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The city of Rasnov was attested as tourist destination of national interest through a Government Decision on November 27 2012, as it is the third such location in the county, after Predeal and Poiana Brasov. In August 2009, Rasnov became the first tourist city of Romania promoted with European funds.

Photos by Simion MECHNO / AGERPRES ARCHIVE

‘Cumidava — the medieval fortress, the St. Nicholas orthodox Church, the Evangelical Church, the Promenada, the entertainment parks, the Valea Cetatii Cave, the Olympic Base — is an offer which could fill a few days in Rasnov in a pleasant, active way. Right in the vicinity of the commercial myth of Dracula, Rasnov wants to propose its visitors something else. A particular story, where the romantic legends with princesses and knights are restored in the medieval Citadel, the music of the history which is heard in the city’s churches — ?good air, good food, wise work’ as we could read on the back of a postcard sent from Rasnov in 1921. All this welcome us in the spa’s guest houses, brought back to life after half a century through the diligence and skills of the Rasnov citizens, and underneath the mountains’ shield, sportspeople from all over the world race on the biggest ski jumping base in Rasnov. Inspired by our city’s old crest, Rasnov — Rosenau we wish it became the Rose of the national tourism,’ the mayor of Rasnov, Adrian Vestea told Agerpres.

Ever since the Middle Ages, the rose used to be the emblem of Rasnov, and the German toponym’s root Rosenau seems to be also rose. The rose becomes the symbol of the Rasnov community, of the Rasnov city’s history and culture, an element of identification, representative, novel, spectacular, artistic and unique in the national tourist offer.

The first official attestation of the medieval Rasnov, under the name of ‘Rosnou’, is noted in a document issued by Hungary’s King, Charles Robert of Anjou, that refers to the place of origin of nobleman Nicolaus Magnus. Rasnov is visited by Hungary’s King, Sigismund of Luxembourg, and receives the right to hold fairs. The most important branch of the local economy used to be agriculture. The most renowned and rich guilds based in Rasnov were the Carpenters’ guild and the Weavers’ guild. Another special craft which knew a remarkable development in Rasnov was the glass manufacturing, attested back in 1526.

Although in the inter-war period several plants are remembered, they were small businesses, agriculture being the most important economic branch after the end of the WW II. In 1924, Rasnov exported to Vienna 40 wagons of barley for beer and over 500 wagons of potatoes to the Sibiu-based starch mill.

As regards the Rasnov population, the first detailed data are barely known since 1510. Then, the locality counted for 146 households, 24 widows, 10 poor, nine empty houses, four public servants, one ringer, 14 shepherds, eight houses with poor people. Dobridge, an area inhabited by Romanians, was a separate place, headed by a Romanian priest and a cneaz (the Slavic name for a local nobleman).

During the communist regime, industrialisation was the authorities’ option for Rasnov, the best known being the Chemical Plant, the Rasnov Tools Plant (FSR), also known as the ‘chief toolman’ of the machines industry of Romania. Neighbourhoods of blocks of flats were erected for the incomers from all over Romania to work here, in Rasnov, as the commune became a city in 1950.

The most important and known tourist objective of Rasnov remains the Rasnov Citadel, visited annually by over 200,000 ticket payers, and other thousands who participate in cultural events organized in the citadel, free of charge. In 2004, the new leadership of the city hall commenced to retrieving the citadel, following the 2000-2008 period when this monument was aggressively intervened upon without authorization by a foreign citizen, the new owner of the Rasnov Citadel. The citadels’ chapels were ruined irremediably, in the lower citadel, in both the Dacian and the medieval sites, it has been intervened to the citadel’s walls where various balconies were built, which finally led to the crush of one of the walls. The ruining of the citadel was stopped on July 3 2008, when the Rasnov City Mayor took back into administration the historical monument. In 2009, the illegal constructions were put down, and in 2011 the lower citadel’s reconstruction was commenced. Currently, several works are under way at the historical edifice. The Rasnov Citadel has entered Romanian cinema, as here were shot several movies, such as Dacii (1966), Columna (1967), Nemuritorii (1974). Annually, numerous medieval festivals take place here, historic movies, festivals for children, music festivals, rock events which attract thousands of Romanian and foreign tourists. Next year an entertainment theme park on dinosaurs’ evolution will be opened, a first of this kind in Romania, which stretches on 1.4 ha, close to Rasnov Citadel.

