Râşnov

Râşnov

Râşnov (also spelled Rîşnov, 'rɨʃ.nov; Rosenau; Barcarozsnyó) is a town in Braşov County, Romania with a population of under 16,000.

It is located at about 15 km from the city of Braşov and about the same distance from Bran, on the road that links Wallachia and Transylvania.

Its name is derived from Slavic "žrŭnovy", meaning (village or valley) "of the mill". In 14th century, German documents used the name Rasnov, but the modern German name, Rosenau, is based on a popular etymology, being influenced by the German word "Rose".

In Râşnov a citadel was built around the year 1215 by the Teutonic Knights and it was mentioned for the first time in 1331. The citadel was conquered only once in its history, around the year 1600 by Gabriel Báthory.

Myth

There is a myth attached to Râşnov Fortress. During a particularly long siege of the fortress, the citizens of Râşnov were concerned about the lack of available fresh drinking water. Luckily, two Turkish soldiers, having been captured earlier, were put to the task of digging a well in the centre of the fortress. These two men were assured that they would be given their freedom once the well was completed. According to local legend, it took them 17 years to finish the well, but they were still killed afterwards. This famous well still sits in the centre of Râşnov Fortress, and is 143 metres deep.

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