The medieval charm of Râșnov

Râșnov is known for the fortress of the same name, and it awaits visitors with many other interesting spots and festivals that have started to build a tradition.

Since 2012, the city is the third resort with a ‘national interest’ status in Brașov county, after Poiana Braşov and Predeal. Besides the medieval fortress, visitors can see here the St. Nicolas Orthodox Church, the Evangelical Church, the Historical Center or take a walk in the Sissi Promenade park.

During the Middle Ages the rose was the symbol of the city, first documented in 1331, and a form of the word can be found in the German name of the place, Rosenau. The first Saxon colonists in the area were coming from a settlement called Rosenau, on one side of the Rhine, hence the name given to the place.

The place to visit in the area chosen by many is the fortress of Râșnov, built between 1211 and 1225 as part of a defense system for the Transylvanian villages. The fortress was conquered only once, in 1612 by Gabriel Báthory. In 2002, it hosted the shooting of several scenes from the film Cold Mountain.

In the city visitors can find the Sissi Promenade park, refurbished in 2012. The park was first designed under the name Elisabeta (Elisabethenpromenade) to honor Empress Elisabeth of Austria.

From here, one can stop by the old St. Nicolas Church, a historic monument considered the oldest orthodox church built with an elevation and remaining in the south east of Transylvania. A post-medieval graffiti with the year 1348 can be found in the old altar of the church and on the oldest part of the edifice, the eastern side. The medieval church was built from stone, with gothic elements. Equally old is the Evangelical Church, the place for the Saxon community in town. It is believed to have been constructed in the 13th century, with Roman and Gothic elements to which Renaissance elements were later added.

The Râșnoavei gorges is another attraction close to the city. Several mountain tracks originate here, the best known being Santinela Cheilor and Surplombele de Aur. The Valea Cetății cave is also worth a stop as it is part of a protected area, with unique fauna and flora elements.

If you’re not in town for one of the festivals that are traditionally organized here, among them the Historical Film Festival and the Rockstad rock music festival, you can plan a visit at the nearby Dino Park, the only such one in Romania. Opened in 2015, the park covers an area of 1.6 hectares and hosts 46 real-life dinosaur replicas. It also includes a museum opened in collaboration with Tara Hategului Dinosaur Geopark, where visitors can see an original skeleton of the Balaurul Bondoc dinosaur, a species of dinosaur found on Romanian territory.

Photo: Wikipedia