The Gorges of Rasnoava, the Valley of Glajeria are other particularly spectacular areas to be visited by tourists who get to Rasnov.AGERPRES

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Aloof from everyday bustle of the southern Turnu Magurele city, sitting in the open field on the bank of the Danube River, the Turnu Fortress (whose name translates as ‘tower’) stays since the oldest times witness to major events. The fortress has a controversial history and is shrouded in legend webbing. Today, the ruins of the fortress are covered by wild vegetation, which, as the locals say, provides an ideal shelter for scorpions.

Photo credit: (c) Luiza ABU-SALEM / AGERPRES PHOTO

The 5 km of the road exiting Turnu Magurele quickly introduce the traveler into the misty atmosphere of the times of the 15th century, when the wilderness of this place was a major trump in the defense strategy against the Ottoman threat. From the port to the fortress, the cobbled, sometimes rugged and cumbersome path leads one directly to the site reigned by history.

The thick stone and brick walls of the Turnu Fortress were largely preserved to this day: the surrounding vegetation confers it an air of mystery, that is also an invite to explore and get to know it. It was built by voivode Mircea the Elder as defence against the Turks, but at the end of his reign it came under Ottoman rule.

The Turks left the Turnu fortress turned into a Turkish garrison only in 1829, when the structure — or more precisely what had been left of it after having been through a destructive fire — was returned to the Romanian Principality.

The Turnu Fortress is often confounded with the Turiss citadel, but the truth is that the two stand in no connection to each other.

The version according to which the Turris citadel would be Turnu results from the writings of historian Procopius of Caesarea, who in his ‘De Bello Gothico’ written in the sixth century said that it was founded by Roman Emperor Trajan.

Photo credit: (c) Luiza ABU-SALEM / AGERPRES PHOTO

“It is a theory that did not get the validation of reality. It starts from the book ‘De Bello Gothico’, based on which some historians assumed it would be this citadel. The Turiss citadel is mentioned there as being the same with Turnu. There is another theory according to which the fortress dates from the time of Constantine the Great, namely from the fourth century AD. Finally, a third theory that got validated by reality is related to archaeological evidence, as archaeological research produces the best proof. The oldest archaeological layer dates from the late fourteenth century. The Turnu Fortress, which is located near nowadays Turnu Magurele city, was built with certainty at the end of the 14th century. It is known that it already existed in 1397,” head of the Teleorman Directorate for Culture and National Heritage Constantin Tintariu told AGERPRES.

According to him, the fortress was part of a fortification system built by ruler Mircea the Elder to fend off the Ottoman danger.

“It was erected as part of a plan of Wallachian voivode Mircea the Elder, in a move intended to strengthen, actually create a chain of fortifications with a defensive role against the Ottoman Empire. Mircea the Elder wanted to strengthen this fortification system in the current Teleorman County. Apart from the Turnu Fortress, there were another two hill forts that backed this defensive plan — the Zimnicea and the Frumoasa citadels,” said Constantin Tintariu.

Preserved to this day of the old fortress is a keep with diameter of 17.40 m, circular and polygonal enceinte walls, a curtain wall and a counterscarp.

The construction walls had a thickness ranging from 4 to 5 meters, were built of stone mixed with brick and reinforced with wooden beams.

According to the locals, the ruins of the fortress and the unspoiled wilderness of the landscape are a real tourist attraction. AGERPRES

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Bastionul Măcelarilor din Baia Mare face parte din vechiul sistem de fortificații al orașului care timp îndelungat a fost situat, alături de Turnul Roșu, Bastionul Dogarilor și Turnul de Sânge, pe una dintre principale căi de acces spre oraș.

