Cetatea Râsnov – una dintre cele mai bine pastrate cetati taranesti din Transilvania a fost construita de catre locuitorii Râsnovului (se pare cu ajutorul celor din Cristian si Vulcan), pentru a se apara impotriva atacurilor tot mai frecvente ale hoardelor turce si tatare din secolele 13-14. Cetatea fiind construita de catre taranii din zona nu are un stil arhitectonic consacrat cel mai important criteriu in constructie a fost ca cetatea sa fie cat mai greu de cucerit. Astfel a fost construit din piatra si caramida pe un deal stancos din apropierea orasului. Zidurile au un traseu neregulat, au inaltimi de pana la 5 metrii si latime pe alocuri de 1,5 metrii. Turnurile cetatii si zidurile au fost acoperite cu tigla pentru a preveni eventualele incendiile cauzate de asediatori.
Cetatea are doua curti, una exterioara unde este amplasat un turn patrat numit Turnul Vechi si unde erau adapostite animalele, si una interioara.
Munca mesterilor nu a ramas fara rezultate, cu ocazia navalirii tatarilor in Tara Bârsei in secolul 13 singurele cetati care au ramas necucerite au fost cele de la Brasov cea de la Râsnov. Datorita faptului ca cetatea are o sursa de apa in interior – o fantana adanca de 143 de metrii, cei refugiati aici puteau face fata unor asedii lungi atacatorii renuntand pana la urma la asediu. Astfel Cetatea Râsnov si-a dobandit o reputatie de cetate de necucerit.
In legatura cu fantana din interior exista o legenda (asemanatoare cu ceea de la Castelul Huniazilor). Astfel legenda spune ca in timpul unui asediu râsnovenii au pus doi prizonieri turci sa sape o fantana in mijlocul cetatii si i-au asigurat ca odata ce au terminat fantana vor fi lasati sa plece. Prizonierii au sapat fantana timp de 17 ani timp in care au scris versete din Coran pe peretii acestuia (vizibile si azi). Soarta lor nu este clara unii spun ca ar fi fost lasati sa plece iar altii ca ar fi fost executati dupa terminarea fantanii.
Cetatea Râsnovului a dainuit multi ani chiar si dupa ultimul asediu din 1690, in 1718 a fost partial distrus de un incendiu iar in 1802 a fost avariata de un cutremur. In timpul revolutiei de la 1821 si a celei din 1848 multi revolutionari s-au refugiat in cetate.
In prezent Cetatea Râsnov este restaurata si poate fi vizitata existand un restaurant si o gama larga de servicii turistice fiind un exemplu pozitiv in ceea ce priveste restaurarea si intretinerea cetatilor din Transilvania. Ca aspect inedit turistii au posibilitatea sa admire intinsa Depresiune a Brasovului si Tara Bârsei prin binoclul cu fise instalat in cetate.
Râsnov Citadel is a historic monument and landmark in Romania. It is situated in Râsnov, Brasov County, in the immediate vicinity of Brasov city.
The citadel was built as part of a defence system for the Transylvanian villages exposed to outside invasions. A decisive aspect for building the citadel on the actual location was the route of the invading armies which were coming from the Bran pass and were passing through Râ?nov, on their way to Burzenland. The only chance of survival for the inhabitants of the area, inclusively from Cristian and Ghimbav was the refuge inside the citadel. Compelled to stay there for decades, the people of Râ?nov and the nearby villages turned the fortification into a dwelling.
Archaeological research revealed the existence of fortification traces on the citadel hill since prehistoric and Dacian times.
The medieval citadel of today is considered to be built between 1221 and 1225, during the rule of Teutonic Knights in Burzenland, although there is no evidence in this respect.
Because of the lack of an interior source of water, between 1623 and 1642 takes place the excavation of a fountain of 146 metres (479 ft).
In 1718 the citadel is partially destroyed by a fire and in 1802 is damaged by an earthquake.
In 1821 refugees from Wallachia (the resurgent movement leaded by Tudor Vladimirescu) retreat to the citadel.
Between 1848-1849, due to the fact that the locality is being crossed by the Hungarian revolutionists and the Austrian imperial troops, the villagers retreat to the citadel. This is the last mission of the citadel as a place of refugee and defence.
In 1850, due to the political situation and the diminution of the citadel’s defensive role, the fortification is abandoned, becoming a ruin. There was only one guard left who had to announce the outbreak of fires by tooling a bell.
Because of the two world wars and the set up of the communist regime in Romania, the citadel is restored for the first time barley in the years 1955-1956
The fountain legend
The absence of an internal water source leads to the limitation of a long term resistance. Because of this lack, it has been decided to start the digging of a fountain in the rocky soil, in 1623.
The mythical fountain
The legend around the fountain says that during a siege, the inhabitants of the citadel made two Turkish prisoners dig a fountain in the middle of the citadel in order to regain their freedom. The captives dug for 17 years, during which time they wrote verses from Quran on the fountain’s walls which can be seen even today. The fate of the prisoners isn’t doubtless, some saying that they’ve been released, and others that they’ve been killed.
The fountain was used until 1850 because of a broken wheel that caused its abandonment.
The elders from Râ?nov believe that deep in the fountain lies a treasure old of at least 300 years. However, recently alpinists have narrowly explored the fountain, without finding any trace of it
The citadel has a simple architectonic style, similar to the ordinary houses of the time and adapted to the fortification requirements. The peasants used stones and bricks for building the walls, and woods for making the gates and platforms. The towers and walls are covered with roof tiles for preventing the fires from besiegers. The walls are 5 metres (16 ft) high and the widest part is constituted by the South wall which in some areas is 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) thick.
The citadel is composed by two courts. The exterior court is located in front of the eastern wall, edged by a fortified wall and fitted with a square tower. The interior court represents the inhabitable area, having a better protection by walls and towers.
From South, West and North the citadel is limited by sharp cliffs of about 150 metres (490 ft), very hard to climb. The whole superior precinct is defended by exterior towers gathered in northern flank and western corner. The eastern side of the citadel was more vulnerable from the point of view of natural obstacles because its u-shape. To boost its defence capacity, the citadel owns in this sector the heaviest fortifications.
The eastern, western and northern sides are protected by a continuous gallery with two ante forts and seven towers. There are only two towers on the southern side which is more abrupt.
The interior courtyard is paved with narrow paths made of stone, which ribbon among the tile-roofed houses. Inside there have been conserved the ruins of a school, a chapel and over thirty houses fated to refuge the villagers and their assets.