Făgăraș is a city in central Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

, located in Braşov County
Brasov County
Brașov ; ) is a county of Romania, in Transylvania, with the capital city at Brașov. The county incorporates within its boundaries most of the Medieval "lands" Burzenland and Făgăraș Land.-Demographics:...

 (. It lies on the Olt River
Olt River
The Olt River is a river in Romania. It is the longest river flowing exclusively through Romania. Its source is in the Hăşmaş Mountains of the eastern Carpathian Mountains, near the village Bălan. It flows through the Romanian counties Harghita, Covasna, Braşov, Sibiu, Vâlcea and Olt...

 and has a population of 30,610 as of 2011.

Although the city has become almost totally Romanian-populated through Saxon
Transylvanian Saxons
The Transylvanian Saxons are a people of German ethnicity who settled in Transylvania from the 12th century onwards.The colonization of Transylvania by Germans was begun by King Géza II of Hungary . For decades, the main task of the German settlers was to defend the southeastern border of the...

 and Hungarian emigration, the diverse background is still obvious. The most important attraction points in the city are the fortress, Radu Negru High school, the Reformed Church and the local Catholic
The word catholic comes from the Greek phrase , meaning "on the whole," "according to the whole" or "in general", and is a combination of the Greek words meaning "about" and meaning "whole"...



The name is alleged to derive from the Romanian
Romanian language
Romanian Romanian Romanian (or Daco-Romanian; obsolete spellings Rumanian, Roumanian; self-designation: română, limba română ("the Romanian language") or românește (lit. "in Romanian") is a Romance language spoken by around 24 to 28 million people, primarily in Romania and Moldova...

 word for "beech
Beech is a genus of ten species of deciduous trees in the family Fagaceae, native to temperate Europe, Asia and North America.-Habit:...

" (fag). Another source of the name is alleged to derive from the Hungarian language
Hungarian language
Hungarian is a Uralic language, part of the Ugric group. With some 14 million speakers, it is one of the most widely spoken non-Indo-European languages in Europe....

 word for "partridge
Partridges are birds in the pheasant family, Phasianidae. They are a non-migratory Old World group.These are medium-sized birds, intermediate between the larger pheasants and the smaller quails. Partridges are native to Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East...

" (fogor). A more plausible explanation is that the name is given by Fogaras river coming from the Pecheneg "Fagar šu", which means ash water. Another source of the name is given by folk etymology to be Hungarian, as the rendering of "wood" (fa) and "money" (garas), with legends stating that money made of wood had been used to pay the peasants who built the fortress around 1310.


Făgăraș was during the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

, together with Amlaș, a traditional Romanian enclave in Transylvania. The first written document mentioning Romanians in Transylvania referred to Vlach lands ("Terra Blacorum") in the Fogaras
Fogaras is the name of a historic administrative county of the Kingdom of Hungary. Its territory is presently in central Romania . The capital of the county was Făgăraş .-Geography:...

 Region in 1222. (In this document, Andrew II of Hungary
Andrew II of Hungary
Andrew II the Jerosolimitan was King of Hungary and Croatia . He was the younger son of King Béla III of Hungary, who invested him with the government of the Principality of Halych...

 gave Burzenland
The Burzenland is a historic and ethnographic area in southeastern Transylvania, Romania with a mixed population...

 and the Cuman
The Cumans were Turkic nomadic people comprising the western branch of the Cuman-Kipchak confederation. After Mongol invasion , they decided to seek asylum in Hungary, and subsequently to Bulgaria...

 territories South of Burzenland up to the Danube to the Teutonic Knights
Teutonic Knights
The Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem , commonly the Teutonic Order , is a German medieval military order, in modern times a purely religious Catholic order...

.) After the Tatar invasion in 1241-1242, Saxons
The Saxons were a confederation of Germanic tribes originating on the North German plain. The Saxons earliest known area of settlement is Northern Albingia, an area approximately that of modern Holstein...

 settled in the area.
In 1369, Louis I of Hungary gave the Royal Estates of Făgăraș to his vassal, Vladislav I of Wallachia
Vladislav I of Wallachia
Vladislav I of the Basarab dynasty, also known as Vlaicu-Vodă, was a ruler of the principality of Wallachia . He was a vassal of the Bulgarian Emperor Ivan Alexander. In 1369 Vladislav I subdued Vidin and recognised Louis I of Hungary as his overlord in return for Severin, Amlaş, and Făgăraş...

, the territory remained in the possession of Wallachian Princes until 1464.

Except for this period of Wallachian rule, the town itself was centre of the surrounding royal estates.

During the rule of Transylvanian Prince Gabriel Bethlen
Gabriel Bethlen
Gabriel Bethlen was a prince of Transylvania , duke of Opole and leader of an anti-Habsburg insurrection in the Habsburg Royal Hungary. His last armed intervention in 1626 was part of the Thirty Years' War...

 (1613-1629), the city became an economic role model city in the southern regions of the realm. Bethlen rebuilt the fortress entirely.

Ever since that time, Făgăraș was the residence of the wives of Transylvanian Princes, as an equivalent of Veszprém
Veszprém is one of the oldest urban areas in Hungary, and a city with county rights. It lies approximately north of the Lake Balaton. It is the administrative center of the county of the same name.-Location:...

