Rupea Fortress: One of Transylvania’s Iconic Medieval Sites
One of the most imposing and best-conserved medieval sites in Transylvania, Rupea Fortress is a definite must during your trips across this world-unique destination. Half-way between the medieval cities of Brasov and Sighisoara, the fortress of Rupea amazes through its imposing dimensions and old centuries of history.
Medieval outpost of the local Saxons
The center of the medieval Seat of Rupea, an important administrative unit centuries ago in Transylvania, the fortress expands on three levels – The Upper, the Middle and the Lower – each with its own towers and separated by a curtain wall with distinct features representative for the military knowledge and the importance of the Seat at the time of their construction. Founded by the local Saxons of Transylvania, part of their efforts of protecting their villages against Ottoman attacks, the fortress also saved their lives during internal fights like the 14th-century conflict with King Charles Robert of Anjou of Hungary.
First mentioned in 1324, Rupea Fortress extends on almost 11 hectares. However, its three parts were built in different moments, the newer ones enclosing the top fortification that most likely dates from the 13th century. A few small houses built directly in the basalt rock are still preserved on the highest part from the time when villagers relocated here during sieges.
By the early 17th century, the fortress of Rupea was inhabited by hundreds of people from the local Saxon community, life in the fortress having all the prerequisites of the time: a chapel, a parish, a local market, a fountain, a place for carriages, military towers and even a bacon tower where the meat reserves were stored.
The incorporation of Transylvania into the Habsburg Empire and the decrease of the Ottoman threat eventually made obsolete the medieval fortification system. The fortress was gradually abandoned in the 18th century when its inhabitants moved to the village from the base of the hill, 1789 being the last year when it was used for defensive purposes. Conserved after 1838 by the local community as a historical monument, the fortress was recently restored appearing today as one of Transylvania’s top medieval sites and an unmissable historical attraction of the region.
Alongside Bran Castle, Rasnov Fortress and the fortified churches from Saxon Transylvania, Rupea Fortress is one of the medieval monuments that best survived the passing of the time in a region that was once in the frontlines of the Ottoman expansion towards Central Europe. A visit here is one of the best ways to catch even if only a glimpse of these bygone dramatic days.
Rupea is just a short drive away from the villages Viscri and Crit. Almost all the villages in the area of Rupea still preserve their old fortified churches.
The fortress is also very close to Racos where you can find what remains of an extinct volcano.
Read more about Rupea on www.rupeaturistica.ro