Published on March 1, 2014
FĂGĂRAŞ Knowing the Past to Understand the Present
Etymology The name of the town comes from “fagar“ which in Proto- Indo-European languages meant place while in ProtoGerman it meant beautiful. In Romanian the word “fag” means beech and “ars” means burnt, this suggesting that the locality is situated in an area that originally was covered by a beech forest, fact explained by the great historian Nicolae Iorga, who affirmed that the first settlements built here were around a rich beech forest and the town would have taken its name from this tree, fag, while becoming what it has been till today. See also Ghyka Matila, A Documented Chronology of Romanian History, Oxford: B. H. Blackwell Ltd. 1941
FAMILY NAMES OF FAGAR Many names like Fagar originate from religious texts like the Bhagavadgītā, the Quran, the Bible, etc. Commonly these family names relate to a religious phrase such as "Favored of God". The Fagar family is an old lineage that has spread all across the world for many generations, and as the name Fagar has migrated, it has evolved making its history tricky to uncover.
Situated in the centre of the territory of Romania, on route 1 at 67 km from Brasov and 76 km from Sibiu, on the left bank of the Olt River, Fagaras has an altitude of 430 m. Its coordinates are: Eastern longitude 24 ° 58 ' 27 "(25 ° Meridian runs through the eastern part of the town) and Northern latitude 45 ° 55 ' 41".
Făgăraș has a population of 28,330 as of 2011 The Romanians have always formed the vast majority of the population of this town but the diverse background of the past is still obvious, in spite of the Saxon and Hungarian emigration after 1990. There are Gypsies here as well, most of them living in the outskirts.
The Land of Făgăraş is inherited from the ancient Dacians, a brave IndoEuropean people, described by Herodot in his writings as “fearless” and “most courageous among the numerous Thracians”. Historians also demonstrate in their writings that these are the real ancestors of the Romanians still living all over Romania, here, in Fagaras, too, some of them surviving also as simple peasants in the mountainous villages nearby. . Gold bracelet with horse heads from VadFagaras Brasov County; Kunsthistorisches Museum.
Located in Transylvania, along the middle course of the river Olt, the medieval city center in Făgăraş. In 1876 the territory was organized in the county Făgăraş, Făgăraş county administrative unit precursor. With the communist regime in Romania Făgăraş land was divided between Brasov and Sibiu
Archaeological findings have shown traces of human life in the area ever since the Neolithic, the Bronze and the Iron Ages in the town of Făgăraş and the vilages nearby: Calbor, Cincşor, Hălmeag, Felmer, Șercaia, Beclean, Mândra, Hoghiz, Săvăstreni and Ungra. There are traces of Dacian dwellings in the Land of Făgăraş part of the "magic triangles“ - invisible lines that cross the Carpathians, between the cities and shrines of our ancestors: the "Guruiete" – pyramid-like mounds of earth, perched on hills near the villages around Fagaras in: Hălmeag, Buneşti, Şona, the Temple of Şinca Veche.
There are in the Land of Fagaras fortifications built by the Romans and lots of archaeological traces leading us back to a glorious past, emphasizing the fact that this place has always been important both economically, socially and spiritually. Most of the Saxon fortified churches in this land were built with stones from these decaying but still visible Roman forts. According to a local legend, here is the land where a Romanian leader, Negru Voda (“The Black Prince”), voivode of Walachia, made his first fortress - now in ruins near Fagaras, Breaza, around 1300.
After leaving the province of Dacia by the Roman military and administrative authorities, the local population of the Land of Fagaras continued its existence on one side and the other of Olt - the eloquent proof are the settlements of the 4th century from Sercaia and Rasnov, the monetary findings from Cornana of up and Hoghiz. Traces of material culture have been identified in Felmer, Tlcus and Ungra, and the numismatic evidence from Cincsor (4 th century) and Voila (7th century). These archeological discoveries reveal evidence of Daco-Roman continuity. These Proto-Romanians are later attested here by the archaeological discoveries in the village of Lower Cornana (Gruiul cowboy), where they found a resort dating back to the 8 th and 9th centuries - settlements in Rotbav (The pot), Matias, Harman and Felmer, and the defense point of the 9th and 10th centuries, from Breaza - the site of the ancient Dacian fortification which precedes the early medieval fortress.
An sacred ancient place where hermits in the medieval ages led their lives at a high spiritual level.
"When were the years from Adam 6798, Radul Black Prince, who had his seat in the Făgăraş from his ancestors, the old Rumani, who came from Rome, in the days of Emperor Trajan, was reckoned to move the seat over here." The Chronicle of the Baleni The school you are visiting now was given his legendary name by a great local personality, Ioan Codru Drăguşan, in September 13, 1869 when he founded it as a Romanian institution of education.
In the 9th and 10th centuries, the land of Făgăraş is mentioned in documents as ' Terra Blachorrum' (country of the Romanians), proving to be a state of pre-feudal formation which occurred in the same period with the other Romanian Carpathian voivodeships.
The 1st written document mentioning Romanians in Transylvania, referred to Vlach lands ("Terra Blacorum") in the Fogaras Region in 1222. In this document, Andrew II of Hungary gave Burzenland and the Cuman territories South of Burzenland up to the Danube to the Teutonic Knights. But it lasted for a short period: from 1211 to 1225 when these knights went back to their countries.
