Highlights of Dracula
Who is Dracula and what connection does he has with Romania?
Bram Stoker based his mythical character ‘Count Dracula’ on the medieval Prince of Transylvania, Vlad Tepes. Vlad Tepes translates as Vlad the Impaler from Romanian, a name well earned from his favorite punishment, hammering a large wooden stake up through his unfortunate victim.
Vlad Tepes was born in December 1431 in the fortress of Sighisoara, Romania. In the winter of 1436-1437, Vlad Tepes became prince of Walachia (one of the three Romanian provinces) and took up residence at the palace of Targoviste, the princely capital. Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler ) was the ruler of Walachia at various times from 1456-1462.
His first major act of revenge was aimed at the boyars of Targoviste for not being loyal to his father. Vlad Tepes (Dracula) then ordered the boyars to build him a fortress on the ruins of an older outpost overlooking the Arges River. Many died in the process. Dracula, therefore, succeeded in creating a new nobility and obtaining a fortress for future emergencies. What is left of the building today is identified as Poenari Fortress (Cetatea Poenari).
Vlad Tepes understood that it was very important for Valachia to protect its trade, so he made some special rules to protect his country against the German and Saxon importers who were unhappy with that. When the Saxons, (living in Transylvania), traded with Germany and Western Europe, they demonstrated negative feelings about Vlad Tepes.
Located in Transylvania 84 miles north of Bucharest, Bran Castle has been promoted as Dracula's home, but Vlad Tepes never lived there. That hasn't stopped travelers from visiting it and other Dracula-associated sites in present-day Romania
About 40 kilometers north of Bucharest, on an island in the middle of Snagov Lake, lays the monastery with the same name. It is believed that Vlad's decapitated body was found in the woods around Bucharest by the monks of the Snagov monastery and brought here to be buried.
Vlad Dracula is remembered as a prince who defended his people from foreigners, whether those foreigners were Turkish invaders or German merchants. He is also remembered as a champion of the common man against the oppression of the boyars
- Accommodation for 5 nights
- Half board: breakfast and dinner
- Specialized guide
- Tickets to all touristic sites included in the tour
- Transportation from/to airport
- Transportation inside Romania
Package doesn't include
- Transport from/to destination (landing city)
- Travel and heath inssurance
Day 1: Arrival / Bucharest
Arrival in Bucharest. Meeting with the Romanian guide.
Transfer from airport to hotel.
Check-in at the hotel. Dinner and get to know the guests.
Overnight in Bucharest.
Day 2: Bucharest – Targoviste - Bran
After breakfast, we’ll visit Palatul Curtea Veche ( Old Princely Court)situated in the historical center of Bucharest. The palace was built in the 15th century by Vlad Tepes. According to local lore, Vlad kept his prisoners in dungeons which commenced beneath the Old Princely Court and extended under the city. All that remains today are a few walls, arches, tombstones and a Corinthian column.
We’ll continue with a visit to Snagov Monastery. In 1458 - more than one hundred years after the church was built (1364) - Romanian prince Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler) added thick defending walls and a dungeon. A plaque on the floor inside the church marks the grave with the presumed remains of Dracula.
At noon, we'll drive towards Targoviste, where we’ll visit the Princely Court served as the capital of Walachia, where Vlad ruled. It was here where the Prince impaled many disloyal court members (the boyars) after inviting them to a celebratory feast. Chindiei Watchtower now houses an exhibition illustrating Vlad's life.
In the afternoon, we’ll reach to Bran, which is not only the place of Dracula’s castle, but also an important agro touristic area of Romania.
Accommodation and dinner in Bran Village.
Day 3: Bran – Brasov - Sighisoara
After breakfast, we visit the “Dracula Castle”.
Surrounded by an aura of mystery and legend and perched high atop a 200-foot-high rock, Bran Castle owes its fame to its imposing towers and turrets as well as to the myth created around Bram Stocker's Dracula. Built on the site of a Teutonic Knights stronghold dating from 1212, the castle was first documented in an act issued by Louis I of Hungary on November 19, 1377, giving the Saxons of Kronstadt (Brasov) the privilege to build the Citadel. From 1920 to 1957 Bran served as royal residence, a gift of the people of Brasov to Queen Marie of Romania.
The castle is now a museum open to tourists, displaying art and furniture collected by Queen Marie.
At noon , we’ll drive toward the place where Vlad Tepes was born – Sighisoara.
On the way, we’ll make a short stop to Brasov, one of the most medieval city of Romania. Among Brasov’s best known historical and cultural the Black Church – the largest Gothic church east of Vienna – so named because of its dark walls which survived a devastating fire in 1689, and the Brasov Fortress.
In the afternoon, we’ll reach Sighisoara, which is not only the place of birth of Vlad Tepes, but also the best preserved medieval castle in Romania and one of the most beautiful residential castles in Europe.
Accommodation and dinner in Sighisoara.
Day 4: Sighisoara – Sibiu – Transfagarasan
After breakfast, we’ll visit the Vlad Tepes’s house. It is located in Sighisoara’s Citadel Square, close to the Clock Tower. This ocher-colored house is the place where Vlad Tepes was born in 1431 and lived with his father, until 1435 when they moved to Targoviste. The ground floor of the house serves as a restaurant, while the first floor is home to the Museum of Weapons.
At noon, we’ll drive toward our last goal of our tour- Poenari Fortress. But, as the ruins of the fortress stand so high on the hills, we’ll make an overnight stop on Transfagarasan. The Transfagarasan journey is not only a trip through nature at its best, but it can also be a good trip through history. This road, which was built for military purposes and which connects Transylvania to Wallachia, Romania’s historic regions, was built between 1970 and 1974, during the rule of communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.
Ceausescu wanted to ensure quick military access across the mountains in case the Russians ever invaded.
The landscape is fantastic, and the differences of altitude and the curves represent a challenge for both cars and drivers.
Day 5: Poienari – Curtea de Arges – Bucuresti
After breakfast, we’ll visit the Poienari Fortress
. The ruins of Poienari Fortress stand high on a cliff overlooking the Arges River, at the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains. Built at the beginning of the 13th century by the first Walachian rulers, the castle changed names and residents a few times over the decades; eventually, it was abandoned and left in ruins. Vlad Tepes recognized the potential of the location and upon taking over the throne, he ordered that the structure be repaired and consolidated, turning it into one of his main fortresses. The castle ruins can be reaches after climbing the 1,462 steps.
On our way back to Bucharest we’ll make a short stop to Curtea de Arges city, where we’ll visit Curtea de Arges Monastery. The legend of master Manole”, which is directly connected to the name of the monastery, says that the ruler hired the greatest masters to build the place of worship. But all that they had built during the day fell apart during the night. So one night Manole had a dream, showing him that the construction would resist only if he built his wife in one of the walls. The next day, when his wife Ana came to bring him the food, Manole built her in the South wall.
Now, the Curtea de Arges Monastery stands up due to this sacrifice.
Day 6: Bucharest / departure
Breakfast at hotel. End of tour . Transfer to the airport.