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Medieval Romania

Alba Iulia city

Location: in Alba County.

Description: The initial fortress, Balgrad, meaning “the White Fortress”, was built by the ruler Gyula during the 9th-10th centuries. The construction of the present fortress (Alba Carolina Fortress) began in 1714 and it was finished in 1733. The construction was realized in Vauban style after the drafts of the Italian architect Giovanni Morando Visconti at the orders of the Emperor Carol VI of Habsbourg. The fortress’s walls were made of thick bricks and stones taken out from the Roman ruins. The six gates of the bulwark fortress have been a model for the 18th century Transylvanian architecture.

Baia Mare city


Location: in Maramures County.

Description: The settlement was first mentioned in a document in 1327. Beginning with the 15th century Baia Mare evolved as an important trade and craft centre, counting approximately 30 crafts. Presently the city preserves some fragments of the walls of the 15th century fortress and some bastions and defense towers: the Belfry, the Butchers’ Tower, and the Mint’s Tower. The Belfry is 50 m high and it was built in 1445-1468. The old part of the city preserves numerous baroque buildings.

Bistrita city

Location: in Bistrita-Nasaud County.

Description: The locality was first mentioned in a document in 1264. The town entered into possession of the ruler Iancu de Hunedoara in 1453. The fortress of Bistrita was built at his orders. The city preserves the remains of the fortress dating from 1465-1575 which consists in fragments of the defense walls. Also you can admire the Coopers’ Tower.

Brasov city

Location: in Brasov County.

Description: The locality was first mentioned in 1234. Brasov became an important craft centre in the 14th-18th centuries, counting approximately 20 crafts. In Brasov city there can be found the remains of the Brasov Fortress: fragments of the defense walls, some defense towers and bastions: the Black Tower, the White Tower, the Butchers’ Tower, the Weavers’ Bastion, the Blacksmiths’ Bastion, the Furriers’ Bastion, and the Rope Makers’ Bastion. The fortress was built in the 14th -17th century.


Cluj-Napoca city

Location: in Cluj County.

Description: The locality was first mentioned in a document in 1173. Germans from Rhenania and Saxonia were brought in Cluj during the 12th century. The town is fortified during the 15th century. This is the time when the walls, the bastions and the defense towers were added. Nowadays you can admire the Tailors’ Bastion built in 1629 and after that restored during the 19th century. You can also visit the Cetatuia (the Fortress), a fortified construction built in Vauban style.

Deva city

Location: in Hunedoara County.

Description: The remains of Deva Fortress can be found on the top of Cetatii Hill in Deva city. The fortress was built in the middle of the 13th century. During the 15th century the fortress was transformed by the Prince Iancu de Hunedoara into a princely fortress. The fortress was destroyed in 1849 due to the explosion of the ammunition dump and after that fell into ruin.

Fagaras

Location: in Brasov County.

Description: The Fagaras Fortress was initially built of wood in 1310 at the orders of Ladislau Kán. In 1539 Stefan Mailath restored a part of the construction. Along the time the fortress entered in the possession of several princes: Baltazar Báthori, Mihai Viteazu, Stefan Csáki, Gabriel Bethlen, Gheorghe Rákóczi I, Mihail Apáfi. The fortress was built in Transylvanian Renaissance style, it presents defense towers at the corners and from the outside it is protected by defense walls and a water fosse.

Medias

Location: in Sibiu County.

Description: The locality was first mentioned in a document in 1267. Saxons were brought in Medias during the 14th century and the town grew to be an important craft centre. Presently from the medieval fortress we can see fragments of the defense wall and a few defense towers and bastions: the Trumpets’ Tower, the Stone Cutters’ Tower, the Wheelwrights’ Tower, the Goldsmiths’ Tower, and the Coopers’ Bastion.

Piatra Neamt

Location: in Neamt County.

Description: The locality was first mentioned in a document in 1387-1392. It seems that in 1446 Piatra Neamt was a settlement with Princely Court and in 1453 it became Princely borough. A new Princely Court was built at the orders of the ruler Stephen the Great in 1491. The Ioan Botezatorul Church (Saint John the Baptizer) and the Belfry (Stephen’s Tower) were built between 1497 and 1499.

