Tuesday, June 05, 2012
Romania was on the routes to the Crusades in the Holy Land, and this castle fortress was built by German knights, the Teutonic Knights. The citadel dates from the 1200's. Find the Teutonic Knights and their incarnation in many places, especially in the Baltic area as Malbork, see Poland Road Ways. Rasnov is known in German as Rosenau. With so much fallen into ruin, it was being reconstructed when we were there. There was no restriction on access, up and down staircases, parapets. This is the area known as Burzenland, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burzenland/ Tartar invasions stopped its development as a monastery. Little houses within the walls served to protect refugees from the invasions below.
It was under construction, renovation, when we were there. See it now (update 2014) at http://www.romanianmonasteries.org/romania/rasnov-citadel/.
Teutonic Knights and Crusades. After the crusades failed, the Teutonic Knights, then unemployed, regrouped as mercenaries in the Slavic countries, here, Poland, at their castle at Malbork. Once militarily trained, and ideologically set, the context for activities is mutable.
There is a lovely video on Romania that includes the fortress, at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6eXrgs5tHo. Visit and find signs not to a hotel, but to a pensione. Follow the rutted road, around and around, and within a wall is a fine, hospitable place to stay.
The coloring in the video is closer to the real -- camera flaw on my part here. Some photos come out purple.