Orăștie fortress

Orăștiei fortress dates back to the first millennium A.D.. It was a smaller fortification, simply called by the Hungarian migrants ”Város” (meaning ”town”). Between the 11th and the 12th centuries, the first Christian stone edifice was built, the Rotunda of Orăştie. The town of Orăştie was first attested documentarily in 1224, as an important architectural and military objective. After 1300 when a stone enclosure was built, reinforced after 1347 and protected by a moat. In the same period, the entrance tower was built, while the rest of the bastions were built right after 1400. In 1572, the prince of Transylvania, Stefan Bathori entrusts the Saxon University of Sibiu with the maintenance and defense of the fortress, complaining about the disrepair state it was in. The authorities made the necessary reinforcements so that the fortification could stand a long siege. The documents testify the functions of this fortress, by means of its bastions: in one of them, gun powder was kept, another one was used as evildoers torture room and others were used as barns and storehouses for foodstuff, in one of these there was even an oven for baking bread. The fortress was rectangular in shape and had special gates, with drawbridges. The last restoration of the fortress was done in 1735, after which it has lost its military role. The moat disappeared, being filled with earth, and in its stead, the inhabitants of the town built houses, attached to the walls of the fortress.