I left Bran Castle around 2:00 p.m. and I hopped on yet another smoked-filled bus which was headed back to Brasov. Several locals in Brasov told me that I should visit the Citadel of Rasnov on my way back from Bran. They said that it was a real stronghold and that I would be able to get some amazing photos. I couldn’t have been more grateful for their recommendation. I told the bus driver where I wanted to get off and he promised that he would give me a signal when we arrived at Rasnov. We couldn’t have arrived soon enough. Once I arrived, I soon realized I had no map of the city. I absolutely went in blind. I began walking towards the center of town and soon saw the citadel atop of a high hill with the Hollywood sign of Rasnov nestled under the walls of the fortress.
I continued through the center of town and saw no way of getting up the hill. Suddenly, a man waived me over and told me that I needed to walk through his restaurant to get to the entrance of the stairs to climb the cliff. I couldn’t believe this. I looked around for a taxi or for a freaking horse that could take me to the top of this enormous cliff. I had not such luck. I did some stretching, said a prayer, and began the hike of my life.
I saw what resembled a path. There was high grass, rocks, and broken slabs of concreted which I figured used to be steps.
The higher I climbed the more I realized how alone I was. It became eerily quite. I took several breaks to catch my breath but I kept climbing. I took some video footage to give you an idea of the climb. The video is a bit blurry, it should give you an idea of the path up the hill.
I finally made it to the top of the hill and found myself at what I thought was the entrance to the citadel. I turned around and was shocked by the gorgeous view that was in front of me.
I walked through the door and was again stunned by the view. The citadel was obviously restored, but it did not have the plastic look of Bran Castle.
Although I was inside the gate, something was wrong. I could hear people on the other side of the wall, but I saw no access into the main fortification. I thought surely there must be souvenir shops and restaurants nearby, but I saw nothing or no one. I walked through the second door and was again shocked by the beauty of the citadel and the surrounding area.
I had no choice but to keep following the path pictured above. I wasn’t in the mood to turn back and walk down the hill so I pressed on. I came upon the third door and knocked but no one answered. Suddenly, I heard voices and I realized there was a path way around the gate. I followed that path which lead me to the souvenir shop and a snack shop. In front of the snack shop was the ticket office and a tent where you could pay to shoot a bow and arrow.
Finally, I was inside the main fortification. The cost to enter the citadel was 15 Lei. This is a reasonable price and I would have paid more to help upkeep this amazing treasure of history.
The citadel is believed to have been built in the early 13th century by the Teutonic Knights. During the centuries, the citadel was used as a sanctuary from invading armies. During the mid 18th century the citadel was destroyed by fire and during the early 19th century the citadel was partially damaged by an earthquake (source from travel guide).
I was impressed with the fortifications. I tried to think back to the times when the fortress was under siege and how difficult it must have been for enemy troops to breach the walls and take the fortress.
I continued to walk around the grounds and took more photos. Here’s a gallery I’ll to see a glimpse of this enormous citadel.
While I was walking around the citadel, I ran into a Spaniard who was staying at the same hostel that I was in Brasov. He offered me a ride back to to town and I eagerly accepted. I was dreading going back in the bus due to the cigarette smoke. Overall, I had an amazing time exploring the citadel. However, on our way out of the fortress, I saw a small little trolly bus that takes visitors from the center of town to the top of the citadel for 4 Lei. I laughed and prayed that the photos I took while climbing the hill were going to come out awesome. I’m not disappointed.
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