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Cetatea Oratia
Valentin Slgeanu

Problemele pe care cetatea cunoscut sub numele de Oratia le-a pus cercettorilor sunt variate, iar rezolvarea lor este de o importan major n aprecierea rolului forticaiei pe parcursul perioadei de folosin. I. Puscariu, A. Lapedatu i G. Treiber au ncercat a atribui ridicarea cetii cavalerilor teutoni, ultimul dintre cei mentionai invocnd n sprijinul acestei ipoteze tehnica de construcie, caracteristicile turnului (deschis ctre interior), denumirea de Dealul Sasului a culmii la captul creia se aa cetatea, precum i importana deosebit pe care o avea drumul ctre Cmpulung din punctul de vedere al colonitilor sai. V. Vtianu a subliniat c nu pot servi argumentrii nici elementele de planimetrie ori cele tipologice, i nici pretinsul caracter teuton al colonizrii sseti la Cmpulung. Ulterior A. Lapedatu a avansat propunerea de a identica Oratia cu cetatea Dmbovia din documente. La aceast prere au subscris i o parte dintre arheologii care au cercetat situl n anii 19681970 (Alexandrina D. Alexandrescu i Lucian Chiescu; cercetrile au fost efectuate sub conducerea Alexandrinei D. Alexandrescu, cu participarea lui Lucian Chiescu, Anca Punescu i Gh. I. Cantacuzino). Gh. I. Cantacuzino a enumerat motivele pentru care o asemenea identitate nu este posibil, adernd la prerea conform creia cetatea Dmbovia ar trebui identicat mai curnd cu forticaia de la Ceteni. n ne, o ultim opinie este cea care plaseaz cetatea Piatra Craiului (Kiralko) n acest loc (n secolul al XIXlea, Orban Balazs i apoi W. Horwath). Argumentaia pe care o dezvolt Gh. I. Cantacuzino, legat att de meniunile documentare ct i de poziia propriuzis, este sucient de convingtoare. Ca un argument suplimentar aducea mrturia lui Fr. Sulzer din 1781 n care este clar identicat cetatea Piatra Craiului cu Oratia.

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Data la care este construit Oratia ne este n continuare necunoscut. Bazndu-ne ns att pe materialul arheologic gsit ct i pe documente i pe contextul istoric, putem ncadra ridicarea cetii n a doua jumtate a secolului al XIV-lea. W. Horwath a presupus c ea fusese vam a Transilvaniei, iar o dat cu trecerea cetii n proprietatea rii Romneti, Ludovic al V-lea ar pus s e ridicat Branul. De altfel pare improbabil ca regii Ungariei s dispus construirea unei vmi care s se ae dincolo de teritoriul stpnit de ei. n 1368 vama rii Romneti se lua la Longo Campo vel juxta, ceea ce ar putea nsemna c la aceast dat teritoriul pe care se va aa Oratia nu era n stpnirea domnilor munteni. Pavel Chihaia presupune c din cauza faptului c cetatea era nou nu avea nume. Acceptnd acestea ar nsemna c plasm data construirii ei ntre 1368 cel devreme i 1377. La sfritul anului 1377 vama se mutase deja lng Rucr ceea ce ar indica faptul c lucrrile erau gata i cetatea putea dat n folosin. Din socotelile Braovului din prima jumtate a secolului XVI deducem c Oratia se aa sub jurisdicia oraului, acelai lucru ind evideniat de o scrisoare mai timpurie a lui Radu cel Mare, din jurul lui 1496, n care cere judelui Braovului i celor 12 prgari s nu-i pedepseasc nite oameni care stricaser Podurile de la Oratii.

