Having coffee one morning, the waitress at the bakery asked me why I had come to Făgăraș. When I told her that I was interested in the castle she laughed and shrugged, as though it were a novel idea. She’d grown up in town. The castle probably seemed more a fact of life than a point of pride.
With the advent of canon warfare, the walls were thickened - actually, a second wall was built within the outer wall and the space between was filled with earth.
The courtyard was undergoing the most work, and was completely torn apart. The gatehouse too, which looks very nice in other people’s pictures. The Italianate arches and many of the grand rooms are the work of the 17th century Prince Gabriel Bethlen.
The next day I drove out on the E-68, hit the roundabout and continued past the clump of trees where I knew the castle was. So many people had been curious about me in town. The only visitors they get are those too worn down by driving to go any further, the kind that are gone in the morning. There are more dramatic castles in Transylvania, I’m told, and ones with more interesting towns built around them, but I grew to really like Făgăraș. It’s not very brash, but it’s worth a stop.