Autumn is my favorite season for traveling in the Carpathian mountains, and those who read my previous articles could easily see this. The symphony of the colors and the gentle sun rays turned any journey into an experience of my soul. This autumn I decided to take a trip to the Trascău Mountains (Romania), an area of great complexity and landscape diversity. Despite the fact that the maximum altitude does not exceed 1400 m, these mountains provide the visitor with a special beauty. The accessibility of them attracted a diverse population over the time, which is reflected in the typology of the villages and the historical sites.
My visit to the ruins of the Trascău Fortress named as well Colțești Fortress was like a lesson of history in a beautiful landscape.
The road from the village of Colţeşti and up to the fortress is accessible to cars. The daring drivers can continue their journey to the foot of the fortress, but I preferred to take a thirty-minute walk, so that I can enjoy the scenery.
The Trascău Fortress was built after the Mongol invasion of 1241, by an earl named Thorotzkay. It was his family house but at the same time a refuge place. This is certified by a hungarian inscription on the northern tower whose translation, according to wikipedia, is „The Fortress of the Thorotzkay family. Built by Thorotzkay Illés, vice-voivode of Transylvania, at the end of the 13th century. Burned by General Tiege’s troops in 1703. This panel was executed in 1832.” The fortress had a bumpy history, changing periodically their owners. In 1470, King Matthias Corvinus confiscated it but in 1510 it has been return to the members of the Thorotzkay family. Four years later, the peasants led by Gheorghe Doja devastated it during the rebellion against the nobility. The fortress functioned until the annexation of Transylvania when the Thorotzkay family lost its rights and, as a result, the fortress, as part of the Curuților rebellion. Today, the ruins of the fortress are listed as a historical monument of Alba County.
On the spot, I had an unprecedented experience. A hungarian association organized an event in which the hunting and defense practices of the past centuries were reproduced. The culmination point was the archery. I could see the specific clothing of those times and I enjoyed like a child every time the arrows reached their targets. The ruins are situated on a limestone cliff that gives it a majestic note and at the same time offers a stunning panorama over the massive Piatra Secuiului, the gorges of Vălişoara and the village of Rîmetea.
No matter the season, these places are so beautiful that it is a pitty if you do not visit them.