On the citadels stairway

As I was telling you guys in the previous post, after passing through Brașov, Bran, Sibiu, and Sighișoara, we headed to the other cities that we had on the list. On the way back to Brasov, at the top of the mountains was Râșnov Fortress, one of the best-preserved citadels in Transylvania; it controlled through its strategic position the access to Transylvania. It was built in the 14th century.

From the base of the mountain you could drive until a certain point or on foot, but the climb was quite relaxed. Once you were up, the view is breathtaking. The fortress has two inside courtyards, one smaller, the other quite large. Once you enter the small courtyard, what your eyes can see is magnificent: the city of Rasnov and its surroundings lay into a wonderful landscape. The other courtyard is surrounded by high walls, protected by a tall tower of several floors. Thick walls, high doors, small windows and control posts, stairs that featured all the houses and buildings over tens of kilometers, clean air, and the smell of history; all of this invites you on a journey in time.

Cluj-Napoca was the next stop. We had nice weather all week, so everything was perfect from this point of view. Cluj is nicknamed “The Heart of Transylvania, because of its location; the documentary attested for the first time in 1213, under the name Castrum Clus. It is the residence of the municipality of Cluj-Napoca, an amazing architectural beauty, and regarding the population, it is the second nationally.

The Latin word clusa means “closed” and refers to the location of Cluj in a closed place, surrounded by hills. We walked for as long as we could, considering that everything was closed. We went on the Cetățuia Hill, a Habsburg fortification, which also served as a prison, now it has become a wonderful park from where you can see the whole panorama of Cluj.

As we were standing there, contemplating the beautiful city, we decided to go to the Alba Iulia fortress, which is very close to Cluj-Napoca. I had been there once, a year and a half ago, but I was always attracted to this region, so I couldn’t miss it. In Alba-Iulia the Union of the Romanian Principalities took place in 1918, also the place of the coronation ceremony of Queen Mary and King Ferdinand.

Now it was very empty, unlike the first time I had visited it, with summer theater, open museums, full terraces, streets crowded with people; now it was just quiet, sunny, peaceful. Maybe it looked more like what it once was, in ancient times, many centuries ago. We followed the quiet streets, marveling at the splendors of history that were still palpable.

I was always attracted to everything old, part of antiquity; I have always felt fortunate to be able to achieve what hundreds of other people of the past have been able to build, in the past times, to look closely at their creations, to follow their footsteps.

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