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Cetatea strjuia drumul ce lega Cmpulungul de Braov, andu-se la extremitatea vestic a Dealului Sasului. Drumul trecea pe sub cetate, ocolind-o pe la nord-vest i vest, ind parial spat n stnc datorit ngustimii vii Dmboviei pe aceast poriune. La nord i la sud panta este destul de accentuat, iar la vest i la nord-vest pereii stncii sunt abrupi. n partea de sud i la est, pe direcia de acces dinspre coama dealului, se a spat un an lat de 10 m i adnc de 4 m. La spturile din 1905 s-a constatat existena unui zid lung de aproximativ 15 m ce bara partea sudic. Cetatea este restrns ca ntindere, limea ei nedepind 20 m. n interior, pe latura vestic, unde nu se pstreaz urmele vreunui zid, se a o platform lat de 7-8 m i nalt de 2 m, avnd motive s credem c n partea sudic s-au efectuat nivelri cu piatr spart mrunt i cu pmnt. Fundaiile curtinelor sunt ridicate direct pe stnc, ind mai late dect zidul propriu-zis, care are grosimea de aproximativ 2 m i este construit din piatr mijlocie sumar cioplit i dispus neregulat. Pentru stabilizare i coeziune s-au folosit pietre mici. Emplectonul a fost realizat din piatr mrunt legat cu mortar. n 1905 s-au observat urme ce ar indica extragerea pietrei folosite pentru construcie chiar din stnca pe care se aa cetatea i s-a apreciat nlimea zidurilor la aproximativ 7 m. La nord-est se aa un turn circular deschis ctre interior, asupra cruia nu s-au fcut nici un fel de precizri. Poriunea sud-estic a incintei a fost singura ocupat de construciile dependine, cldite exclusiv din lemn dup cum atest urmele carbonizate i cenua descoperite acolo. Concluzia evident este c cetatea i-a ncetat existena ca urmare a unor distrugeri violente, deoarece n brnele carbonizate s-au descoperit vrfuri de sgei i boluri de arbalet. Artefactele descoperite n 1905 nu au fost inventariate i nici studiate temeinic, ns campania din 1968-1970 a scos la lumin suciente asemenea dovezi pentru a susine datarea ei n a doua jumtate a secolului al XIV-lea, unele elemente atestnd folosirea ei i n secolul al XVI-lea: s-au gsit 2 monede de la Mircea cel Btrn. De asemenea, s-a constatat lipsa unor materiale anterioare celei de a doua jumti a secolului al XIV-lea.

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Intrarea se aa pe latura sudic, la nlimea de 1m fa de stnc, i are deschiderea de 2m. Pe aceast poriune zidul de incint este mai gros cu 0.80m. La o dat necunoscut intrarea a fost astupat. n interior, n partea de nord-est, se gsete cisterna, circular i cu o adncime de 5.35m i o lime de 3.40m. Aceasta este cptuit cu piatr nisipoas, iar sub acest placaj, pe fundul cisternei, se gsete un strat de lut pentru impermeabilizare. Deschiderea este mai ngust i la nceputul secolului trecut se puteau identica oarecare amenajri pentru colectarea apelor pluviale. n trecerea sa pe aici n 1595, Filippo Pigafetta observa cetatea Piatra Craiului descriind-o ca ind un mic castel care are artilerie. Aceast precizare ne face s credem c platforma din partea vestic ar servit acestui scop, iar c pentru acoperirea celorlalte laturi s-ar folosit chiar grosimea zidurilor. El mai mentioneaz c ...drumul este spat la dreapta ntr-o stnc nalt i dreapt, aa c tunurile i carele trebuie ridicate n sus cu scripetele iar la scoborre lsate n jos cu funiile.

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Gh. I. Cantacuzino observ c probabil unele oricii n stnc, vizibile i astzi, ar folosit pentru amenajarea unor astfel de scripei. S-a presupus c una dintre notele lui Lescalopier (1574) s-ar putea referi la Oratia, caz n care meniunea c garnizoana format doar din civa oameni ar sta ntr-un turn n care ptrund folosind o scar lung pe care o trag apoi dup ei nu trebuie luat mot--mot, ci trebuie neles ori c reedina propriu-zis se aa n turnul nord-estic, n care astfel accesul s-ar face pe la un etaj superior (ceea ce ar atesta nlimea minim a acestuia), ori c ntreaga forticaie este numit turn, accesul cu ajutorul scrii portabile fcndu-se dinspre drum. Aceast ultim interpretare nu ar dovedi sub nici o form desinarea intrrii de pe latura sudic, care va rmne principal pn la astuparea ei.

43 Copyright-ul ilustraiilor:
fotograi de Valentin Slgeanu, 2006; plan dup Gh. I. Cantacuzino; reconstituire de Radu Oltean.

