Rupea Fortress: One of Transylvania’s Iconic Medieval Sites

Diana Condrea
Diana Condrea
Diana is a tourism consultant, tour guide, travel writer and amateur photographer. You can find Diana on LinkedIn

Rupea Fortress is included in our one day tours and most of our tours in Transylvania

One of the most imposing medieval sites in Transylvania, this is a definite must during your trips across this world-unique destination. Halfway between the medieval cities of Brasov and Sighisoara, the fortress amazes through its shape, dimensions, and centuries of history.

Rupea Fortress

Rupea Fortress

A medieval outpost built by the German colonists

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 has its own towers and is separated by a curtain wall with distinct features representative of the military knowledge at the time of their construction. Founded by the German colonists, 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. Its three levels 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 of the monument.

Rupea Fortress

Rupea Fortress

By the early 17th century, the fortress 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.

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 was the last year when it was used for defensive purposes.

The fortress was conserved after 1838 by the local community as a historical monument and is today one of Transylvania’s top medieval fortresses.

Rupea Fortress Snail

Rupea Fortress

Alongside Bran Castle, Rasnov Fortress, and Rasnov Fortress, this is one of the medieval monuments that best survived the passing of time in a region that had its share of Ottoman attacks. A visit here is one of the best ways to catch even if only a glimpse of these bygone dramatic days.

Travel tips

Rupea is just a short drive away from the villages Viscri and Crit. Almost all the villages in the area still preserve their old fortified churches.

Read more about Rupea on

Rupea Fortress is included in our one day tours and most of our tours in Transylvania


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