Foto: (c) baiamare.ro

Cercetările arheologilor și muzeografilor întreprinse de-a lungul timpului arată că orașul Baia Mare s-a format și s-a dezvoltat dintr-o veche așezare minieră situată pe malul râului Săsar, la poalele munților Gutâi. Bogăția subsolului în zăcăminte cu o mare concentrație de metal prețios, aur și argint, a determinat configurarea unui oraș în care cea mai marte parte a locuitorilor a practicat, sute de ani la rând, meșteșugul mineritului. Nivelul de trai al membrilor comunității urbane era strâns legat de evoluția mineritului, cunoscând astfel atât prosperitatea, cât și stagnarea sau regresul economic.

Cele mai vechi documente scrise păstrate, care transmit valoroase informații despre trecutul orașului Baia Mare, sunt două diplome privilegiale emise de cancelaria regelui Ungariei Carol Robert de Anjou (1307-1342), din anul 1327, respectiv din anul 1329. În lumina acestor documente și a altora emise în secolul al XIV-lea și în secolele următoare, Baia Mare a fost un oraș bogat și prosper, bine organizat, un ‘oraș liber regal’, a cărui comunitate beneficia de numeroase libertăți și privilegii. Astfel, orașul avea dreptul de a-și alege liber judele, jurații și parohul, avea dreptul de a judeca, de a pronunța și aplica pedeapsa capitală, de a organiza anual târg de 15 zile, de a se apăra cu ziduri trainice de piatră, precum și alte privilegii, în special economice, care asigurau locuitorilor o oarecare bunăstare și o accentuată autonomie în organizarea internă.

Baia Mare a beneficiat de statutul privilegiat acordat orașelor libere regale până în anul 1876 când pierde și dreptul de judecată, trecând în administrația publică a județului Satu Mare.

“Pentru că vorbim despre un monument istoric de interes național, inclus în Lista Monumentelor Istorice din România, la categoria A, respectiv de Bastionul Măcelarilor, aș vrea să spun câteva cuvinte despre sistemul de fortificații al orașului medieval Baia Mare. Încă din secolul al XV-lea acesta era format din ziduri de piatră și cărămidă întrerupte din loc în loc de turnuri puternice, adică bastioane, care măreau considerabil capacitatea de apărare în fața unor atacuri venite din afara cetății, sporind astfel siguranța locuitorilor din interior. Documentele scrise, păstrate în patrimoniul arhivistic al județului Maramureș, consemnează existența în structura vechii centuri de apărare a orașului a mai multor astfel de turnuri. Astăzi, din fostele fortificații medievale ale orașului se mai păstrează doar două fragmente din zidul nordic de apărare și un turn de apărare, care s-a aflat în întreținerea breslei măcelarilor, cunoscut sub denumirea de Turnul Măcelarilor”, a declarat, pentru AGERPRES, muzeograful șef de la Bastionul Măcelarilor din Baia Mare, Oana Leșiu.

Potrivit acesteia, bastionul a fost construit probabil în secolul al XV-lea, monumentul este menționat pentru prima dată în anul 1636, sub numele de Bastionul Mare Rotund, iar în documente ulterioare sub numele de Bastionul Măcelarilor și Turnul de Sânge, aflându-se în preajma Porții de Sud a orașului, numită și Poarta Maghiară.

Tot în această zonă, la sud de Turnul Măcelarilor era și locul unde se executau pedepsele capitale. “Breasla măcelarilor, numeroasă și puternică vreme îndelungată, avea îndatorirea administrativă de a întreține turnul și obligația militară de a apăra orașul din acest punct strategic, când era atacat. În caz de primejdie, locuitorii orașului erau avertizați cu trei focuri de armă. Acest monument mai este cunoscut și sub numele de Bastionul de Muniții deoarece încăperea aflată la parter a servit într-o anumită perioadă la depozitarea muniției folosite în apărare”, a spus Oana Leșiu.