Sebes

Location: in Alba County.

Description: The locality was first mentioned in a document in 1245. Sebes was an important craft centre counting approximately 19 crafts during the 14th century. From the medieval fortress of Sebes there can be seen fragments of the defense walls and some defense towers: the Tailors’ Tower, the Shoemakers’ Tower, the Semicircular Tower. The construction of the fortress’s defense walls began in 1387, Sebes city being at that time the first Transylvanian city which was fortified.

Sibiu

Location: in Sibiu County.

Description: The locality was first mentioned in a document in 1191. The Sibiu Citadel is the biggest medieval sit from Romania. From the old citadel we can presently see: the Soldish Bastion, the Haller Bastion, the Thick Bastion, the Butchers’ Tower, the Carpenters’ Tower, the Potters’ Tower, the Harquebusiers’ Tower, the Tanners’ Tower, the Ammunition Tower, the Barbers’ Tower, the Council Tower and the Stairs’ Tower. The Stairs’ Tower is the oldest medieval building left out of Sibiu Citadel, dating from the 13th century. You can also pass through the Stairs’ Passage or the Goldsmiths’ Passage or you can cross the Lies’ Bridge. You can admire the old houses from the historical center of Sibiu, especially the ones from the southern part of the Piata Mare (Big Square): the Haller House, the Fileck House, the Georg Hecht House, the ones from the Piata Mica (the Small Square) and from the Huet Square.

Sighisoara

Location: on Tarnava Mare Valley, 56 km far from Targu Mures, Mures County.

Description: The Sighisoara Borough was founded by the Saxons which came here in 1191. The locality was first mentioned in a document in 1224. Sighisoara was an important craft centre, counting approximately 20 crafts during the 14th century. The borough was fortified during the 14th-15th centuries when the town was surrounded by a fortification belt and 14 defense towers were built, each one of them bearing the name of a craft: the Council’s Tower, the Blacksmiths’ Tower, the Tinners’ Tower, the Skinners’ Tower, the Tanners’ Tower, the Tailors’ Tower, the Rope Makers’ Tower, the Shoemakers’ Tower, the Butchers’ Tower. Nowadays there are only 9 towers left, the most impressive one being the Council’s Tower (the Clock Tower). The Clock Tower functioned as the residence of the City’s Council until 1556.

The main attractions of the city are: the Clock Tower, Vlad Dracul House (Vlad the Devil’s House), the Artillery’s Bastion, the Dominican Church, the Evangelical Church from the Hill, the Schoolchildren’s Stairs, the Old Women’s Passage. Since 1889 the Municipal Museum of Medieval History and Art has been functioning in the Clock Tower, exhibiting archeological, historical and ethnographical collections. The Medieval Art Festival takes place once a year, in August, drawing many tourists. Since 1999 Sighisoara has been part of the world’s heritage, being included on the list of the protected monuments made up by the World Heritage Cities Organization.

Suceava

Location: in Suceava County.

Description: Suceava Citadel was built during the rule of the Prince Petru I Musat (1375-1391), having 10 m high and 2 m thick defense walls and a defense tower in every corner. During the rule of Stephen the Great the citadel was enlarged and strengthened. This is the time when the second defense wall was built, being protected by a ditch. The entrance into the citadel was realized by crossing a bridge with piers. In this citadel Stephen the Great died on the 2nd of July 1504. The Citadel has functioned many years as the capital city of Moldavia. In 1675 the ruler Dumitrascu Cantacuzino blew up the citadel at the orders of the Turks. The Citadel was restored in several stages: in 1875-1904, under the supervision of the architect K.A.Ronestorfer, in 1951 and in 1961-1970.

Targu Neamt

Location: on Neamt Valley, 44 km far from Piatra Neamt, Neamt County.

Description: Neamt Citadel was built during the rule of the Prince Petru I Musat (1375-1391), being an important craft centre and a customs point. The citadel was strengthened between 1475 and 1476, during the rule of Stephen the Great: the citadel’s walls were raised and thickened, some defense bastions were built, the fosse surrounding the citadel was dug, the access into the citadel being made through a bridge made of stone. Neamt Citadel was set on fire by the ruler Mihai Racovita at the orders of the Turkish Sultan in 1718. After 1718 it fell into ruin. The citadel was object of big restoration works after 1960. Today Neamt Citadel is considered to be a historical monument.