, the Hungarian "city of queens". Of these, Zsuzsanna Lorántffy
Zsuzsanna Lorántffy
Zsuzsanna Lorántffy , anglicized as Susanna Lorantffy was the wife of György Rákóczi I, prince of Transylvania....

, the widow of George I Rákóczy established a Romanian school here in 1658. Probably the most prominent of the princesses residing in the town was the orphan Princess Kata Bethlen (1700-1759), buried in front of the Reformed
Reformed Church in Hungary
The Reformed Church in Hungary is a key representative of Christianity in Hungary, being numerically the second-largest denomination in Hungary after the Roman Catholic Church, and the biggest denomination among ethnic Hungarians in Romania...

 church. The church holds several precious relics of her life. Her bridal gown
Wedding dress
A wedding dress or wedding gown is the clothing worn by a bride during a wedding ceremony. Color, style and ceremonial importance of the gown can depend on the religion and culture of the wedding participants.- Western culture :...

, with the family coat of arms
Coat of arms
A coat of arms is a unique heraldic design on a shield or escutcheon or on a surcoat or tabard used to cover and protect armour and to identify the wearer. Thus the term is often stated as "coat-armour", because it was anciently displayed on the front of a coat of cloth...

Embroidery is the art or handicraft of decorating fabric or other materials with needle and thread or yarn. Embroidery may also incorporate other materials such as metal strips, pearls, beads, quills, and sequins....

 on it, and her bridal veil now covers the altar table. Both are made of yellow silk
Silk is a natural protein fiber, some forms of which can be woven into textiles. The best-known type of silk is obtained from the cocoons of the larvae of the mulberry silkworm Bombyx mori reared in captivity...


Făgăraș was the site of several Transylvanian Diet
Transylvanian Diet
The Transylvanian Diet was the constitutional and political body of Principality of Transylvania, and later of the Grand Principality of Transylvania...

s, mostly during the reign of Michael I Apafi
Michael I Apafi
Michael Apafi was a Hungarian Prince of Transylvania.He was elected by the nobles of Transylvania on 14 September 1661, with the support of the Ottoman Empire, as a rival to the Habsburg-backed ruler János Kemény...


The church was built around 1715-1740. Not far from it is the Radu Negru high school - built around 1909. It was originally a Hungarian language middle school where Babits Mihály taught for a while.

A local legend says that Negru Vodă
Radu Negru
Radu Negru also known as Radu Vodă , Radu Negru, or Negru Vodă, was a legendary ruler of Wallachia....

 left the central fortress to travel south past the Transylvanian Alps to become the founder of the Principality of Wallachia
Wallachia or Walachia is a historical and geographical region of Romania. It is situated north of the Danube and south of the Southern Carpathians...

, although Basarab I is traditionally known as the 14th century founder of the state. By the end of the 12th century the fortress itself was made of wood, but it was reinforced in the 14th century and became a stone fortification.

In the beginning of the 20th century, namely in 1910 the town had 6,579 inhabitants with the following proportion: 3357 Hungarian, 2174 Romanian and 1003 German.

Făgăraș's castle was used as a stronghold by the Communist State
Communist state
A communist state is a state with a form of government characterized by single-party rule or dominant-party rule of a communist party and a professed allegiance to a Leninist or Marxist-Leninist communist ideology as the guiding principle of the state...

 of Romania. During the 1950s it was a prison for opponents and dissident
A dissident, broadly defined, is a person who actively challenges an established doctrine, policy, or institution. When dissidents unite for a common cause they often effect a dissident movement....

s. After the fall of the Communist State
Communist state
A communist state is a state with a form of government characterized by single-party rule or dominant-party rule of a communist party and a professed allegiance to a Leninist or Marxist-Leninist communist ideology as the guiding principle of the state...

 in 1989, the castle has been restored and is currently used as a museum and library.

The city's economy was badly shaken by the disappearance of most of its industries following the Revolution
Romanian Revolution of 1989
The Romanian Revolution of 1989 was a series of riots and clashes in December 1989. These were part of the Revolutions of 1989 that occurred in several Warsaw Pact countries...

, critical hardships, and reforms. Some of the city population left as guest workers
Foreign worker
A foreign worker is a person who works in a country other than the one of which he or she is a citizen. The term migrant worker as discussed in the migrant worker page is used in a particular UN resolution as a synonym for "foreign worker"...

 to Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, or Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

. It is one of the poorest municipalities in Romania, as of May 2011.

See also

  • Făgăraş Mountains
    Fagaras Mountains
    Făgăraș Mountains , are the highest mountains of the Southern Carpathians, in Romania. The highest peaks are Moldoveanu , Negoiu , Viștea Mare , Lespezi , Vânătoarea lui Buteanu , and Dara .They are bordered in the north by the Făgăraș Depression, through which the Olt river flows, and in the west...

  • List of castles in Romania
  • Tourism in Romania
    Tourism in Romania
    Tourism in Romania focuses on the country's natural landscapes and its rich history. The number of tourists is growing every year and tourism is becoming an increasingly important source for Romania's GDP with 7-9 million people now visiting yearly. Romania's economy is characterized by a huge...

  • Villages with fortified churches in Transylvania
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.