44 Bibliograa sitului:
P. Binder, Antecedente i consecine sud-transilvnene ale formrii Munteniei (sec. XIII-XIV), I, Acta, 1995, p. 267; Gh. I. Cantacuzino, Ceti medievale din ara Romneasc n secolele XIII-XVI, Ed. Enciclopedic, Bucureti, 2001; P. Chihaia, Cetatea i schitul lui Negru Vod de la Ceteni-Muscel, Din cetile de scaun ale rii Romneti, Bucureti, 1974; V. Drghiceanu, Cetatea i schitul lui Negru Vod, BCM, V, 1912, pp. 89-94; W. Horwath, Die Erbauung der Burg bei Rucar, Das Burzenland, IV-1, Braov, 1929, pp. 58-62; A. Lapedatu, Dou vechi ceti romneti: Poenarii i Dmbovia, ?, ?; I. Puscariu, Cetatea Neamului dela Podul Dmboviei n Muscel, AARMSI, seria II, t. XXX, 1907-1908, pp. 111-114; Gr. Tocilescu, nsemnri arheologice i istorice din Romnia i vecinti, Bibl. Acad, MSS Rom 5137, f. 212-214, 216-217, 218-219, 246-247, 285; G. Treiber, Die Burg bei Rucar. Die Anlage der Burg, Das Burzenland, IV-1, Die Dorfer des Burzenlandes, Braov, 1929; V. Vtianu, Istoria artei feudale n rile romne, pp. 133-134.

ENGLISH TRANSLATION (transl. by Valentin Slgeanu) The number of problems raised by this fortress is countless but the answers could give us an insight in the part it played during its history. I. Pucariu, A. Lapedatu, and G. Treiber believed that it was build by the Teutonic Knights. G. Treiber supported his claims by invoking the construction technique, the tower (opened to the inner yard), the name of the hill (Sachsen Hill), as well as the importance of the road to Cmpulung for the Saxon colonists. V. Vtianu argued that such a conclusion is inadequate if based only on the layout, the typology and the so called Teutonic colonisation at Cmpulung. Subsequently A. Lapedatu suggested that Oratia should be identied with Dmbovia fortress, mentioned in the documents. Archaeologists working at the site between 1968 and 1970 subscribed to this opinion (Alexandrina D. Alexandrescu and Lucian Chiescu; the works were supervised by Alexandrina D. Alexandrescu; team members were Lucian Chiescu, Anca Punescu, and Gh. I. Cantacuzino; see SCIV, t. 20, 1969, nr. 3; and SCIV, t. 21, 1970, nr. 3).

Gh. I. Cantacuzino strongly rejected the Dmbovit,a fortress hypothesis as a false one and supported its identication with the ruins of Ceteni. There had been another hypothesis, that Oratia was the fortress of Piatra Craiului (Kings Rock; Kiralko) fortress (XIXth century, Orban Balazs; afterwards, W. Horwath, Die Erbauung der Burg bei Rucr, in Das Burzenland, IV-1 , Bras,ov, 1929, pp. 58-62). Gh. I. Cantacuzino investigated documents as well as topography, and used as an extra argument the testimony of Fr. Sulzer (Fr. Sulzer, Geschichte der Transalpinischen Daciens, I, Viena, 1781, p. 332), where the identity Oratia-Piatra Craiului was obvious. The date of the rst construction is unknown. The documents, the historical context, and the archaeological ndings point to the second half of the XIVth century. W. Horwath supposed that it may have been a Transylvanian border fortress, and when it passed to Wallachia, king Ludovic the Vth ordered the building of Bran castle. The assertion doesnt match the archaeological evidence uncovered, which resembles perfectly those found in Ceteni, Curtea de Arge, and Poenari. More probably, Ludovic the Vth ordered the construction Bran castle as a counterweight of the Wallachian fortress. A custom-house fortress could not have been built so far away from the borders. In 1368 one paid the Wallachian border tax at Longo Campo vel juxta, which means that at that time the area of Oratia did not belong to Wallachian authorities. Given the above-mentioned information, one may place the building of Oratia between 1368 and 1377 (when began the construction of Bran). At the end of 1377 the custom house was already near Ruca(r (Hurmuzaki, I-2, pp. 242-243), suggesting that the fortress was nished and in use. The Brasov archives (Quellen zur Geschichte der Stadt Kronstadt in Siebenburgen, I, Brasov, 1886, pp. 778, 430, 435,436 etc.; II, Braov, 1889, pp.122, 202, 205; III, Braov, 1896, index) from the rst half of the XVIth century prove that Oratia was under its jurisdiction. Further evidence of this may be found in a letter of Radu the Great (1496; See I. Bogdan, Relaiile..., doc. XXXVI, about 1496, p. 253) addressed to the chief magistrates of Brasov, and demanding clemency for a gang of Wallachians that damaged the Podurile de la Oratii (Bridges of Oratii), probably a steep side paved with wood (Gh. I. Cantacuzino, op.cit., p. 173). In 1969, a rectangular stone work of some kind was found north of the fortress. It could be connected with the aforementioned bridges (Gh. I. Cantacuzino, op.cit., p. 173). The fortress watched over the road that linked Cmpulung to Brasov, and was located on the western part of the Sachsen Hill.

