Most beautiful places in Romania
Transylvania offers an incredible collection of castles, fortresses and fortified churches which illustrates the rich medieval heritage of the country. The Transylvanian landscape is adorned with nearly 200 well-preserved Saxon villages and fortified churches of a great variety of architectural styles. Thus, Transylvania now has one of the highest numbers of existing fortresses from the 13th to 16th centuries and claims a cultural and architectural heritage which is unique in Europe.
The fortresses are mainly built for defense against invaders and is founded by the Saxons, who are a people of German ethnicity who settled in Transylvania from the 12th century onwards. Due to its uniqueness and the preservation since the late Middle Ages seven of the Saxon villages was being included in the UNESCO World Heritage under the name of Villages with fortified churches in Transylvania (Biertan, Calnic, Darjiu, Prejmer, Saschiz, Valea Viilor and Viscri). The villages and churches are beautiful placed amidst lush farmland and green rolling hills. The mountain range of Carpathians also dominates the Transylvanian region leaving good hiking and climbing possibilities.
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The castles in Transylvania Romania are alluring and not only for their haunting beauty, but for the legends and history that surround them. The most popular include the 14th century Corvinesti Castle, built on the site of a former Roman camp, the elegant 19th century Peles Castle with its 160 rooms filled with priceless European art and, of course, the Bran Castle, built-in the mid-1300s and legendary home to Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula. Corvinesti Castle is the greatest Gothic-style castle in Romania and is the most stunning castle in Transylvania. Peles Castle is a masterpiece of German new-Renaissance architecture, considered by many one of the most stunning castles in Europe. The Bran Castle is a national monument and landmark in Romania.
The real Dracula Castle
A number of ruins and castles in Transylvania are linked to the legend of Dracula including Poenari Castle, Hunyad Castle and Bran Castle. Bram Stoker’s classic vampire character Dracula was named after the 15th century Romanian prince Vlad Dracul III. When Vlad III was born, he became known as Dracula, meaning “Son of the Dragon,” or “Son of the Devil,” as some would have it. In Romania, Dracula is heralded as a national hero who sacrificed his life fighting for his country’s independence. Stoker crammed his book with descriptions of many real locations that can still be visited in present-day Romania. The Bran castle is now a museum open to tourists, displaying art and furniture collected by Queen Marie and is widely famous as being Dracula’s castle however the real castle actually is the ruin of Poenari which is a small ancient fortress.
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