Rasnov

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Râsnov, 18km south of Brasov, is an indulgence-only destination, adding another convenient castle stop on the way to (or from) Bran Castle.

The partially restored hilltop ruins of the 13th-century Râsnov fortress (Cetatea Râsnov) are very much worth the 15-minute walk up the steps from Râsnov’s Piata Unirii. Though it’s only slightly less all around impressive, Râsnov is dependably less touristy than Bran.

Among the attractions are a church, jail and gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains. There’s also a small museum with gruesome prints of torture, medieval cross bows and knight paraphernalia and a glass-top tomb in the floor.

The 17th-century, 146m-deep well was built by Turkish prisoners with the incentive that they’d be freed when it was completed. Apparently, it took them 17 years.

Râsnov fortress was built by the Teutonic Knights as protection against Tartar, and later Turkish, invasion. Sure enough, soon after it was erected, there was a Tartar attack in 1335. The fortress was finally abandoned in 1850.

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