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The rock-carved road passed by the NW and W sides of the fortress. To the N and S sides the slope is rapid and to the W and NW the rock walls are inaccessible. On the E and S areas there is a trench blocking the access from the hills summit, 10 meters wide and 4 meters deep. The 1905 excavations unveiled a wall 15 meters long that blocked the approach from the south. The fortress is quite small, having no more than 20 meters wide. The inside western area, where there was apparently no wall, has been raised area (7-8 meters wide and 2 meters high) and to the southern part there is evidence of a levelling with earth and nely chopped rock. The foundations of the walls are built straight on the rock and are wider than the curtain itself (i.e. 2 meters thick). The wall is made of middle sized rocks barely processed and unevenly arranged. For cohesion and levelling there were used small rocks together with mortar as lling. There are certain proofs that the rock was excavated from the very same hill and the curtain height reached about 7 meters. In the NE part of the fortress is a round tower opened to the yard. There were also out-buildings only in the south-eastern part and they were probably made of wood, as proven by the carbonized remains and the ash discovered there. It is obvious that the fortress had a violent end, especially since in the carbonized wood were found arrow heads and crossbow bolts.The artefacts found during the 1905 excavations were not studied, but the 1968-1970 excavations dug up enough artefacts to date the fortress in second half of the XIVth century, some of them supporting the assumption that it was used even towards the XVIth century. There was no material prior to the second half of the XIVth century. The entrance was placed on the southern side, 1 meter higher than the ground level, and had an opening 2 meters wide. This section of the wall is thicker with c. 0.8 meters. At an unknown date the entry was blocked. In the NE side of the yard is located the water-tank, 5.35 meters deep and 3.40 meter wide. It was paved with sand-stone over a layer of clay to make it watertight. The opening is narrower and at the beginning of the XIXth century G. Treiber still identied some sort of drain system for the rain water. Filippo Pigafetta (Maria Holban, Cltori strini..., III, pp.561-562), who visited the fortress in 1595, noticed that Piatra Craiului (Kings Rock) fortress was a small castle that had artillery. Knowing this, one can presume that the western platform served to this purpose, while the other sides of the fortress may have used the thickness of the walls for the same purpose. He also pointed out that the road is carved in a steep rock on the right side, in such a fashion that the guns and the wagons must be lifted using a winch and descended using ropes. Gh. I. Cantacuzino also noticed that some of the still visible holes might have been served to this purpose. Gh. I. Cantacuzino believes that some of Pierre Lescalopiers (1574) notes may refer to Oratia. These notes imply that the garrison (just a few men) lived in a tower in which they enter using a long ladder, pulled up afterwards, but they need not be taken word for word. They might simply imply that the living quarters were located in the NE tower, and that the entry was at a higher level (which would indicate the minimum height). It is also possible that the entire fortress was referred to as a tower, with its entrance to the road, by means of a portable ladder. The layout adopted here corresponds to that used for small defensive buildings, due to the fact that the fortress had to guard a strategically important point. Real fortresses were, in the vast majority of cases, strong points themselves. As far as the layout is concerned, there can be made few precautious analogies, for this kind of layout is in fact an evolution from the type of circular enclosure with one central tower to the type of circular enclosure with curtain and a tower. Such similar examples may be found at Grde, fortress, Drobeta fortress, Hrastovlje, Checiny, and Petrc.