Rasnov Citadel is in a part of Romania with plenty of things to see and do. The medieval Citadel in Rasnov has been standing there on the hill, overlooking the roads for at least 7 centuries. However, evidence of far older fortifications has been found in the area.
You can see Rasnov Citadel and its surroundings in a half-day or a day trip from Brasov.
Where is Rasnov Citadel?
Rasnov is only 17 km away from Brasov, a beautiful city at the foot of the mountains. It is also about 180 km from Bucharest, Romania’s capital, which makes it doable as a day trip.
The Citadel stands in a strategic position above the town, with a good view of the roads to Brasov and Bran.
How to get to Rasnov Citadel?
From Brasov, you can take bus 120 at the stadium to Rasnov. The ride takes about 30 minutes to the town, then you can walk the rest of the way, or take the mini-train from the parking lot to the top of the hill.
However, my suggestion is to rent a car and explore the surrounding areas as well. There’s a large parking space at the base of the hill.
If you don’t want to drive, an organized tour is the best way to go. You can visit Rasnov Citadel, along with Bran Castle, Peles Castle, or even try some traditional distilled drinks in the area on your tour.
The Citadel in Rasnov was built as a refuge for the villages on the route between Transylvania and Walachia. Invading armies came through Bran pass, heading through Rasnov to Brasov and further into Transylvania.
The fortress was first mentioned in 1335 when it remained unconquered during a Tatar invasion. However, fortifications on the citadel hill go back a long time, to the Dacian era. The villagers turned the fortifications into a proper settlement where they could live for years. Rasnov Citadel had a chapel and a school inside the walls, as well as permanent residences.
It was protected by high cliffs from north, west, and south. The fortifications included 5 meters high walls, nine towers, and two bastions. To the east, the citadel was protected by the heaviest fortifications.
The only Achilles heel of the fortress was the lack of a water supply inside the walls. Legend says that during a siege, the villagers had two Turkish prisoners digging a well. It took 17 years to reach the water in the rocky soil, and during this time the prisoners also wrote verses from the Quran inside the wells’ walls.
Rasnov Citadel is currently undergoing restorations (January 2021), but you can visit the gate tower and walk inside the first row of walls, take some photos, and admire the mountains close by.
Other Things to See in Rasnov
This area is full of natural, historic and family attractions, so read on to find more things to do in and around Rasnov.
Just below the citadel, a theme park is a must-see for the children. Dino Park Rasnov is the largest dinosaur park in this part of Europe. It displays 100 real-size dinosaurs in the open-air space. There is also an adventure park, tree-houses, and playgrounds, so the little ones will have a blast!
The park is open every day from 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM during the week, and to 6:30 PM from Friday to Sunday. An adult ticket is 30 lei (about 6 €) and a child pays 23 lei (roughly 5€).
Valea Cetatii Cave
A few steps away from Rasnov Cave, Valea Cetatii is a beautiful small cave.
One more thing, inside the cave the temperature is around 8 degrees Celsius at any time. Bring a sweater or something, even if you visit in the middle of summer.
Probably the most famous castle in Romania, the legendary residence of Count Dracula is just a few kilometers away from Rasnov Citadel. You can easily combine visiting Bran Castle and Rasnov Citadel on a day trip.
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