Fortified Churches and Castles of Burzenland: a day tour to Prejmer Fortified Church, Harman Fortified Church, Bran Castle & Rasnov Fortress
Prejmer Fortified Church, Harman Fortified Church, Bran Castle & Rasnov Fortress
from your hotel at 8:00 am
but we can smile in any language
this tour is for everyone
well it might be ± 1 hour
Highlights of this day tour:
- Prejmer Fortified Church – the best-preserved rural fortification in Europe and is the only place in Romania marked with three stars in the famous Michelin tourist guide.
- Harman Fortified Church – there is a stunning chapel tower that you have to see.
- Rasnov Fortress -About Transylvanian history, Saxon culture, and architecture.
- Bran Castle – History of the Romanian monarchy and storytelling about Vlad the Impaler.
Read more about:
Prejmer Fortified Church
Prejmer village is situated in the Burzenland (Țara Bârsei) in a flat marshy area at approx. 18 km from Brasov. Primary colonization settlement, documented in 1213, Prejmer founded, by tradition, by the Order of the Teutonic Knights. Following the chase of the Knights from Burzenland in 1225 by the Hungarian King Andrew II, the town passed under the patronage of the Cistercian monks of Cârţa (Kerz).
The center of gravity of the settlements is the market, with the most important construction, the Evangelical Church. Surrounded by a powerful oval-shaped defensive wall with five cracked towers, doubled by a defense wall and moat. The enclosure includes commission rooms, parochial house, school, wells and a cemetery. Prejmer became the strongest stronghold in the southeastern rural environment of Europe.
Nowadays is a UNESCO World Heritage monument, Prejmer Fortified Church has the oldest triptych altar in Transylvania, dating from 1450. This fortified church was never conquered by the enemies, today it has the gates wide open for tourists and I would be glad to show you this well-preserved fortified church.
Harman Fortified Church
The beginnings of Hărman are likely to be found between 1211 and 1225, as the Teutonic Order expanded the Burzenland as their own territory, many German colonists came to the newly established sites. The first official mention was in 1240, the Church has a particular appearance of a 13th century Romanesque triple-nave basilica, and a massive 9 floors bell tower, being the highest in Burezenland. As early as the 13th century, the church was surrounded by an oval wall, which was bilaterally connected at the east to a chapel building. Only in the mid-15th century as a result of frequent Ottoman attacks, the complex was expanded into a fortified church. Therefore, the already existing churchyard wall was strengthened and remodeled into the 10-to 12-meter high main circular wall with a roofed guards walkway with embrasures and machicolations.
The Chapel Tower is just behind the church, built as a a separate chapel in 1300 it is integrated into the defence wall. Because the existing circular wall was strengthened during the course of 15th century, the chapel was also expanded into a fortified tower.
Bran Castle was built as a customs point on the most traveled merchant road linking Transylvania to Wallachia. It stands on a 60 m high cliff overlooking a narrow mountain crossing. It was built between 1378 – 1382 in a Gothic architectural style. Due to its 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 with the historical figure of Vlad the Impaler the bloody despot of 15th century Wallachia, who is surrounded by many other legends and stories.
On the 1st of December 1920, Bran Castle was gifted to Queen Marie of Romania by the Saxon mayor of Brasov. Seven years later it became a royal residence as a direct consequence of it being 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 “the Rockstar” of Romanian tourism being the most visited sight in Transilvania.
The Donation Diploma signed by King Andrew II of Hungary and then approved by Pope Innocent III, one of the most influential and powerful popes in the middle ages, with his Papal Bull in 1211, gives the strategic S-E region of Transylvania, called Burzenland (Țara Bârsei), to the Teutonic Knights Order, in return for defending the southeastern border of the Hungarian Kingdom against foreign invaders.
The Teutonic Knights plan of defense was building five Strongholds (quinque castra fortia), including Rasnov Fortress build in 1211 as a wood-and-earth fort. Rasnov Citadel was built as a strategic fort and was able to offer refuge, for short intervals, to the population of Rasnov and two other nearby villages in case of an invasion. From the beginning of the 16th century to the end of the 17th century, the Saxon population from Rasnov permanently inhabited the citadel which gave Rasnov Fortress the look of a medieval fortified Saxon village.
Nowadays Rasnov Citadel is one of the most visited places in Romania gathering tourists from all over the World.
Morning Pick-up from your hotel in Brasov
Today will be an interesting and educative day where you will get the chance to visit and learn about some of the most authentic Transilvanian sights.
Prejmer Fortified Church
After 20 minutes drive, we will arrive in Prejmer village where here I’ll guide you through my favorite sight.
Harman Fortifed Church
A place meant to save people’s life from the invaders now a beautiful place to visit.
On the way to Bran Castle, we’ll decide how hungry we are, we can eat before Bran Castle or after the visit.
Lunch @ la Promenada Restaurant
We will stop in Rasnov where I highly recommend having lunch here because they have Romanian traditional food and beverages. This is a family-friendly restaurant located at the edge of a forest in a quiet place and is known as the best in town.
After lunch, we’ll drive for 5 minutes and get out of the car right in front of Rasnov Fortress. For the rest of the hour, we’ll visit this iconic stronghold.
Evening drop-off at your hotel in Brasov
At the end of the tour, I’ll take you back to your hotel.
By choosing this private day tour you will have not just my full attention but also a car at your disposal with me as a driver.
I’ll be your guide for all the sights that we will be going to visit. Promise to try to answer all of your questions.
I know from my experience how unpleasant might be to deal with foreign money, so you don’t have to bother with this, the cost of the tickets is included.
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We accept credit card and cash as payment, after the tour is ended.