|Dracula’s Castle, inner courtyard|
Dracula’s Castle is situated at the border between the legendary region of Transylvania and Wallachia, two of the three historical parts of Romania. It was a gloomy day; the kind of day that gives one the feeling they are about to walk into something spooky. The castle is situated on a hilltop, like any other respectable medieval fortress, and I bet they didn’t built it there for the views, though they would have had all the reasons in the world to do so.
There isn’t much evidence of Dracula’s presence here, in fact history has it that Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler) used the castle during his raids into Transylvania only a few times. Bran Castle was never the residence of the Dark Prince as Bram Stoker imagined it to be. However, the narrow, squeaky wooden stairs and the spooky secret passage we explored screamed “Fangs!”. I prefer to give credit to the legends. It’s more charming this way. Though we are still human, don’t worry, Dracula was on strike that day!
|Inside Dracula’s Castle|
|Peles Castle, inner courtyard|
There is so much sculpted wood here that I believe they needed a whole forest to decorate the place. I’ve never seen anything so richly decorated in my entire life. Not to talk about the furniture, the stained glass windows depicting German fairy tales, the massive doors, the carpets, the paintings, etc. Peles Castle was the first in Europe to have central heating and electricity. The full tour lasts about 2 hours. And believe me, your senses grow tired of so much beauty and so many details after a while. It’s more than the human eyes can take. So much beauty can not be put into words. I’d just wish I had a summer retreat like this for my eyes to have time to adjust…
|Peles Castle, the dinning room|
So, are the Romanian castles worth visiting? Definitely! Why? Because the Romanian castles are beautiful and intriguing and legendary, in spite of being under-advertised. By visiting these castles you’d be doing yourself a favor, trust me!