I left the Cheile Rasnoavei Campsite this morning and began to drive to a new place near to Sibiu. En-route, I realized that we were passing through the town of Fagaras. The Fagaras Fortress was on my list of places to visit, so I decided to stop and see it whilst I was in the vicinity.
Fagaras Fortress dates back to the 14th century. Between the 16th and 17th centuries, the ancient inner castle was converted to a Renaissance residence. It subsequently was used by the Austrians for purely military purposes and fell into ruin. Between 1948 and 1960 it was used as a political prison by the communist regime. Restoration took place between 1964 and 1977.
There is a museum section inside the fortress where the ‘photo tax’ is strictly enforced (but there was nothing really worth photographing anyway). I wandered around the grounds and took a look inside one of the towers but didn’t find anything to get excited about.
Next to the Fortress is Fagaras Cathedral that is in the process of being restored.
After visiting the Fortress, I continued my journey to the town of Saliste where I booked into the Campsite Salisteanca. Saliste is to the west of Sibiu and should provide a useful base for sightseeing in the area.
After setting up the tent about 3.00pm, it was a nice hot day so I took a stroll around the town and visited two local historical churches.
The first was the Church of the Ascension of Christ and Saint Oprea (no – not Oprah!). The church itself (which dates to 1761) was closed but I wandered around the exterior and took some photos. Oprea was a Romanian peasant who lived in Saliste in the middle of the 18th century. He was famous for travelling three times to Vienna to ask the Empress to grant religious freedom to believers of the Romanian Orthodox Church. He was incarcerated for his beliefs and died in prison. For this he became a saint.
Next, I walked up a hill to find the Grui Church for the Nativity of St. John the Baptist. This brick and stone church was completed in 1742. The bell tower was added in 1816.
As I began the 1.5km walk back to the campsite, I saw that the sky had become very dark. There was a storm coming. Fortunately, I made it back before the thunderstorm so that I could close up the tent and the Defender windows.
I’m hoping to visit the Corvinesti Castle in Hunedoara tomorrow, so hopefully the storm passes over and we get a clear day tomorrow.