Transylvania is the area that represents the central part of Romania. Full of mountains and streams, ancient cities and lakes, Transylvania is filled with gems that lure people in. While in Transylvania, make sure to visit one of its oldest citadels in the Rupea town- the Rupea Citadel, commonly known today as a haven from the past.
This imposing citadel is 120 m high and is believed to have once housed 400 people. It was first mentioned in 1324 as one of Transylvania’s defense forts. The story goes that this was the place where the last Dacian King, named Decebal, took his life. He feared that the Romans would capture him and that he would become their prisoner. As you may know, the Dacians had a significant role in Romanian history. The Dacians and the Romans are some of the forefathers of the Romanian people.
Rupea Citadel is made entirely out of stone and built on the Dacian ruins. It has an enthralling past, being attacked by the Turks, later becoming a ruin because of its abandonment and remaining an amazing place today.
In 1716, Rupea Citadel had an important role to play. It became a haven for the people that were trying to stay untouched by the plague and thus was inhabited again. Its protection, thanks to the high walls, became vital also in 1788 when the Turks made a further invasion. The citadel was an asylum to those who needed help and protection during dangerous times. Many small houses were assembled inside the citadel throughout the 18th century, some of them are standing until today.
The fortification had to be abandoned completely in 1790, due to a massive storm that ruined almost the entire roof. Becoming a ruin for the next 220 years, there seemed to be no hope for this marvelous citadel to thrive again. During Romania’s communist period, the authorities wanted to demolish the citadel and use the rocks as a resource for the civilian constructions. Luckily, this didn’t happen, and after some time, the fortress was completely restored to its former glory.
Equipped with ten towers, the citadel is famous for its pentagonal tower, which is said to be unique in Europe. A quirk of the fortress is The Bacon Tower, where people used to conserve meat and bacon for the entire town. In case of a siege, they had plenty of nutritious food to survive.
The citadel has a very medieval appearance to this day. Since its restoration, there have been plenty of medieval festivals taking place here. The knights and ladies were seen walking on the alleys, and plenty of medieval songs were floating in the air. During the visit to Rupea Citadel, it is very easy to travel in time, when its walls not only offered a wonderful sight but were also a haven from the past.
Cover picture © Credit to: porojnicu
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