As I promised about a week ago, in this post, I'm back today to show you the castle of Făgăraș, the prison tower to be precise and tell you the sad story that is locked inside the walls of the tower. If you missed my post, please click on the link above to see what the citadel looks like from outside.
The day we visited the citadel, even though it was September, it was really hot. We entered the castle and could enjoy the coolness of the rooms while looking at the exhibited objects dating back to ancient times and more recent ones.
The tower you see on the left side of the photo is the prison tower.
It wasn't a coincidence that we left the prison tower last, which is right at the entrance and I don't regret the decision.
Stepping into the first room, there were two things that hit me. First, the a pitiful sight, meaning this metal bed with the poor cover and the extremely cold air in the room. The draft was so strong, you needed to move on in order to avoid getting cold.
It's terrifying just to look at these devices. These were some of the torturing devices used in those times.
This tower was not set up for luxury use for sure. The doorway was low, you had to watch your head when going through.
Recreating what was going on once down there is humanly impossible, but there were drawings illustrating what they did to those caught on the wrong side of the action. I'm not sure how much you know about those days, but legislation was not what it is today, one testimony as enough from an alleged witness and you could hang. Money and power was ruling.
Scenes and instruments of torture.
Translation feels a bit weird here, but this is the story of the prison tower.
There were these stairs leading up to a higher level, but visitors were not allowed to go up.
There was this very small room, with a tiny window, most likely the one the writing above mentions. There was nothing inside, except the fuse box (or some electricity thing) and was dark as well. I used the flashlight of the camera to take the photo. Imagine being locked up here for God knows how much time.
This was another space with this torturing devices. It's called kaloda in Hungarian, but I don't know the English name of it.
If you've never seen one, here's how it was used. This photo was taken last year, at a medieval festival. This lady was brave enough to try it out, but you can see on her face how comfortable it feels :)
Next there was this room, basically the base of the tower. Needless to say how cold it was and the wind was blowing from every direction.
This was not the first torture chamber I've seen, but emotionally it affected me just as much as the first time. There's no easy way to handle this as it makes you live the pain just by looking at these drawings. These are drawings from the 17th - 18th century.
And if this wasn't enough, there was another level (of torture) upstairs. There was a very narrow staircase leading to the upper level. I forgot to tell you, if you're visiting, make sure to wear some comfortable shoes and clothes if you want to see everything. There's a lot to walk through and there are stairs to climb as well.
This was basically the top of the tower, a very windy, cold and cruel place, where prisoners were held for months, years.
I can tell you, those 10 minutes or so, how much time I spent up there reading the stories on those boards were not pleasant, let alone reading the horror the women of the resistance had to go through.
What you see here is the photos of the women, the invisible fighters of the anti communist war. The text unfortunately was only in Romanian.
Their husbands, fathers, sons were the partisans, spending years, decades in hiding, fighting against the communist regime, while the women were persecuted, arrested, jailed, tortured for years, decades to give up those in hiding.
There were informants everywhere, you could not trust anyone, not even the priests. It's common knowledge priests were collaborating with agents of Department of State Security, passing on information they obtained during confessions. Personally I can't understand how can men of the church betray their people. The church and servants of the church should be impartial and loyal to their people, not loyal to political parties and governments. Many times I see the flag on the church, which is also wrong in my opinion.
Families were torn apart, kids lost both their parents and maybe older siblings too, people disappeared without any trace.
It was like a never ending nightmare. These people never had a calm moment, they were under constant surveillance. There's a video series on YouTube, a documentary about this topic. Terrible, just to think about it.
Good thing after the communism ended, the tower lost its prison function and became a museum. However, it's hard to imagine how many people were held,tortured died there.
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