May 28, 2016

2577 ROMANIA (Braşov) - The Făgăraş Citadel


Făgăraş, together with Amlaş, constituted during the Middle Ages a traditional Romanian local-autonomy region in Transylvania, on the Olt River. The castle in Făgăraş, whose construction began in 1310 and continued through successive additions until the middle of the 18th century, was preceded by a wooden fort, surrounded by a moat and wave of land, attested to 12th century. This fort, evidence of local feudal political organization as a voivodat, was destroyed in the middle of the 13th century.

In 15th century the fortress had a quadrilateral enclosure with four towers and bastions at the corners and a barricade type tower outpost on the east side. After the splitting of the Hungarian Feudal Kingdom in 1541, following the defeat of Mohács, Transylvania became an autonomous principality under Ottoman suzerainty. In this framework, the domain and the Făgăraş fortress became the property of hereditary princes of Transylvania.

Michael the Brave, ruler of the Wallachia between 1593 and 1601 and the first unifier of the three Romanian countries (Wallachia, Moldavia and Transylvania) had the title of "herţeg of Făgăraş". In 1599, following the campaign in Transylvania, he comes into possession of the Făgăraş domain and at the end of the year the city and the domain are given to his wife Doamna Stanca, becoming the place to shelter their assets and family. Michael the Brave gave special attention to Făgăraş due to its strategic location.

Since the 17th century, Făgăraş was the residence of the wives of Transylvanian Princes, becoming an imposing medieval center.Gabriel Bethlen (1613-1629) made in the open loggias on massive piles of masonry arches. Simultaneously, in the corners of the castle are built the four bastions an Italian style pillbox (three "with ears" and one in feather shape). In 1617 were raised last two levels of the southwest dungeon, known as the Red Tower, which has five levels.

During George I Rákóczi's rule (1631-1648), the exterior walls were doubled on the south side and north side and the space created was filled with earth, obtaining an 8 feet thick wall. Also, he builds on the northern part of the east side the guards building, and the defensive moat around the castle is widened, made deeper and connected by a secret channel with the river Olt. In these times the domain of Făgăraş becomes one of the largest and richest areas of Transylvania.

Since 1696, after penetration of the Austrian army in Transylvania, Făgăraş became Crown property of the Habsburgs. Since 1699 it became caserne and military prison. Between 1948 and 1960, the citadel has served in prison for opponents of the communist system, becoming one of the Romanian Gulag prisons. In subsequent years (1965-1977) have been made repairs, restoration and conservation works. Currently, the citadel hosts the "Valer Literat" Museum of Făgăraş Land and City Library.

About the stamps
The first stamp is part of the series  Flowers’ Clock I, about which I wrote here.

The last stamp is part of the series Floods - July 2005 (II), issued on August 31, 2005. In this year, hundreds of romanian villages and hamlets were covered by water, and the proceeds from the sale of this philatelic issue were used in the reconstruction of areas affected by flooding. The stamps illustrate drawings by children, selected following a competition organized by the Romanian Post, entitled Journey in the post's world (the second edition).
The Forest Postman, by Bianca Paul (0.30 RON)
On the Way towards You, by Daniel Ciornei (0.40 RON) - It's on the postcard 2577
Messenger of Peace, by Stefan Ghiliman (0.60 RON)
Good News for All, by Adina Elena Mocanu (1.00 RON)

References
Făgăraş Citadel - Welcome to Romania

Sender: Mihnea Răducu
Sent from 1 Mai (Bihor / Romania), on 23.05.2016

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