Are două nivele și o înălțime totală de 13 m. Parterul are o încăpere circulară, boltită și cu pereții străpunși de trei guri de aerisire. Grosimea zidului este de 1,5 m la bază și se diminuează până la o grosime de 1 m în partea superioară. Primul etaj al bastionului corespunde nivelului defensiv al turnului, astăzi având opt metereze (creneluri) care datează probabil din perioada unei intervenții din secolul al XVII-lea. Pentru protecția soldaților, meterezele erau prevăzute cu obloane din lemn sau metal. Accesul la etaj este asigurat de o scară de lemn dispusă în diagonală în partea exterioară a turnului. Acoperișul este în formă de con.

De-a lungul timpului, Bastionul Măcelarilor a fost afectat de evenimente, consemnate în documente, fiind refăcut de mai multe ori. Parțial a fost deteriorat în anul 1567, iar distrugeri mai mari, la fel ca și celelalte turnuri de apărare, a suferit în anii 1672 și 1689, când orașul a fost atacat de trupele imperiale austriece.

Bastionul a mai fost restaurat și în anii 1961 și 1962 și, recent, în perioada cuprinsă între 2009 și 2011.

Tot de Bastionul Măcelarilor se leagă, potrivit documentelor, și moartea vestitului haiduc Grigore Pintea, cunoscut sub numele de Pintea Viteazul, la 14 august 1703, în timpul răscoalei antihabsburgice.

Ultima restaurare s-a făcut între 2009-2011 prin proiectul “Restaurarea și revitalizarea Bastionului Măcelarilor din Baia Mare, Maramureș”, proiect finanțat prin Mecanismul Financiar al Spațiului Economic European (SEE), prioritate Conservarea patrimoniului cultural european. Proiectul a fost elaborat și implementat de Consiliul Județean Maramureș, respectiv de Biroul de Relații Internaționale împreună cu partenerii din România: Muzeul Județean de Istorie și Arheologie Maramureș, Muzeul de Etnografie și Artă Populară Baia Mare, Centrul Județean pentru Conservarea și Promovarea Culturii Tradiționale Maramureș, precum și cu partenerii din Norvegia: Consiliul Județean Telemark, Muzeul Vest-Telemark și Colegiul universitar Telemark, Facultatea de Artă, Folclor, Cultură și Pedagogie.

Prin proiect s-a realizat restaurarea constructivă a Bastionului Măcelarilor și s-a amenajat și dotat un spațiu expozițional la primul nivel. “În curtea exterioară s-au realizat lucrări de construcții ale unor spații cu dublă funcțiune: ateliere demonstrative pentru 10 meșteșuguri populare tradiționale (olărit, țesătorie, broderie, pielărie, fierărie, tâmplărie, pictură icoane pe sticlă, păpuși tradiționale, etc.) și standuri de vânzare artizanat și produse tradiționale, precum și clădiri cu dublă funcțiune punct de informare, dirijare turistică și grup social. Meșterii populari care își desfășoară activitatea aici transmit generațiilor mai tinere și tuturor celor care sunt interesați și doresc cunoștințe despre niște meșteșuguri care, din păcate, azi sunt pe cale de dispariție”, a afirmat Oana Leșiu.

Bugetul proiectului a fost de 1.788.028 euro, din care grantul a fost de 1.518.124 euro, iar co-finanțarea Consiliului Județean Maramureș a fost de 269.904 euro.

Bastionul Măcelarilor se află în administrarea Muzeului Județean de Istorie și Arheologie și este un spațiu vizitat, un spațiu al comunității, un loc în care s-au desfășurat, de la inaugurare și până în prezent, multe evenimente și activități culturale, destinate diferitelor segmente de public. Dovadă stau numeroasele colaborări și parteneriate încheiate cu instituții de cultură din țară și din străinătate, cu ONG-uri care activează în domeniul cultural, precum și cu instituții de învățământ etc.

