Romania's history is undeniably rich, marked by the rise and fall of empires and the presence of some of the world's oldest castles. These castles are not mere relics, but rather they bear witness to the Byzantine Empire, the Ottomans, and even the infamous Count Dracula. Romania is a land where history meets fantasy, and its Gothic architecture even inspired the creators of the hit TV show Game of Thrones. These castles have served as military fortresses, royal homes, and prisons, making them perfect destinations for all types of visitors. Fortunately, most of them are now open to tourists, and this guide will help you navigate through three of the most stunning castles in Romania.
Did you know that Bran Castle is also known as the Dracula Castle Despite Bram Stoker never having visited Romania, his description of Count Dracula's residence bears a striking resemblance to this Romanian landmark built in the 12th century in the medieval architectural style. It sits atop a tall rocky hill in the Carpathian Mountains of Transylvania. Interestingly, Vlad the Impaler never actually lived here, but it was later renovated in 1934 by the beloved Queen Marie of Romania as her family's summer residence. Today, it is owned by the Archduke Dominic of Austria and showcases Queen Marie's furniture collection. If you're planning to visit, you can take a train ride from Bucharest to Brasov for 3 hours and 25 minutes, followed by a 45-minute bus ride from terminal 2 to Bran. The castle's location is 25km south-west of Brasov.
The home of Count Dracula, as envisioned by Bram Stoker, is said to be Bran Castle. However, if you want to visit the real home of Count Dracula, Vlad the Impaler, you'll have to climb 1480 stone steps up to Poenari Fortress. It's located on Mount Cetatea and overlooks the Arges River. The fortress was originally built in the 13th century by the Basarab dynasty, but was abandoned shortly after. Legend has it that Count Dracula rebuilt the fortress when he saw its strategic location and made it his primary residence. This is why Poenari Fortress is a popular tourist spot. The fortress was also once home to the Wallachian Princes, but it now sits in ruins due to a tragic earthquake in 1888. Despite this, its location atop a cliff still makes it a beautiful and enchanting sight to behold.
Corvin Castle in Hunedoara, Transylvania is a magnificent sight that looks straight out of a fairy-tale. Built in the 14th century in Renaissance-gothic style, this castle boasts tall bastions, imposing towers, huge windows, balconies, and stunning stone carvings. It is no wonder that it is considered one of the Seven Wonders of Romania. The castle's architecture gives you a glimpse into the region's wealth and prosperity during its construction era. The castle was built by John Hunyadi, Voivode of Transylvania, as his residence, weapon storage, and prison. Legend has it that John held Vlad the Impaler captive in Corvin Castle. There are three magnificent period constructions the marble staircase, the Diet Hall, and the Knights hall. The Diet Hall was used for formal receptions and ceremonies, while the Knights Hall was where the Knights feasted after successful battles. Corvin Castle has great significance in popular culture as well. It was the set for the movie The Nun in 2018.
Cover Photo Credit Depositphotos
READ MORE Notre Dam On Fire, The World Cries