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Poenari Castle (Dracula’s Castle)

A long time ago in 1310, in a place between the Carpathians and Danube, Basarb I contributed to the creation of the Vlach Empire. He also founded the Basarb dynasty. Poienari Castle was the main fortress. This area is a special one. Shrouded in legends about Vlad the Impaler, the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula, attracts both masses of tourists. Nevertheless, it’s not an easy task to get to this place.

Castle’s History:

Although we do not know the founder nor the construction time of this castle, we can suspect that it is older than the Vlach Empire. It most probably dates from the 13th century. The builders were the first emperors of Vlachs. The fortress was their first home, treasury and it also served as a prison. Around the 14th century, it was considered to be the main fortress of the Basarb dynasty. The location was undoubtedly advantageous. The castle was built upon a high mountain by the Arges. The strategical location allowed to control a significant mountain pass that linked Transilvania (in the past called Ardeal/Siebenbürgen which means “seven castles”) with the Vlach Empire. (more in the history section)

Castle Today:

To this day it is not easy to conquer the castle, even though it was built centuries ago. In order to enter the castle, you must take 1462 steps on the stairs. Nevertheless, as soon as you get there, you will be rewarded with a magnificent landscape. First, you can marvel at the perfectly-preserved ruins of the medieval fortress (donjon and peripheral walls with towers). Second, you can admire the view from the top.

Castle’s open hours during winter season: 9:00 - 15:00 (last entry at 14:00); during summer season: 9:00–17:00 (last entry at 16.00). Entry to the castle costs 5 lei.

Edited by Kinga Kijewska