luni, 13 iunie 2011

The Râşnov Citadel

Yesterday morning the kids woke up very early, while we would give anything to sleep a little bit longer after the wedding party. Of, course, we didn't have that chance, they started to argue and shout and yell, so we packed very fast and left for home. Bogdan decided to take a different road than at arrival, so we could have a short visit at The Râşnov Citadel, recently restored. I might have a slightly different opinion of what it means "restored" for the Romanian autorities and myself. But the trip was nice and the view was splendid.

The Râşnov Citadel was build around the year 1215 by the teutonic knights and it was mentioned in official documents for the first time in 1331.

The citadel was conquered only once in history, by Gabriel Bathory, around year 1600. And that happened because Bathory's soldiers discovered the secret source of water of the fortress, a hidden spring outside the citadel.

The fortress wasn't easy to reach, you have to climb the mountain to get in, and from the observation point (once a small church) you can see the whole area. Perhaps the whole country. Anyway, for sure the inhabitants could easily notice an enemy attacking them.

But, if you are kind of lazy or tired, you can use the tourist tractor (it really is a tractor!) to go up and come back in the car parking. The ticket for a round trip is 3 Lei (0.8 Euro).

We received roses at the entrance in the fortress, it was a local event named "The Roses Celebration". Nice. The ticket costs 10 Lei (2.5 Eur) for the adults and 5 Lei (1.2 Eur)  for the kids.

The kids loved the trip, we let them climb and run all over the place, and they deeply admired the astonishing view. 

We were staring at the dolls in the window and the dolls were staring back.

We were so tired after climbing all the rocks in the citadel...

And I almost forgot: there is a local legend attached to Râşnov Fortress. During a particularly long siege of the fortress, the citizens of Râşnov were concerned about the lack of available fresh drinking water. Two Turkish soldiers, having been captured earlier, were assured that they would be given their freedom in exchange of digging a well in the centre of the fortress. According to local legend, it took them 17 years to finish the well, but they were still killed afterwards (we are a very compassionate nation). This famous well still sits in the centre of Râşnov Fortress, and is 146 metres (479 feet) deep. In reality, the well was dug by some local saxon artisans, payed by the City Mayor.
So, if you are in Brasov, hurry up and pay a visit to Râşnov Citadel! It won't take long and is such a beautiful and interesting place to see!

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