A journey through history: Romania’s most beautiful citadels
Romania is a country with a rich history, the castles and citadels being there to remind people of that. There are many beautiful fortresses in Romania that take visitors bake in time, such as the Rasnov Citadel or the ones located in Sighisoara and Alba Iulia.
Interested in Romania’s history? Here’s a list of some of Romania’s most beautiful citadels:
Rasnov (opening picture, picture below) is one of the best-preserved peasant citadels in Romania’s Transylvania. The fortress is located on a big hill near Brasov mountain resort, so don’t miss it if you are in the area because the view from the top is worth a while.
Rasnov Citadel was built as part of a defense system for the Transylvanian villagers exposed to outside invasions. Compelled to stay there for decades, the villagers turned the fortification into a dwelling. The first documented attestation of the fortification dates from 1335. There is also a legend about the citadel’s well, which was dug between 1623 and 1640 after the inhabitants realized that they need an internal source of water. According to the legend, two Turkish prisoners dug the well in the middle of the citadel to regain their freedom. However, according to information posted on the citadel’s website, the Rasnov City Hall hired Saxon craftsmen to dig the well, which was used until 1850.
Entry tickets cost RON 12 (some EUR 2.6) for adults and RON 6 (EUR 1.3) for students.
Sighisoara is one of the most beautiful and well-preserved inhabited citadels in Europe, with authentic medieval architecture. Located in the historical region of Transylvania, the city is much loved by tourists.
It is made up of two parts: the medieval town which situated on a hill and is known as The Citadel (Cetate), and the lower town which lies in the valley of Tarnava Mare river. The Citadel’s main attraction is the Clock Tower (Turnul cu Ceas), a 64 meter-high tower built in the 13th century which today hosts a museum of history. From the top of the tower, visitors can enjoy a beautiful view of the entire city. Other interesting sights are the Weapon Museum, the bust of Vlad the Impaler (Vlad Tepes), the covered staircase, and the Church on the Hill. Sighisoara is also the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler, the Romanian prince who inspired Bram Stoker's fictional creation, Count Dracula.
Located in the heart of Romania, the Fagaras Citadel was included in 2014 in a list of 10 best castles in the world. The citadel is situated in the town with the same name, Fagaras, in Brasov county, and currently hosts the Valer Literat Museum of the Fagaras Land. Besides its massive walls, the fortress is also surrounded by a defensive moat. However, although it was a defense fortress once, the citadel is now a quiet place full of history where people can enjoy a lovely afternoon. Entry tickets cost RON 15 (EUR 3.3) for adults and RON 7 (EUR 1.5) for students and pensioners.
Alba Iulia is another Romanian city that hosts a beautiful citadel: the Vauban fortress called Alba Carolina. A trip around the citadel is a journey through Romania’s history. The fortress was built between 1715 and 1738, according to a plan elaborated by the Italian architect Giovanni Morando Visconti. The citadel is placed on the location of older fortifications, namely the Roman castrum of the 13th Gemina Legion and a rectangular plan medieval fortress. The perimeter of the outside walls is about 12 km.
Neamt Citadel is a medieval citadel situated in Moldova, near the town of Targu Neamt, at about 46 km from the city of Piatra Neamt, and 398 km from Bucharest. Built in the 14th century Moldavia and expanded in the 15th century, the citadel played a key role in Moldavian Prince Stephen the Great’s defense system. Located near the highest point of the Plesului Peak, the city is part of the medieval monuments of exceptional value in Romania.
Devei Citadel is another important medieval fortress in Transylvania. Built in the 13th century, the citadel is located on top of a volcanic hill. Through its strategic position, the fortress guarded for centuries the exit and entry in Transylvania from the Mures Valley. From up there, the visitors can have a unique view of the Mures Valley. Tourists can reach the citadel from the city of Deva.
Other beautiful citadels in Romania: the Fortress of Suceava (Cetatea de Scaun a Sucevei), Aiud Citadel, Medias Citadel, and Poenari Citadel.
Irina Popescu, email@example.com