Viscri

Location: 7 km far from Rupea, Brasov County.

Description: The locality was first mentioned in 1400. Viscri village is renowned due to the Saxon peasant fortress which protects within its walls a church dating from the 12th century. The settlement was founded by the Saxons at the end of the 12th century (1162). It seems that when the Saxons arrived they found a chapel built in 1100-1120 by the Seklers who were defending the Hungarian frontier. Along the time the chapel suffered many changes according with the needs of the Saxon community. The fortress entered into the possession of the community during the 14th century.
Viscri village was included by UNESCO on the list of World Cultural Heritage.

Câlnic

Location: in Alba County.

Description: Câlnic locality was first mentioned in a document in 1269. Câlnic Fortress was built around 1200 and it was initially a nobiliary residence belonging to the Kelling family. The Fortress of Câlnic functioned as the residence of the Saxon Counts until 1430. The last descendant of the nobiliary family sold the fortress to the community of Câlnic. The fortress suffered some changes according with the needs of the peasant community in the following period (the 15th-16th century), an exterior defense belt being added to the initial fortifications. The fortress is dominated by a central tower, known as Siegfried Tower. The Fortress of Câlnic is considered to be an architectural monument.

Hãrman

Location: 8 km far from Brasov, in Brasov County.

Description: The locality was first mentioned in a document in 1240. The main tourist attraction is the fortified church dating from the 13th century (1280-1290). Surrounding the church, a strong peasant fortress was built between 1500 and 1520. The fortress was protected by 6 bastions, by 5 m thick and 12 m high defense walls and by defense ditches.

Râsnov

Location: 15 km far from Brasov, Brasov County.

Description: The locality was first mentioned in a document in 1331. The peasant fortress was built in several stages during the 14th-17th centuries and it was protected by 9 defense towers and a 5 m high defense wall.

Rupea

Location: 63 km far from Brasov, Brasov County.

Description: The locality was first mentioned in 1324. Cohalm Fortress was built in several stages during the 13th-17th century. Rupea (Cohalm) was an important borough during the 15th century, counting approximately 12 crafts.

Prejmer

Location: in Brasov County.

Description: The locality was first mentioned in a document in 1240. The peasant fortress was built during the 15th-16th centuries. The fortress was protected by defense towers, by 14 m high and 6 m thick defense walls and by a fosse. Inside the fortress there is an Evangelical Church. The church is considered to be one of the biggest fortified churches from the south-eastern Europe.

Orastie

Location: 26 km far from Deva, Hunedoara County.

Description: The locality was first mentioned in a document in 1224. Orastie Fortress was built during the 14th-15th centuries, being at that time renowned as an important borough. The fortress was afterwards enlarged during the 16th-17th centuries.

Targu Mures

Location: in Mures County.

Description: The locality was mentioned in a document dating from 1300. Targu Mures was an important borough during the 15th century. This is the time when the first fortifications were made: the Skinners’ Bastion, the Tailors’ Bastion, the Shoemakers’ Bastion, the Potters’ Bastion, and the Butchers’ Bastion. The town was attacked by the troops led by the General Giorgio Basta in 1601-1602 and it was seriously damaged. The town was reconstructed between 1602 and 1653 and new fortifications were added: a defense belt and bastions (the Coopers’ Bastion, the Tanners’ Bastion).

Targoviste

Location: 72 km far from Bucharest, Dambovita County.

Description: The locality was first mentioned in a document in 1396. The town functioned as the capital city of Tara Romaneasca Province (in the southern part of Romania) until 1659, when the ruler Gheorghe Ghica moved to Bucharest. The town was fortified in 1645. This is the time when the fosses, the bastions and the precinct earthwork wall were realized. The main tourist attraction of the town is the Princely Court Ensemble which includes the Big Princely Church, the Small Princely Church and the ruins of the Princely Palace (built during the 14th-17th centuries), all of them being dominated by Chindiei Tower. Chindiei Tower is 27 m high and it was built during the second half of the 15th century. Its present appearance is dating from 1847-1851, when at the orders of the ruler Gheorghe Bibescu the tower was restored.

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