning film with Nicole Kidman.
This rocky peak has been defensive since Dacian times, more than two thousand years ago, as recent archaeological discoveries prove. The Teutonic Knights, contracted by the Hungarian monarchy to defend the southern border of Transylvania, also built a fortress in the 14th century, but we cannot know what it looked like in their time. The first mention in a document of the fortress of Râșnov is from 1331, the current aspect being mostly from consolidation works made two centuries later. At that time, Râșnov was a small fair with a strategic location on the route over the Carpathians to Wallachia. At a time when Bran Castle had not yet been built, Rasnov was an important point for trade and the taxation of merchants by the reign.
The strategic position remains today the most valuable point of the place, but not for military or commercial reasons. Tourists have now become the new marching army of the modern world, and Rasnov is right in the middle of the distance between Brasov and Bran.
Rasnov is only 15 km from Brasov on a national road in good condition, from which it is impossible not to draw your attention to the fortified hill. It is worth the climb, even on foot, without the available car train.
If it was convincing enough for so many directors, it’s definitely good for some family photos on cobbled streets with lanterns. Moreover, the fortification has a panoramic view of the eight bastions or the defensive walls. From here you can see ridges from Bucegi, Postavaru Massif and Piatra Craiului. Also, you can see almost the entire city of Râșnov, a Romanian and Saxon cultural combination, located at 650 m altitude.
The architecture of the Râșnov fortress is very simple, being a peasant fortress. The stone was used for the defense walls of up to 5 meters, while inside there are brick constructions.
There are two rows of walls, which create an outer courtyard and an inner courtyard. The total area of the fortress is 3500 square meters.
This defense system proved unbeatable for several Tatar and Ottoman sieges in the 15th century. The fortress was handed over without a fight only to the Hungarian nobleman Gabriel Bathory, from whom the peasants bought it a year later.
Today the fortress of Rasnov is an extraordinary tourist attraction for tourists. A terrace has been opened in the fortress and many of the buildings are occupied by souvenir shops. And the authorities are trying to revive the fortress, which hasn’t been inhabited for a long time, bringing figuration in period costumes or organizing festivals and exhibitions.