De-a lungul timpului au fost și sunt organizate expoziții tematice: expoziția “Baia Mare în imagini” organizată de muzeul județean, “Apa în centrul științei” o expoziție organizată în parteneriat cu Institutul Cultural Francez din Cluj-Napoca, “Germana — limba marilor idei” expoziție itinerantă de fotografie realizată în parteneriat cu Forumul Democrat al Germanilor din Baia Mare și cu Ambasada Republicii Federale Germania din București, “Sub semnul lui Hipocrat” — o expoziție de carte veche străină de medicină, un eveniment în cadrul Reuniunii Naționale de Istorie a Medicinei, ediția XLIII (43), prima la Baia Mare, “Pintea Viteazul — 310” — proiect cultural realizat cu sprijinul Municipiului Baia Mare, “Farmec feminin…cu un pic de ajutor”, expoziție realizată în parteneriat cu Muzeul Național de Istorie a Transilvaniei din Cluj-Napoca, “Consonanțe istorice ruso-române. Centenarul vizitei Împăratului Nicolae al II-lea la Constanța 1/14 iunie 1914” — expoziție temporară de fotografie realizată în parteneriat cu Ambasada Federației Ruse la București și Centrul Cultural Rus din cadrul Academiei de Studii Economice București, “685 — Civitas Rivulus Dominarum 1329-2014” (685 de ani de la atestarea documentară a orașului Baia Mare) în parteneriat cu Municipiul Baia Mare și Liceul de Arte Baia Mare.

Spațiul expozițional s-a transformat într-o cochetă sală de cinema atunci când au fost proiectate o serie de lungmetraje, filme artistice, câștigătoare de premii la festivaluri de specialitate din Europa și de peste ocean, cele mai multe oferite de ambasadele diferitelor țări în România, dar și de institute culturale, adică seria de filme norvegiene, spaniole, franceze, italiene, suedeze, olandeze, rusești, unele aflate chiar și la a doua ediție.

Nu puține au fost întâlnirile meșterilor populari cu tinerii designeri din Baia Mare dar și din țară în cadrul unor evenimente precum Festivalul Recreativ ediția I și a II-a, organizat de Asociația Re/Creativ împreună cu noi, “Târg de meșteșuguri tradiționale” în cadrul evenimentului Toamna Băimăreană, Expoziția cu vânzare MANUFAKTURA CU POVEȘTI două ediții, “Primăvara cu idei”, “Cămașa maramureșeană — Ziua Universală a Iei” două ediții, “Meșter Mărțișor — Târg de mărțișoare și daruri de primăvară”, a mai spus Oana Leșiu.

Spațiul verde din curtea Bastionului a mai căpătat o valență în ultimul an prin înființarea unei mici grădini de fluturi, mai precis o grădină care încurajează biodiversitatea și care îndeamnă pe cei mici, în mod special, să privească lumea care-i înconjoară în mod direct, nu doar în fața unui ecran sau a unui monitor.

În prezent, în grădină cresc peste 140 de specii de plante ornamentale, medicinale și aromatice, iar cele două proiecte de promovare sunt “Săptămâna fluturilor la Bastion” și “Scoate capul din computer-Curs de explorare și dez-plictisire”, al doilea fiind desfășurat în parteneriat cu Biblioteca Județeană “Petre Dulfu” din Baia Mare.

AGERPRES/(AS — autor: Leontin Cupar, editor: Marius Frățilă)

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North of Lipova town, in full flatland, the stone ruins of the Soimos Fortress still seem to be keeping watch over the road between the historical regions of Crisana and Transylvania, towering over a section of the Mures Gorges.

Photo credit: (c) Paul BUCIUTA / AGERPRES ARCHIVE

The fortress sits on the Cioaca Tautului hill, overlooking the ancient road that led to the heart of Transylvania, and was probably built by a noble family after the devastating invasion of the Mongols that sweepingly raided Central Europe in 1241-1242; the fortress provides an outstanding example of medieval architecture.

Protected by strong stone walls, with access to the main gate allowed only over a wooden bridge suspended on pillars above a ravine, the fortress seems impregnable. Once inside, the visitor discovers its true heart, with the inner court and the ruins of the princely apartments testifying to the important role the Soimos fortification has had in history.

