Discover 2 castles in Transylvania
Bran Castle & Rasnov Fortress
As a consequence of the invasions that come from Asia, the Hungarian King Andrew II emitted a donation diploma in 1211 where he gives the strategic S-E region of Transylvania, called Burzenland (Țara Bârsei), to the Teutonic Knights, in return for defending the southeastern border of Hungarian Kingdom against the nomadic Cumans. This crusaders, the Teutonic Knights, were under the Pope’s subordination.
The donation diploma emitted by king Andrew II of Hungary was approved and completed by Pope Innocent III, one of the most influent and powerful pope in the middle ages, with his Papal Bull emitted in 1211. The first settlements established or strongly developed by the knights in Transylvania were Feldioara, Brasov, Codlea, Rasnov and Prejmer.
The Teutonic Knights plan of defence was building five Castles (quinque castra fortia), Rasnov Fortress included. Build as a wood-and-earth shelter fortress on top of a 120 m hill in 1211, was a success in decreasing the threat of the nomadic Cumans in Transylvania. Rasnov Citadel built as a strategic fort was able to refuge, for short time, population from Rasnov and other 2 nearby villages in case of an invasion. In the beginning of 16th century the Saxon population from Rasnov inhabited the citadel until the ending of 17th century that gave Rasnov Fortress the looks of a medieval fortified saxon village
Nowadays Rasnov Citadel is one of the most visited place from Romania and gather tourists from all over the world with extraordinary stories and amazing landscapes.
Bran Castle built as a customs point on the most traveled merchant road linking Transylvania to Wallachia, Bran Castle stands on a 60 m high cliff overlooking a narrow mountain crossing. It was buit between 1378 – 1382 in a Gothic architectural style. Due to it’s placement and similarities to the description in Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”, Bran Castle becomes the legendary Castle of count Dracula. The name of the famous vampire, Dracula, is associated to the historical figure of Vlad the Impaler the bloody despot of 15th century Wallachia, who is surrounded by many other legends and stories.
On 1st of December 1920, Bran Castle, was received by Queen Marie of Romania. Seven year later it became a royal residence, it was the favorite retreat of the Queen. The castle was inherited by her daughter Princess Ileana and it was later seized by the communist regime.
Today Bran Castle is a “the Rockstar” of the Romanian tourism being the most visited sight from Transilvania.