The Citadel in Rasnov is one of the most amazing sights to see in the Transylvania region of Romania. It is located in small village of Rasnov, which is about a 40 minute drive from the city of Brasov. The citadel sits atop a hill surrounded by beautiful forest. We visited in the fall, and the autumn colors were like nothing I have ever seen before. The views stretching out across the village and plains from the Rasnov Fortress are some of the best Romania has to offer.
The first citadel was built between 1211 and 1225. It was originally used as a defense system to help protect the people in various Transylvanian villages in the area from invading forces. When the people were under attack they would retreat inside the walls of the fortress. The location of the fortress is extremely ideal. The north, south and west sides are surrounded by 500 foot slopes that are very difficult to climb. After several attacks from various armies, the villagers ended up converting the citadel into a dwelling. Within the walls of the fortress 30 homes, a school, a chapel and other typical village buildings can be found today. Over the course of its long history, it is said that it was only taken over one time in 1612 due to a lack of water for the people inside the fortress.
Visiting the Fortress Today
When you enter the parking lot there are tons of places that you can buy snacks and souvenirs. The entrance ticket to the fortress is 10 Lei ($2.50). You can walk up or take a train that goes up and down once every 30 minutes or so. We decided to walk up the winding path. The weather was perfect and the hike wasn’t too long. Once at the top, you can get some pretty nice pictures of the fortress from the outside. There is also a food cart just outside the gates that you can pick up a snack or a drink.
When you enter the fortress through the gate and look back out, you truly feel like you are entering a protected village. Winding through the little streets and alleyways is an awesome experience. The walls and the buildings are still fairly intact. There is an area where you can do some ax throwing and arrow shooting. There are also little stores that locals sell typical Romanian clothing and other various trinkets. You can also check out the famous well near the courtyard and the school.
As you continue around the fortress, there are lots of frames where buildings once stood and sections that show the decay of time. The colors the stones have changed to and the weathering are gorgeous. There is also a flagpole on top of the hill in the center of the village. From there you can also see magnificent views of the whole area.
My favorite part of exploring inside the fortress was entering the defender towers and walls of the fortress. The views are awesome, and the distance you can see around you is incredible. Walking around and looking out made us understand why this fortress was so powerful. WE really enjoyed our visit to the Rasnov Fortress and would highly recommend going.