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Fagaras History, Romania

Fagaras is located in the middle of Fagaras Land, not far from Satu Mare and Baia Mare, both sharing the same historic events which took place here throughout the centuries.

Fagaras, History – Medieval Times

Nowadays Fagaras can be seen as a town where old places and monuments evocating its long and troubled history mingle with recent structural changes from the latest years.

For centuries the small market town stood in the shadow of the imposing medieval fortress which resisted numerous attacks. The fury generated by the impossibility to conquer the fortress reflected over the town, being burnt down several times. The attacks were followed by plagues, flooding caused by the Olt River and centuries of oppression; these events create a general image of this hard tried settlement’s existence.

An important date in Fagaras history is 11 March 1291 when the Hungarian King, Andrew III, organizes in nearby Alba-Iulia a meeting with all Transylvanian Hungarian and Romanian nobles and where one of the present nobles said that he has documents proving that Fagaras along with another small village has been taken from his family. The king analyzed his request and the documents that the noble had and gave him back all the domains. This document is very important in the town’s history being the first time when Fagaras was mentioned in an official document. The fortress had a precise military role, representing the power of the feudal master. Its shape and dimensions were determined by the king’s or noble’s economic power.

The first confirmation of the Fagaras fortress dates from the XV century when the building was modified with an additional tower, the Red Tower, and then in the XVI century when a series of transformations started here. Working begins in 1583 with a significant exterior fortification of the fortress, strengthening the walls and creating numerous additional rooms for the nobles, their guests, servants and other such rooms. This was a flourishing period when the fortress was strengthened and endowed with modern artillery, the interiors were also beautifully decorated with sculptures and tile stoves and the interior yard with a fountain. This positive period lasted until the XVII century when it reached its climax, the fortress now looked like a nobility castle with a perfectly adapted fortification for artillery. From a stylistic point of view the entire building was characteristic for the Renaissance period.

Besides agriculture, livestock and the traditional crafts characteristic for the entire area, within the city numerous specialized crafts developed as well as commerce. The oldest documentary mentioning of a craft guild was in 1590 mentioning the shoemakers. The tanners guild flourished in this period, their products being very popular and appreciated. As a reminder there is a street in the modern Fagaras called Tanners Street.

Fagaras, History – Modern Times

In 1696 the fortress was taken over by the Austrians and housed an imperial garrison and numerous rooms were transformed in prison cells. In the XVIII century the involution period begins due to its exclusive military purposes and in the same time modern Fagaras develops near the old fortress. In the XIX and XX century the building gradually falls into decay loosing its elegance and greatness. Fagaras fortress represents today an imposing medieval group of buildings, which despite the numerous transformations, still keeps its monumentality and the characteristic features for the period it was built, being one of the most important monuments of the Romanian cultural heritage.

Nowadays Fagaras undergoes a wide systematization process which implies building a civic centre in the south west area of the fortress; this location will offer tourists the possibility to pass through different stages of the old and new history of Fagaras, in a relatively small perimeter and short period of time. In this triangle created by the old square, stone fortress and the new civic centre one can make a travel through time from the old feudal settlement to the further small town and the nowadays modern city.

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  • szbogiIn the Fagaras Mountains, Romania
    review by szbogi posted more then 30 days ago
    The day before we had driven to Fagaras city and there we found a pretty fine motel at last... There are many motels and hotels in the area but they are expensive or cheap but with bad equipment. We tried to find a cheap but nice motel because we had a hard day and we knew that we have to stay...
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