The Făgăraș Fortress can be found right in the center of the city with the same name, in Transylvania.
The first documents attesting the existence of the stone-made fortress date back to 1455, when a “castle master” is mentioned, and in the following year Iancu de Hunedoara, was writing to the inhabitants of Brașov, reminding them of “our Făgăraș Fortress”.
The construction of the fortress was started at the end of the 14th century, on the site of an older fortification of earth and wood from the 12th century. The position was strategically chosen at the half-way point of the commercial road between Brașov and Sibiu, as well as in the vicinity of Wallachia (this land had been owned by the rulers from the south of the Carpathian Mountains between 1368 and 1464).
The Făgăraș Fortress was built to defend Southern Transylvania from the incursions of the Tartars and the Ottomans, and this role made it particularly important in those times. The fortress has tall and thick walls and is surrounded by a moat filled with water and a wave of earth, to resist the most powerful attacks.
Attacked many times, the Făgăraș Fortress has never been conquered throughout its history.
Following the battle lost at Mohacs in 1526, the Kingdom of Hungary is divided, and Transylvania becomes an Autonomous Principality under Ottoman suzerainty. The domain and the Fortress of Făgăraș became part of the hereditary property of the Transylvanian princes. Ştefan Mailat, the lord of Făgăraş (1528-1541), who became the first Transylvanian voivode (1534-1540), transformed the fortress into a fortified castle.
In 1599, Mihai Viteazul (Michael the Brave) occupied the fortress and gifted it to his wife, Lady Stanca, along with the whole surrounding domain. Becoming the Prince of Transylvania, he sheltered his family and even his treasury here, a few years later.
During the seventeenth century, with short interruptions, the Făgăraş Fortrtess was the residence of the Transylvanian princes. The Transylvanian parliament (dieta) held their reunions here for 11 times.
The fortress has 66 rooms, spread over five levels. Tourists can admire the architecture of the fortified compound, many of the weapons, armours, furniture and household objects of the time, and can also see the dreaded tools in the torture dungeons.
Within the Făgăraş fortress you can visit the Museum of Făgăraş Country “Valer Literat”, which boasts a heritage of over 20,000 exhibits.
A great attraction of the fortress is the Guard, made up of ten military (pedestrians as they were a few centuries ago). The soldiers are wearing armour and are swapping shifts every weekend. The costumes are authentic copies of those that existed in the 17th century and were made by original sketches that can be found at the Făgăraş Fortress museum.
Romania Color is here for you to learn about the beauties of these places.