The antique name of the city was Cumidava, mentioned by Claudius Ptolemeus, in his writings about the
Saxons first settled in Transylvania in the 11th century, and the Saxon town of Rasnov was founded in 1225. Following the first Tartar invasion of 1241, a series of fortresses were constructed by the Teutonic Knights to defend the people. Rasnov Fortress is one of these peasant fortresses. This castle differs from some in that it was meant to be a place of refuge for the commoners from sieges over extended periods of time. As such it had at least 30 houses, a school, a chapel, and other buildings more commonly associated with a village.
In March of 1612 Rasnov Fortress was besieged by Gabriel Bathory (a Prince of Transylvania), and surrendered in April after the secret route to their water supply was found. Bathory's forces settled into the fortress and held off two attempts to win it back by joint forces from the towns of Rasnov and Brasov. The following year a ransom was paid, and Bathory and his forces left.
The last siege of Rasnov Fortress took place in 1690 during the last Turkish invasion of Transylvania. It was damaged by fire in 1718 and rebuilt the following year. The next major damage occurred as the result of an earthquake in 1802. The fortress was last used as a place of refuge during the revolution of 1848, and was abandoned after that. Reconstruction is currently being undertaken at the fortress.