The Soimos Fortress was held by Wallachian and Transylvanian princes, but it also fell into the hands of the Turks for several times.

Soimos Fortress seen in winter
Photo credit: (c) Constantin DUMA / AGERPRES ARCHIVE

According to Dr. Peter Hugel, director of the Arad Museum Complex, after being successively owned by some of the noble families of the time, around 1450 the fortification came into the hands of John Hunyadi, but the official recognition by King Ladislaus V of its ownership occurred only in 1453. Under the reign of King Matthias Corvinus, the fortress changed several lords, eventually ending up with the king’s son, John Corvinus, and then in the hands of Margrave George of Brandenburg-Ansbach.

Just like other fortifications in the area, Soimos was besieged and conquered in 1514 by the peasant army led by Gheorghe Doja, as the fortress garrison joined the uprisen peasants.

After the defeat of the rebel army in the battle fought under the walls of Timisoara, Prince John Zapolya occupied the fortress for his direct benefit. After a few years, the Soimos Fortress became a princely residence for John Sigismund Zapolya and his mother, Queen Isabella Jagiellon of Hungary.

After 1540, the Transylvanian fortress temporarily becomes the residence of the Prince of Transylvania. Throughout this period it is being reinforced and beautified in Renaissance style, and the external outer bastions are also added. Visible in the courtyard to this day are some artistically carved stone profiles from the princely apartments upstairs.

Between 1552-1699, the fortress plays an important role in the defense of the Romanian Principalities against the Ottoman invaders; it was relinquished several times, and between 1599-1600 it passes under the rule of Michael the Brave.

The history of the Soimos Fortress stops abruptly in 1788, when it was abandoned and demolished.

Contemplating today’s ruins, the visitor finds out that, boasting stone walls over nine meters high, the Soimos Fortress was built on an almost inaccessible rocky crag that overlooks a considerable sector of the Mures River. The oldest core is built in a triangular shape and maximizes the benefits of the site configuration. Its old access gates with their elegant, late Gothic frames, are still preserved, whereas other fortresses in Transylvania were not that resilient.

Access to the precinct was from the southwest, over a bridge with a movable end-section, seated on three huge stone pillars built in the steepest ravine that also played the role of defense moat. Protected by its high and thick walls, the fortress is dominated by two towers, the most important of which is the old (almost inaccessible) keep, and the other is the shorter gate tower. The residential buildings are tucked inside the walls, especially northwards and southwards; they also had upper floors, with the main openings looking into a courtyard of about 800 square metres.

In the northern part of the enclosure stood the princely apartments that are said to have been inhabited by Queen Isabella and her son, John Sigismund. The floor where the rooms of the queen are said to have been were built of river stone and red brick on which the elegant frames of the windows, the gaps left by the tile stoves, and the gallery consoles are still visible. Southwards, an archaeological research conducted some time ago uncovered one of the most beautiful fortress chapels in this area. The water cistern, the location of which is known, is just waiting to be unearthed. Dating from the last period of the fortress’ life, the traces of a huge artillery bastion are visible in the northwestern part, outside the moats, whose fire mouths controlled all traffic on the main river of Transylvania.

Photo credit: (c) Paul BUCIUTA / AGERPRES ARCHIVE

“The Soimos Fortress is even today an outstanding example of medieval residential and defense architecture, and the walls with a history of several centuries, the access gates, as well as the ornaments preserved in the inner court are fit to term this ensemble as a genuine castle, an ideal destination for those who want to foray into the past of the Romanian fortresses. Yet the few restoration works carried out were insufficient to fully enhance the visitor’s experience at the fortress,” said Dr. Peter Hugel, director of the Arad Museum Complex.

It should also be mentioned that the effort to climb the difficult path from the foot of the rock on which the fortress was raised to the ruins of the old fortification walls is rewarded by a wonderful panorama of the Mures Gorges, as well as of the Arad Plain. AGERPRES

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The Medieval Citadel of Severin that overlooks the Danube has three possible origins attributed to its name, the first being associated with the name of Roman Emperor Lucius Septimius Severus, another coming from the Slavic word ‘severnai’ that translates into ‘northern’, and the last being religious, alluding to Severin of Noricum the patron saint of the medieval Latin church discovered within the ruins of the citadel.

Photos taken by: (c) Cristian NISTOR / AGERPRES ARCHIVE

The fortress was raised on the bank of the Danube, 500 metres away from the Roman castrum and the Roman bridge built by Apollodorus of Damascus. In the 19th century the area was discovered to also host a previous Dacian citadel that was depicted on Trajan’s Column in Rome. Archeological digs done over time have established as fact the citadel’s construction in several stages. Its heyday lasted from the 13th century until the year 1524, when the Ottomans under Suleiman the Magnificent destroyed the citadel. Its history is also tied to that of the Knights Hospitaller that name it Castrum Zewrini on the diploma issued in 1247 that granted them the right to settle in Severin.

History notes that in order to keep its status as a strategic point of defence on the Danube border, ruler Litovoi died in battle against the forces of Ladislaus IV of Hungary and later on, in 1330, Basarab I humiliated Charles Robert of Anjou in the battle of Posada.

The citadel of Severin would play, over time, an important role for Wallachia. When the Hungarians attacked Oltenia they would organise here the Banat of Severin, the first Ban (e.n. — High Steward) known to history being Luca who, it appears, had continued the construction of the citadel on top of the ruins of the citadel-colony of Drobeta. In 1259 the Knights Hospitaller retreat and the walls of the citadels remain in the sights of the Tatar, Bulgarian and Ottoman cannons.

‘The first citadel on the Danube, in 1524, when it was in the care of ruler Neagoe Basarab, was so devastated by the Turks that only the Tower of Sever, measuring 22 meters high, 9 meters long and 2.5 meters wide, was left standing. Within, in 1406, Mircea the Elder (…) signed a treaty of alliance with Sigismund of Hungary, Pippo Spano being the one chosen to restore the walls of the citadel’, said the Mayor of the City of Drobeta Turnu Severin, Constantin Gherghe.

The plan of the citadel was reconstituted, in 1936, by Professor Al. Barcacila who was executing archeological digs within the ruins, where he found a trove of archeological materials (iron bars, stone cannonballs, the bronze barrel of a cannon, etc.).

The citadel was rectangular in shape, the walls being built out of raw river stones bound by mortar. In the center of the citadel a chapel built using materials taken from the Roman castrum of Drobeta was discovered, as well as several graves, a forge, an Orthodox church, a Catholic Church and a fountain.

‘After its destruction at the hands of the Turks, the Citadel of Severin is attributed the emblematic mourning name of Cerneti (e.n. — blackened). The people of Severin built another settlement that was more protected from Turkish incursions about three kilometers north-east, across the Topolnita River. As such, the locality of today — Cerneti, that around 1602 was an estate of the Buzesti brothers, will become the commercial and administrative capital of the Mehedinti region, being used both by the Austrians and the Russians. In the years that followed, the walls of the citadel would crumble, covering up, in a sense, the history and memory of those who have sacrificed themselves for their defence’, said Gherghe.

Through a project financed by the Regional Operational Programme 2007-2013 of the European Union, the Drobeta Turnu Severin received 14 million euro to restore the Citadel of Severin and the Teodor Costescu Cultural Palace.

‘The reconstruction and preservation works, started nearly three years ago, will be finished by 2015. Then, the Citadel of Severin will regain the glory bestowed upon it, over time, by its builders. It is known that they were many, given that for 300 years, after each battle fought here against the Turks and Hungarians for the defence of Wallachia, the Citadel’s ?body’ was torn apart.

The Citadel of Severin is visited, daily, even now when it’s a construction site, by nearly 300 tourists coming from all corners of the world’, added Gherghe.

sources: agerpres

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