Făgăraş Castle

Făgăraş Castle


Location: Braşov County Map

Constructed: 1310


Făgărașului Citadel is located in the very center of Făgăraș municipality, in Brașov County, Transylvania, Romania.



The construction of the fortress began in 1310, on the site of an older earth and wood fortification from the 12th century. The purpose of building the fortress was eminently strategic, more precisely for the defense of southeastern Transylvania from the incursions of the Tatars and the Ottomans.

In 1526, after becoming voivode of Transylvania, Ștefan Mailat, son of a boyar from the region, took possession of Făgăraş and the surrounding domains and started the transformation of the fortress into a real fortified fortress. The defensive walls were doubled in thickness starting from the inside. New spaces were arranged in rooms and vaulted halls. In 1541, the Ottomans led by Mustafa Pasha attacked the fortress. Mailat fell in the race and was held prisoner in the prison of the Citadel of the Seven Towers (Edikule) in Constantinople, where he died 10 years later.

In 1599, Mihai the Brave occupied the fortress, gave it to his wife, Mrs. Stanca, along with the domain, and, becoming prince of Transylvania, sheltered his family and royal treasury here, a few years later.

In 1617, the last two levels of the southwest tower (donjon), also known as the Red Tower, which has five levels, were raised.

During the 17th century, with brief interruptions, Făgărașul was a true capital of the principality of Transylvania, the citadel becoming the residence of the princes of Transylvania. The Transylvanian Diet met here in 11 rows.

In 1630 the defense moat surrounding the fortress was widened and connected by a secret canal to the Olt river. A folding bridge was installed at the entrance. Later, the cellars were converted into dungeons where rebellious serfs were imprisoned.

In 1657, the princess-consort Zsuzsanna Lorántffy (wife of Prince Gheorghe Rákóczi I), mistress of the Făgăraş Citadel, established the first school (medium level) with Romanian language of instruction, in Făgăraș, which operated under the patronage of the princess.

After Transylvania came under Habsburg rule, in 1696, the Făgăraş Fortress was taken over by the Austrians and became a barracks, starting in 1699, and a military prison.

In 1721, Făgărașul became the headquarters of the Romanian Episcopate United with Rome (Greek-Catholic), the bishop's residence being on the first floor of the south wing of the castle. But bishop Ioan Giurgiu Patachi preferred to live at Brukenthal Castle from Sâmbăta de Jos, and Inocentiu Micu-Klein moved his episcopal residence, through an exchange of properties, from Făgăraș to Blaj in 1737.

Nicolae Iorga visited the fortress in 1903 and found it close to ruin.

Between 1948 and 1960, the fortress served as a prison for opponents of the communist system in Țara Făgăraşului, political prisoners, Făgăraşului becoming one of the prisons in the Romanian Gulag system.

In the following years (1965-1977) repair, restoration and conservation work was done.



Currently, the citadel houses the "Valer Literat" Făgăraș Country Museum, as well as the Municipal Library.