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Published: September 8th 2015
Bran Castle is the home of the fictional character Count Dracula in the Bram Stoker's novel Dracula. It is the most Draculaesque castle we have ever seen.
From Vlad the Impaler to Nicolae Ceausescu
Romania has over the years had its fair share of unpleasant rulers. Ruthless dictators all over the world seem to have two things in common: they like to torture people and tend to have a liking for erecting big buildings as monuments over themselves. In Romania things aren't much different from any other places. Hence there are a few palaces and castles around and we would now like to write about the ones we visited.
Bran Castle Bran Castle
is likely the most well known of the Romanian castles and palaces thanks to it being the home of the largely fictional character Count Dracula in the Bram Stoker's novel Dracula.
Having seen Bran Castle we must say that using that particular castle as setting for the novel was wise. It is the most Draculaesque castle we have ever seen.
Corvin Castle in Hunedoara is a very impressive sight with its high walls and picture perfect turrets rising above them. If Bran Castle is Draculaesque in style we found Corvin Castle
to have a style we would classify as Disneyesque.
Bran Castle is likely the most well known of the Romanian castles and palaces
Unfortunately the Disneyesque feeling only lasted as long as we were outside of the castle. Once we got inside it was a different story. We believe Corvin Castle has been neglected for a long time and that restorations have been limited to the exterior of the castle only. The inside was barren and actually a bit dull. Quite a disappointment actually. The only thing we thought was really fun when we walked around in the castle were two halls that reminded us of the Great Hall in Hogwarts.
It is difficult to rank the various castles in Romania because they are so different from each other. If anyone would dare to make a ranking list though Peles Castle is sure to end up in top three regardless of who makes such a list. Peles Castle is not only impressive on the outside but also has plenty of grandeur inside as well. Peles Castle was so lavishly decorated with art and sculptures that it was difficult to take it all in by only following a guided tour. A guided tour is the only way you can visit Peles Castle. So to walk around by
One of the halls in Bran Castle
ourselves, like we prefer to do, was unfortunately out of the question.
Pelisor Castle Pelisor Castle
is another castle of the same age as Peles and it is located on the same premises as Peles Castle. The distance between the two castles is about 200 meters only. The description of Peles Castle works good for Pelisor Castle too. Lavishly decorated. Can only be visited by taking a tour.
When we wrote about Bran Castle we mentioned Count Dracula and said that the character is "largely fictional". It's because the character was inspired by a 15th century ruler of Wallachia, Vlad the Impaler. Most likely he was a very nasty person and one you definitely didn't want to have as your enemy. Let us leave it with that. Trust us when we say that you really don't want to know any more details.
Vlad the Impaler can according to legends be linked to Bran Castle and Corvin Castle. But other castle in Romania has stronger links to the life and adventures of Vlad the Impaler than Poenari Castle
Today Poenari Castle is in ruins. Had it not
Corvin Castle in Hunedoara is built in a style we would classify as Disneyesque.
been for the Dracula novel probably not a single person would have bothered to go and visit it. It is located slightly off the main roads in Romania and also high up on a ridge. It is quite a climb to get up there, 1,480 steps Wikipedia says the staircase from the parking lot to the top has. When we visited the castle we were happy that we are in better than average shape because when we reached the top we were very sweaty. Not tired but sweaty from the workout.
Poenari Castle itself wasn't much to see to be honest but the views from the top was worth every drop of sweat we shed on the way up.
Palace of the Parliament
We left the biggest and the most expensive of all the palaces and castles of Romania to last - the Palace of the Parliament.
The Parliament building is said to be the second largest building in the world after Pentagon, but that might not be true. But even though there might be a couple of buildings in the world that are bigger than the Palace of the
This hall reminded us of the Great Hall in Hogwarts.
Parliament in Bucharest it is a huge building. It is not known exactly how much it cost to build it but it is believed that some years during its construction as much as 10 % of the Romanian national budget was spent on it.
The palace has more than 1,000 rooms, all decorated like they were halls in a royal palace. We have added quite a few photos taken in various places inside. Hope you get an idea of the grandeur in the palace.
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