In the heart of historical Burzenland (Tara Barsei), on the roadway that connects Brasov to the Bran Pass, lies the old town of Rasnov and the ruins of the once mighty citadel of the same name.
Rasnov is close to Poiana Brasov (12 kilometers) and Brasov (18 kilometers), and is well worth a visit, for its citadel and other historic landmarks, but also for the beautiful views that can be admired in the region.
The history of Rasnov goes back over two millennia, when Dacians established a settlement in the mountains near Brasov called Komidava.
Rasnov was first mentioned in a document as Rosnou in 1331, while later the village and citadel were known as Villa Rossarum (The Town of Roses).
The citadel of Rasnov was built by local peasants as a refuge against the invading Turks and Tartars. The peasant citadel was erected on a steep cliff which conferred it natural protection, with five meter thick walls made of brick and stone, and defensive towers. Because locals used to take refuge within the fortified walls for long periods of times, the Rasnov citadel gradually became a fortified town. The citadel was only captured once in its existence, in the 16th century. After the threat of invasions diminished, and following a devastating earthquake in 1802, the citadel was abandoned. Starting with 1956, the fortification was restored.
The 2003 blockbuster movie Cold Mountain was shot in the Rasnov area, especially on the road between Rasnov and Poiana Brasov.
A 146 meters deep well exists in a corner of the citadel, and legend has it that it was dug by Turkish prisoners who were promised their liberty if they managed to find water. It is said that the prisoners toiled over 17 years to dig the well.
The Valea Cetatii Cave, about three kilometers from Rasnov, was discovered six decades ago during construction work. The cave has been a protected area and a natural moment since 2000, and is now open for visitation.
Adrenaline junkies will be thrilled to learn that a bungee jumping installation is located just three kilometers from Rasnov, in the Rasnoavei Gorge. The installation is unique in Europe through its height of 135 meters.
Rasnov is a good starting point for an exploration of the nearby Bucegi Mountains nature reserve, a place of magnificent scenery that teems with wildlife and unique flora.
The city of Brasov
A museum of feudal history now functions within the old citadel, housing a collection of medieval weapons, armor, torture instruments, clothing, furniture, as well as the skeleton of a woman that was uncovered during the archaeological exploration of the area, presumed to be dating from the 16th century.
In the area
The Peles Castle
Poiana Brasov is perched on a shoulder of the picturesque Postavaru Massif, framed by the Cheii Valley and Timisului Valley. At 1802 meters, the highest peak of the massif, Cristianul Mare, can be hiked in about three hours during the summer. Tourists can also take the cable car to the peak, which functions all year long.
How to get there
Rasnov is about 30 kilometers from Brasov by bus or train.