Țara Bârsei received its name from Bârsa River that runs through it. Bârsă is an ancient word of Dacian origin and it is a part of a plow. This area of south-eastern Transylvania and Carpathians and inhabited by Romanian tribes was donated by King Andrew II of Hungary to the Teutonic Knights invited here during the 12th – 13th centuries to defend the eastern-most borders of the growing Hungarian Empire.
During the following centuries and until today Romanians, Hungarians and German Saxons cohabited here, in Țara Bârsei.
Know that Bran Pass – with Bran Castle nearby – is the narrow mountain pass that allows access from Wallachia, located in the south of today’s romania, to Țara Bârsei and Transylvania.
The right tributary of Bârsa River is Turcu River and it runs past Bran Castle.
A Humorous Legend from Țara Bârsei
It was a hot spring day, the sun blazing for spring, yet the forest shade too cool for summer. A man from Burzenland was heading towards Bran Pass and further south, to Wallachia. His cart was filled with weapons manufactured by his guild and highly thought after in Wallachia and even as far as Moldavia. With a bit of luck he’ll return before the summer rains drenched the roads, with a cart full of grains. His wife wanted spices and silks from the east and a Turkish rug too. He would have rather bought one of those sturdy horses the Wallachians breed.
Nevertheless, any trade was a good trade and any profit made a good count.
He checked the sky, bright and blue, he checked the road, rocky but dry. Perhaps rockier than he remembered. And the cart shook in the rhythm of the horses, clip-clop, clip-clop, the reins solid in his hand, his wife by his side. Her eyes half closed against the heat. Ahead, the rickety bridge over Bârsa River. The man shook the reins, the horses pulled, and the big wheels hopped onto the bridge. This bridge needs mending, thought the man.
‘Hold on tight, woman,’ he said, ‘we’re on the bridge.’
Had she not heard him? For she slipped and fell right in Turcu River. With a big splash. Droplets even landed on the merchant’s cheek, cooling him off.
The man pulled the horses onto a halt right after the bridge, the reins still solid in his hand. He looked at the empty spot by his side, he looked at the river.
Nut much later, and quite upstream, a shepherd minding his flock saw a man running along the river, every now and then stopping to check the moving waters.
‘Good man,’ called the shepherd, ‘what’s amiss?’
‘I’m searching for my wife. She fell into the river.’
‘No, how come you’ looking for her upstream? You’ll never find ‘er there,’ said the shepherd and stood, ready to land a hand.
‘ ‘Tis my wife,’ said the merchant lifting his shoulders, ‘always so twisted in her doings. Backwards all the time. So I thought I better look for her up the river,’ and off he went.
The shepherd sat back on is rock and scratched his forehead, his black hat pushed to the side, and thanked the Lord that his wife was always doing things the right way.
Bran Castle Photos for Thursday Doors
Where we return to Bran Castle for more charming doors:
Remember the Iron Maiden on Fagaras Castle?
Leaving the door open to Bran Castle for we will return. *Update: Bran Castle, Time Tunnel Explained, All You Need to Know