The following is an excerpt from the book Single White Female Backpacker from the Teresa the Traveler Series.
Just as he promised, Claudiu, showed up first thing in the morning to take us on a private tour of Transylvania and we became fast friends. Born and raised in the Brasov area, 30-year old Claudiu had a quiet charm that put people at ease. He was all about pleasing his clients going to extreme measures (as we later found out) to make that happen.
Our first stop was in a town 15 km from Brasov called Rasnov where we visited the medieval Rasnov Fortress nestled in the Carpathian Mountains 200 meters above the town. Rasnov was destroyed in the Middle Ages by numerous invasions such that the citizens would take refuge in the fortress during long sieges. The fortress contained about 30 houses, a school and chapel, included 9 towers, 2 bastions and a drawbridge for defence.
In the center was a huge 143 meter deep well that according to legend was built by two Turkish prisoners in response to a concern about the availability of fresh water. It is said that it took them 17 years to dig and they were promised their freedom once they finished but upon completion all they received was a one way ticket to the afterlife, which come to think of it, is the ultimate freedom.
Unfortunately, we were there in the off season so some of the displays were in winter storage but we did have the benefit of being amongst a handful of people visiting the usually bustling fortress.
As we walked into the first room we looked down on the floor and under a sheet of glass lay a skeleton in a stone casket – it was kind of creepy but we were in Transylvania so I guess it was to be expected. Medieval torture devices such as a cage in which they hung people exposing them to the elements as well as a rack where prisoners were shackled and whipped was on display. The fetish community would love this place!
The best part of the fortress was the amazing view it provided of Rasnov and the surrounding Carpathian Mountains. Claudiu told us that the movie Cold Mountain starring Nicole Kidman was filmed in the area. How cool is that?