Chances are, like most people, you’ve driven up into Transylvania from Bucharest and are on your way to the popular city of Brasov. If so it’s hard to drive through Rasnov (you’ll know it’s Rasnov because of the big Hollywood sign on the hillside) without seeing the large castle looming over the city.
Despite driving past a few times, we’ve always had other plans such as a trip to Libearty Bear Sanctuary or Peles and Bran Castle so Rasnov Castle was overlooked due to time. It certainly looks impressive sitting there on top of the hill but for some reason, it isn’t talked about as much as some of the other sites in Transylvania.
Seeing as we were in the area again, we decided to finally tick it off our list and see how it compares to the other castles in Transylvania we’ve seen so far.
At the time of visiting the whole area seemed to be under renovation and judging by the reaction of the staff, the gondola we took up to the castle from the main square was newly opened. I think the attendant enjoyed the ride up to the castle more than we did, perhaps it was his first day?
After the exiting the gondola, it’s a pleasant walk around to the other side of the castle where the main entrance is located. This offers some of the best views as you can capture not only the castle but its surroundings. While we found Bran Castle (skip this bit if you haven’t been yet) a little underwhelming in its location, Rasnov Citadel is exactly as you’d expect, high up on the mountain and surrounded by dense woodland, a true fortress.
Despite the advertising boards (what is Dino Parc?) and many many souvenir shops, once inside it’s nice to see that they haven’t been tempted to do up the castle at all. It’s clear that in the summer months there is a lot going on here including reenactments, shows and the chance to dress up and play knight but, the castle itself remains virtually uninterrupted.
Arrows and numbers are marked suggesting the best route around the castle grounds and following them will take you through all sections before finishing at the highest point with views over Rasnov and even Brasov in the distance.
This is probably the most touristy castle or church we’ve been to in Romania, even Bran felt quieter however, it was also one of the most enjoyable. Despite the ‘tat shops’ as we call them and the number of people about, Rasnov feels like a real castle and it’s easy to imagine it in its heyday.
Being so close to Brasov and more than likely on your route back to Bucharest, Rasnov Castle is well worth a visit even if it’s just for a walk around the edge of the grounds to admire the views.
Have you been to Rasnov Castle? How did it compare to everything else you’ve experienced in Romania?