If you ever find yourself in Brasov, Romania, you will quickly conclude that a few days is not enough. This city has plenty to offer, especially for its size. Sights like the Black Church, the Black and White towers, Mount Tampa, and of course, the Brasov Citadel. They will all keep you busy and entertained. Not to mention taking a day trip to see the famous Bran Castle or the beautiful Sinaia Monastery. We were here for a week and what a spectacular week it was.
On this day we decided to go see a bastion up on the hill. We were staying in a cozy little 500-year-old hotel situated in the old city square. Every time we went outside, we could see that there was some kind of fortress up on the hill. Off in the distance, we could see some people mulling about. It turns out, it was not too far from us.
Kat and I are the ‘walk the walk’ kind of people, so we decided to find our own way through the city and up the hill. Now when I say hill, I am not talking about a bump in the road, but an actual hill that takes time and a little extra effort to walk up. After some zig-zagging through the city streets we found the trail up to the bastion. The path up the hill turned out to be a wonderful walk. There are plenty of options for steep and ‘off the beaten path’ shortcuts as the path curves through the woods. Every now and then, there would be some cobblestone stairs to climb. There is also a winding paved road that takes you there, but it’s longer and not nearly as scenic, being mostly used by motorized vehicles.
When you reach the top of the path it opens up into a field with the Brasov Citadel in the center. You should definitely take a walk around the outside of the walls on the wide, cobblestone pathway. It’s not only a nice walk, but gives you some amazing views of the city and some great photo opportunities. The outside walls show the expected wear and tear, and the cracks and peeling finish give that wonderful feeling of an old place packed with stories.
The gate leading inside was not open yet when we first got there. But by the time our walk around the walls had finished, it was open. The gate says 1580, but the fortress was actually constructed around 1524 with the first tower and wooden palisade. The Brasov Citadel was part of the strategically placed defensive works around the city of Brasov. It has changed its purpose many times, from city defense to Turkish and French prisons. It was even a quarantine holds during the plague.
The walls inside the bastion are decorated with shields and pikes. In the hallways, you will find wall paintings, more shields, and old candle holders. Plenty of doors and corridors, but mostly closed or just leading to locked rooms, presumably used for staff. The center piece of the old, cobblestone courtyard is a water well, which is supposedly 81 meters deep (almost 270 ft!). Well, at least when it was first dug up. There are plenty of lookout towers and cannons with stacks of cannon balls scattered throughout the complex.
Walking around the grounds of the bastion on a warm, sunny day will make a man and his family thirsty. Luckily, there’s a section of the defensive walls that has been converted into a nice little café. Kat and Little Bookie (Kat’s daughter) settled for some water and juice. I decided it was about time for me to have a bottle of some local brew. Basking in the warm afternoon sun with loved ones, nice conversation, and a cold one…. Good times.
Before we knew it, it was time to head back to the old square. After a few hours at the top of the hill, we saw all there was to be seen at the bastion. With the walk up and down and all around, it’s a nice 4 hour excursion. It was time well spent for a history buff like me and nature lovers like the girls. We headed back as the city of Brasov had much more to offer and our time there was limited. Please take time and let me know how I’m doing in the comment section down below. Now pack and get out there!