Rupea was not even on my crowded list for touring Transylvania. But when you head from the direction of Sigeshoara towards the famous Biertan church, the road takes you past a hill on which a very picturesque and rarely mentioned Rupea is perched…
I didn’t know anything about her then but I couldn’t not visit her. It cost me a tour of some other places that were at risk of me not being able to enter anyway. So when I was already there, better a sparrow in hand than a pigeon on a branch.
Where is it located?
Rupea Fortress is located near the city of the same name.
It is located near the most important cities in Transylvania, such as Brasov, Sigeshoara or Sibiu and other important sites that are a must see in Transylvania, such as: Biertan Church, Viskra and others. so it will be easy for you to put it on one of the day trips if you go by your own transport. You can calculate the distance to them here.
The traffic was very hectic, so we could only take a picture like this, and here’s what it actually looks like from the outside,
In addition to Rasnov Fortress or fortified churches such as Biertan, Rupea Fortress is also one of those that managed to survive difficult times in a region that was once the border of Ottoman conquests.
Visiting such fortifications allows you to feel the spirit of that time.
A little history
What this fortress is known for is that this was the last refuge of the famous Dacian king Decebal, the same one whose stone head looks at you when you sail through the gorge of Derdap.
Decebalus fought many wars with the Romans, specifically with Trajan. Dacian territories were attractive to the Romans because there was a lot of gold. Decebal or Diufraneus (the power of the Dacians) after being defeated retreated allegedly to this fortress, made a feast, hid the gold and cut his own throat so as not to fall into the hands of the enemy.
General Maximus took the head to Trajan, as proof that it was over with the Dacians. They kicked it to show what happened to the enemies of Rome. All this was told to us by Trajan on his legendary pillars in Rome.
Much later, the first written data mention it in 1324. The fortress has the shape of a snail and consists of three smaller rings that were added later. The tower at top is considered to be the oldest.
To this day, some towers have survived. The gate tower that had a defensive role.
In front of her was a trench full of hot oil. Next is the bacon tower which is a warehouse that was used to store food. you can see the hooks on which the prosciutto hung. The watchtower where the chief guard and soldiers lived. The main tower is the largest, it is composed of three levels, it had 100 stone rooms. A well 50 meters deep was made in front.
In the 17th century, the fortress reached its heyday because it became the center of life of the surrounding community. There was a shop, a church, a fountain, a local market, everything that the people of that time needed.
It protected the local population with its high walls from the invasion of the Turks.
With the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, fortresses also lost their significance, so that Rupea also fell into oblivion. It was completely abandoned in the 18th century and remained so for the next 220 years. In communist times, they even wanted to completely demolish it and use stones to build houses. Fortunately, that did not happen and now it has been renovated and is ready for visitors.
Did I enjoy the visit?
In the nicely arranged parking lot, we were greeted by a rather cold wind and a Romanian in a house who doesn’t even know how to speak English.
All he had to tell us was whether the fortress is accessible behind those big medieval wooden doors or not. So that I don’t bother if I don’t have to.
However, getting valid information was like pulling out a porter’s teeth. His hands didn’t help either, which doesn’t mean he didn’t want to help.
The agreement somehow fell through to open the door for us so we can see for ourselves what we will do.
I have already mentioned x times that I was born prematurely, in the sense that even the 21st century does not understand the needs of the disabled, let alone the 13th century, so my expectations were reduced to a minimum. Good thing so. because inside, although they tried to make the climb as easy as possible, there was no place for me.
The fortress is of course always built on top of a hill and those who roll through life have absolutely nothing to look for at those heights. But I am still glad that I managed to see it from the inside, even though all the Romanian fortresses are quite poor.
Here people fought, killed, gave birth, died. The fortresses themselves were not made for pleasure, but to better serve the above-mentioned actions. Cruel places for strong people. Personaly, I am more of a castle, servants, silver plates, golden cups, etc. type of guy. However what is common to each fortress, and therefore is at the top of the hill, is a fantastic view on all four sides, to better see the next opponent.
Although fortresses are always a rolling challenge for me, they are still a reminder of bygone, wild times and they are a kind of time machine and I will continue to visit them until my tires wear out.
Were you at Rupea Fortress?
Did I miss anything?
Traveled and enjoyed,