Stories from Romania

Few facts about Romania:

Many years ago Romania was divided into four main areas, one of them was as we all know Transylvania. When we hear the word Transylvania, we are instantly reminded of the famous Dracula. But there is so much more to that story that we know of.  The real Dracula has nothing to do with Dracula (the vampire) from the movies. I’m sorry to disappoint you 🙂

The real story of Dracula:

The real story of Dracula begins with Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia. He also was known as Vlad the Impaler. One of the main reasons for having such a morbid nickname is because of the way he treated his enemies. He was born in Transylvania, yes, but he never owned anything there. Even though the Bran Castle is also called Dracula’s castle, Vlad never actually stayed in that castle. Vlad II got his surname Dracula from the Romanian name for dragon – “Dracul”. In that way, his son (Vlad III), became known as the son of Dracula (the son of the devil).

The sightseeing:

When you decide to visit a country, there is no doubt that you have to visit the capital city. As we all know the capital city of Romania is Bucharest. As a capital city, it is also the center of culture & art. One of the most noticeable things about the city is that it has mixed architecture. You can capture a glans at modern buildings, but then there are some vintage ones as well.

In addition to this, in the past Bucharest was used to be called “Little Paris” because of its elegant architecture that was built in the period of the two World Wars. Nowadays is more likely to be called “Little Berlin”, because of its rich culture and rich nightlife.

Most visited places by tourists in Bucharest

  • Revolution Square– While standing in the middle of this square and listening to its story, you will realize how rich is truly the history of Bucharest. It all begins with Nicholai Ceausescu’s last moments of governance. On this very square, he stood up on his balcony and watched the furious mass of people turning their backs on him. Then the protest got out of control and he ordered his soldiers to start shooting innocent people. Afterward, he tried to escape by a private helicopter, but he was successfully caught. Nowadays, the square is surrounded by important landmarks.
  • Victoria Avenue–  the oldest and most beautiful street in Bucharest. It’s used to be called “Large Street” or “Brasov road” because it used to be a part of the trade route between Bucharest and the city of Brasov. This street is ideal because you can see all of the historic landmarks that represent Bucharest.
  • Unirii Square– one of the largest squares in the center of the city. There you can visit the church Curtea de ArgesIt is a lovely church full of beautiful religious icons. Then you should go and explore the Old Town. There you can visit the oldest part of a town called Curtea Veche. This town was built in the ruling period of Vlad III- Dracula.
  • Palace of the parliament–  Ironically called People’s House, it is believed to be the biggest building in Europe.

Castles in Romania

  • Bran Castle – Also known as Dracula’s castle. It is believed that Vlad the impaler never lived in this castle, but probably he was imprisoned a few days there by the Ottoman Empire. Bran castle is a beautiful castle, inside and out. Inside there are many rooms, tight passages and outside it has big balconies with amazing views, for photography lovers like me it was a paradise.
  • Peles Castle– it is located in a place called Sinaia. Sinaia is a lovely town and also a mountain resort in Prahova city. Even though this city is a popular destination for hiking and winter sports, it’s also beautiful throughout all of the seasons. Peles castle is an old neo-renaissance castle, built to serve the first Romanian King, Carl I of Romania. In my opinion, it is one of the most beautiful castles in the world. Inside there are 30 bathrooms and 170 rooms that are decorated with different styles. Also, the main castle owns one of the most beautiful collections of art in the world.

Moreover, while you are in Romania, it is nice to visit the Gothic city of Brasov, which is located in central Romania. While staying there I would recommend you to visit the old town because it is very beautiful. The architecture of the city is magnificent and also it shows the history of the city.  The city has at least two entrances that still exist. In the center of the city there is the recognizable Casa Sfatului, which is an ancient, storied town-hall building.  Also there, is located one of the oldest houses called Residence Hircher. Which is in ownership of a rich merchant. Nearby, you can spend time visiting the Black Church, which some say that is the biggest one that is built in Gothic style.

All in all, if you ever get the chance to visit Romania, I highly recommend you do it. Try to visit all of these places and stay approximately five days.

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