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Fagaras Fortress, Transylvania domain, princely and aristocratic fortress

Fagaras Fortress, Transylvania domain, princely and aristocratic fortress – city Fagaras Fortress article with photos

Fagaras Fortress, Transylvania domain, princely and aristocratic fortress view both side

Fagaras Fortress, Transylvania domain, princely and aristocratic fortress view both side

The center of the one of the largest domains from Transylvania, which in 1632 comprised 62 villages, Fagaras Fortress was, starting from the second half of the sixteenth century and especially during the seventeenth century, a important noble and princely residence.

 

The construction of a fortified point at Fagaras must be related in relation with its strategic position – at a halfway trade from Sibiu and Brasov and in the vicinity of Romanian Land (of whose history has been linked to), possession of the city proved to be very important for rulers and princes of Transylvania.  Stefan Mailat and Gaspar Beches used it as part of support in the struggle for the throne of Transylvania, Michael the Brave / Mihai Viteazu (Romanian) considered as a “citadel”, the Prince Gabriel Bethlen gave precedence over the city of Alba Iulia in modernizing the fortifications, and Mihail Apafi will turn the fortress, due to its strengthened in princely residence. Here in the city of Fagaras were held between 1670 and 1691 eleven Diets and eighteen delegations (smaller meetings), while in Alba Iulia fifteen Diets and three delegations.

 

The first news documentation attesting the existence of the stone fortress are from 1455 when it is mentioned a “castle man”, and in the next year Hunyadi, writing to the people from Brasov,  remind them of the “Fagaras our Fortress”.

Archaeological research carried out in the fortress at various stages of restoration revealed the existence prior to this fortress of stone, a wooden fortress rampart built around the emplacement of the current fortress.

Center one of the largest areas in Transylvania, which in 1632 comprised 62 villages, Fagaras Fortress

Center one of the largest areas in Transylvania, which in 1632 comprised 62 villages, Fagaras Fortress

The Fortress of wall, attested to the middle of the fifteenth century, presents a planimetric quadrilateral irregular, with the eastern side longer and defended by a tower outpost type barbacana at a distance of about 20 meters from the fortress. The enclosure was made of a type of a quadrangular embattled wall, interrupted by four towers – three of the bastion type and one round of dungeon type (which is also the highest tower of the fortress). The facing wall of the defense provided with embrasures there were at the top, behind the battlements a guard road made from the thick beams, masonry traces of which can still be seen now in some areas unplastered.

 

Typologically, at this stage, Fagaras Fortress can be defined as a military fortification defense. Like style of construction, the fortress meet in the sixteenth century fortification system introduced in Transylvania from Western in the fourteenth century.

 

The sixteenth century brings the most significant changes occurred in the city of Fagaras architecture that will make the fortress in a castle with a strong outer fortifications.

The initiator of these extensive works will be Stefan Mailat (prince of Transylvania between 1534-1540 and between 1528-1541 the owner of the city) that separates the castle plan (noble house) from the plan fortress (military construction itself). Surrounding the stone city wall with defense wall and tower which will include also the tower barbacana, with slotted for artillery canopy embattled respecting the planimetria of the old defensive walls. The interior walls are clad with brick walls, corridors thus created with different destinations – the homes of the ruler, the captain living room etc. Typologically, howeverall this transformed the fortress into a lordly fortified castle.

 

In the seventeenth century, architectural transformations determine the actual shape of

Fagaras fortified complex. Gabriel Bethlen (prince of Transylvania between 1613-1629), one of the most important builders of the city, drawn up in 1623 a plan for the construction and modernization of the fortress in thirty-six points plan which provided inter alia, the construction of three bastions provided with pillboxes, achieving a total of 600,000 bricks in a year by 1500 permanent serfs organized in three shifts, bricks needed lifting the bastions. Gabriel Bethlen will redesign the interior rooms of the castle, will build the loggia on the south side of the castle in the Italian style, open inner courtyard on six piles of masonry arches massive and imposing. The windows frames of the courtyards were simple but elegant loggia entries from assembly that have carved in mepla or in relief or embossed in the Renaissance style. Aesthetic taste of this prince, influenced by the Italian Renaissance (brought from Italy Murano glassmakers architects and craftsmen who will work for the princely court from Fagaras), inspired elegance and beauty of a special military more than utilitarian.

 

The overhaul also continued under George Rakoczy, Prince of Transylvania between 1631-1648, when paved four bastions, is built guardhouse, glued to the north side of the gate tower; Also in this period of time it is paved the moat of the Fortress, which in case of attack could triple its volume of water, repaired bridges of access – one on the east side and on the north side.

 

Between 1918 and 1948 here was the Romanian army garrison. From 1918 to 1923 there was camp for white Russians, the press noting the donations that Queen Mary / Regina Maria has done for them. In 1939, the Poles have found a haven in the fortress. Between 1948-1960, Fagaras Fortress was converted in prison for political prisoners, and by 1960 the city will be decommissioned and will begin extensive restoration works that have targeted the fortified castle appearance playing heyday in the seventeenth century.
Grand and stately Fortress of Fagaras, which Nicolae Iorga considers one of the “jewels of the country” quiet await “the recognition audacious acts of the past”.
website information source: http://muzeufagaras.ro/cetatea-fagarasului/
(Romanian Language)

Fagaras Fortress, Transylvania domain, princely and aristocratic fortress – city Fagaras Fortress article with photos

GO2 Romania Team / Freelancer / office(at)go2-romania.com

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