The document of 1291 was a record in which Ugrinus as a magistrate asked the king to return these lands to the Romanians, recognizing that the Romanians themselves had been in possession of the great feud. In 1393, Gobelinus, the Catholic bishop of Transylvania, named Fagaras as the "Romanian great city."
After the Tatar invasion in 1241-1242, Saxons settled in the area. In the 14th century, during the reign of Vladislav I (Vlaicu Voda), until the reign of Radu the Great (1495-1508), with minor interruptions, Făgăraşul and Amlaşul were fiefs of the Lords in Walachia. Thus, in 1369, Louis I of Hungary gave the Royal Estates of Făgăraș to his vassal, Vladislav I of Wallachia. The territory remained in the possession of Wallachian Princes until 1464.
"I, Vlad, prince and voivode and great prince Vlad's son, holding rule and reigning over the whole Land of Hungro-Wallachia, Amlaş and Făgăraş." (a 1460 document )
After the splitting of the Hungarian Feudal Kingdom in 1541, Transylvania became an autonomous principality under Ottoman suzerainty. In this framework, the domain and the Fagaras Fortress became the property of hereditary princes of Transylvania. Many have given Făgăraş special attention contributing to cultural and economic development of the entire area.
Craftsmen come to organize in guilds. The earliest document of a guild in Făgăraş is dated as being from around 1590, when Mary Christierna, wife of Sigismund Bathory, ruler of Transsylvania gave privileges to the shoemaker's guild. The Tanners Guild experienced the strongest growth, its products reaching fame and a large sale. "The Tanners" Street still preserves the memory of this craft.
During the rule of Transylvanian Prince Gabriel Bethlen (1613–1629), Fagaras became an economic role model town in Transylvania. Bethlen rebuilt the fortress entirely. In the years 1699-1765, the entire territory in the foothills of the Făgăraş Mountains became the property of the Hapsburgs. In 1765, when Grand Prince of Transylvania was Maria Theresa, the entire holding of Fagaras was donated to the Saxon University (Universitas Saxonum) for 99 years. In 1918 it returned to this land in the confines of the Romanian State.
The Old Town Of Făgăraş .
The adversity the country inhabitants of Făgăraş towards any form of foreign domination made their presence felt since the 10th century with the arrival of the Hungarians when the Romanian population, organized in a voivodship, opposed them successfully, keeping their autonomy and continuing to rule their own land, "according to the old law of the Rumanians". The attempts to retain independence against the oppressors are felt throughout the middle ages, in 1368, 1432, 1434, 1436, 1503, 1508, when numerous rebellions took place in Transylvania and in Făgăraş, too. The most important movements were in the years 1757-1761. The bloody uprising was repressed by the Governor of Transylvania, General Bukow when hundreds of Romanians, including Făgăraş inhabitants were barbarously killed. The 1848 revolution did not leave indifferent the inhabitants of Făgăraş. The town was an important centre of action, thus creating "Prefecture" and "the Roman Legion" of the country in Făgăraş.
It lasted from the late 1940s to the mid-1950s, through isolated groups of fighters remaining until the 1960s. Armed resistance was the first and most structured form of resistance against the communist regime. It wasn’t until the overthrow of the Communist President Nicolae Ceausescu, in late 1989 that details about what was called “anti-communist armed resistance” were made public. The Romanian resistance was the longest lasting armed movements in the former Soviet block.
Ion Gavrila Ogoranu led a resistance group in the Făgăraş Mountains from 1948 to 1956. He remained undetected until 1976. According to him, a resistance group was located in a mountainous area which comprised some communities and was supported by a significant number of inhabitants (up to several thousands), who provided shelter, food and information.
First it was a wooden fort, surrounded by a moat and wave of land, archaeological attested to XII century. In the 14th century it turned into a feudal castle In the 15th century the fortress of stone and brick from Făgăraş which was a military defense fortress, had a quadrilateral enclosure with four towers and bastions at the corners and a barricade type tower outpost on the east side.
It withstood sieges and attacks due to the strength of its thick brick walls and deep moat, two of the structure's most notable features. Today, Făgăraş Castle is a museum of archeology and history. Eighty of its rooms are preserved, along with towers and courtyards. Due to its well-preserved state, visitors to the castle are able to envision it in use as a respected Transylvanian stronghold and military outpost.
The Statue of Lady Stanca is the work of sculpture Spiridon Georgescu (1887-1974) in 1938 and it is placed in front of the Fortress, at the proposal of the great historian Nicolae Iorga, adressed to the Association of Romanian Women, Făgăraş which came with the idea of a bust of Lady Stanca – an aristocrat Romanian woman, wife of Michael the Brave, the king who united Romania in 1600.
Michael the Brave who united Romania in 1600 came to Făgăraş in 1599 but after he was killed in 1601 (near Turda, by Captain Jacques Beaury Walloon) his wife, Lady Stanca was held captive in the Fortress until the autumn of 1602 when she was put in liberty and allowed to go to Wallachia. However she became sick of the plague and died in 1603.
High mountains that surround in the south Făgăraş, mountains that have snow on their peaks even in late summer, hills, pastures with sheep, fast flowing mountain waters, or rivers flowing through valleys between the hills make the environment particularly beautiful. The asphalt roads that unite communities from the region pass through a charming landscape.
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