I have always been proud of the history of my country, of our ancestors, but I always took it for granted. Romania has very old fortresses, palaces and old buildings which were built hundreds of years ago. Almost every walk in any of our towns shows up places filled up with the history of our ancestors.
So, we went on a trip to the mountains at Rasnov - a resort in the Bucegi mountains - , right after the New Years Eve of 2008. It had just snowed a bit and it was freezing outside, but sunny. Our friends had been there before and they were showing us the town. It's very small, but with beautiful surroundings.
Rasnov town has a very old citadel, built in the 14th century. The fortress lies on a hill nearby. The ancestors of the people of Rasnov had to built this citadel on the hill so they could defend of the enemies who came to conquer their village. They had to run and retreat inside the fortress from where they could fight back .
The way to the citadel goes through the mountains, then follows a path climbing up through the forest.Trees are everywhere and an abrupt slope is going down deeper and deeper as we climb. Suddenly the forest stops and we can see the citadel, it's so beautiful! Still we have more to walk to the entrance, on a narrow path, right near the slope. It's scary, but we can do it.
When entering the citadel, a whole new world comes in front of our eyes : we enter into the past and we are feeling like we were transported through a time machine, right into the 14th century. We are in a market, probably where people used to gather and sell their products. Everything is made of rocks, the way, the houses.
Let's start to visit!
It isn't a big place, just a way and a few tall houses on each side, with small doors and windows. They had an inn at the entrance of the citadel which is now available for hungry visitors.
We can see the well which provided water for the people inside the fortress. A few old carriages are exposed in the market, but they are very well preserved. Seems like they were just downloaded!
This explanation about the history of the fortress is exposed on one of the walls so everyone can see it before making the tour of the citadel.
We choose to make the tour of the fortress first and visit the medieval museum later.
We start walking on the way which seems more like a path and climbs up and up. The stone walls are so close we can feel the history coming all over us! A big cross with Jesus on it is nailed on one of the houses which used to be the chapel.
Not many of the houses are still up, only a few when entering the citadel, then there are only walls.The towers are up and covered with tiles, same as the houses.We climb to the top of the citadel and even there the tall walls are surrounding us.
Looking down, over the walls, we can see the Bucegi mountains, so far away. The Rasnov town lies down the hill. Accross the citadel, another hill guards over the town.
The ancestors must have been very smart to build this citadel on such a strategic place. The enemies had to come through these two hills where they could be easily defeated.The exterior walls have small holes like windows, through which they could see and then hide behind the wall. I remember I saw many of those scenes in the movies!
The real entrance is up the hill. They had a courtyard where the the prisoners were kept and tortured. My husband volunteers to illustrate how it was done! In front of the gate they used to organize tournaments.
This is the end of the tour, so we can go back and visit the museum.
The Medieval Museum of the Rasnov citadel is kept in a former dungeon. Lots of medieval things are shown : weapons, dishes, clothes, jewelery, housework instruments.
This female skeleton was found here and preserved; she probably died in the dungeon. This store has folklore clothes and things for who ever wants to have a souvenir from the Rasnov citadel. But they aren't so cheap! So I have to content myself with the pictures I took and the memories I got of everything I saw in there. It was an unbelievable experience! And when I think this was only meant to be a simple vacation to the mountains, not a history lesson.
You might want to check this website for more information about the Rasnov Citadel: