The City Hall Fagaras, supported by the Local Council Fagaras, the Community Centre Fagaras and The Promoting Centre of the Traditional Culture Brasov organized within August 17-20 ?The Fagaras?s Days?, an event dedicated to the anniversary of 715 years since the locality?s first attestation. The feast gathered thousands of spectators, among which Romanian and foreign tourists. Most of the inhabitants working abroad returned in the Citadel to attend an exceptional display, including a medieval costume parade and a magnificent procession of the ancient knights of Brasov and Medias. The feasts also included a folkloric show, concerts, surprises, fireworks and lot of beer.
Tragedies and Triumphs
The locality has been first mentioned in medieval documents in 1291, although Fagaras seems to be even more ancient. The development of the city, patterned upon the cities of Transylvania, succeeded outside the stronghold?s walls.
Erected as defence point of the south-eastern Transylvania, the citadel Fagaras has quickly become a redoubt against the ingressions of the Tartars and the Turks. The stronghold and the surrounding estates entered in 1526 under the rule of the Transylvanian voivode Stefan Mailath, the son of a Romanian squire. Led by Mustapha Pasha, the Turks attack the citadel in 1541, decoy and capture the voievode. He would die 10 years later, imprisoned in the grimly gaol Yedicule (Seven Towers). In 1599 Michael the Brave enters the stronghold in triumph; the old citadel remained faithful to him; during the hard period of the nobility uprising, the prince and his family were hosted here. The bust of Lady Stanca, the princess his wife, placed at the entry, still reminds those tragic moments.
Residence of the Princes
Except for short interruptions, the Citadel has been the residence of the Transylvanian princes. The Diet room, located at the first floor, hosted four gatherings; one of them was attended by the Wallachian prince Serban Cantacuzino. In 1630, the ditch surrounding the citadel has been extended and connected through a secret canal to river Olt; a folding bridge has been built at the entrance, easy to remove when danger arose. In the course of time, the sheds and the cellars became cells where mutinous peasants were thrown. Nobody ever conquered the citadel.
Museum ?Valeriu Literat?
The Castle within the Citadel has 85 rooms and hosts the Tara Fagarasului Museum ?Valeriu Literat?, administrated by the manager Gheorghe Dragota. Along with the museologists under his command, he pleads for the renewal of the restoration process. The Museum houses over 17.000 artefacts, representing the ethnographic and artistic history of Tara Fagarasului; only 2% of them are simultaneously on display by rotation. The museum has been established in 1923, based on the ethnographic collection of Professor Valeriu Literat. In 1981 changed its name from ?Citadel of Fagaras? in Tara Fagarasului Museum. Its patrimony is extremely reach: archaeological collections, guns, numismatic, documents, ancient Romanian books, plastic art, traditional pottery, popular cloths, glass icons and various handicraft objects.
Popular Art Fair
On this occasion, the city hall organized around the walls of the Citadel a popular art fair, gathering well-known artisans from Romania and abroad. Among them got noticed Juhos Edith from Sfantu Gheorghe (straw canvas, icons on Byzantine and catholic style), Virginia Dinu from Bistrita Nasaud (beady artefacts) Simon Andrei Ioan and Gyorfy Domokos from Harghita county (Corund pottery). The handicraft is, in the most of the cases, a family tradition, perpetuated across the generations.
The main attraction of the ?Fagaras Days? was the medieval costume parade that took place within the walls of the Castle and the Citadel, in a very credible medieval ambiance. The atmosphere was created by ?Negru Voda? Cultural Foundation from Fagaras, led by prof. Florentin Olteanu, who also holds the office of Great Chancellor of Negru Voda Spiritual Order. A few local girls wearing medieval costumes embodied the pristine princesses, the wives of the princes who lived once in the citadel. The fires, the torches, the medieval images projected on the walls immerged everybody in an unforgettable medieval evening.
The National University of Arts from Bucharest, along with the ?Negru Voda? Foundation Fagaras are unfolding a peculiar project by experimenting traditional technologies within the Citadel. The research topic: ?The Space ? Fire and Water? in Fagaras Citadel. An architect, various plastic artists and several students work within the project supported by the City Hall Fagaras and Tara Fagarasului Museum. The forge and the traditional iron processing attracted a numerous audience; the performance of the blacksmiths descended from the Middle Ages made even more credible the princesses? parade.