Romania, a set of valleys and mountain peaks in Europe. is perhaps one of the most popular places in the world for the mysteries and legends surrounding its paths. If you want to visit and tour some of the best castles in the world, then Romania should be your destination as this country certainly has more than its share.
Here’s one possibility for such a list with 10 amazing Romanian castles:
Note – you’re welcome to disagree and add a comment with your favorite castles.
#10 Iulia Hașdeu Castle, Câmpina
Iulia Hasdeu Castle is built in the form of a small castle by politician and historian Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu in the city of Câmpina, Romania. The principal entrance to the castle is a huge door made of stone, apparently fixed on a diamond bearing. In the present day. this castle is a museum and displays personal belongings of Hasdeu family, furniture, photos, manuscripts and original documents,
#9 Cantacuzino Castle, Bușteni
This castle, whose construction was completed in 1911 and conducted by the architect Gregory Cerchez at the request of Prince George Grigore Cantacuzino, is built in Neo-Romanian style. The total surface of the estate is over 3,000 square meters. Moreover, during the communist era, Cantacuzino castle served as a sanatorium and most of the authentic paint of the castle walls was covered with the green color to create the distinct look of a hospital. Presently, the place is open for visitors as a museum.
#8 Sturdza Castle, Miclauseni
Sturdza castle was built in the place of an old mansion which dated from the middle of the 18th century. It was renovated between the years 2003-2005. In the present day, this neo-gothic castle is a part of the historical monuments which are under the patrimony of the Bukovina and Moldova Metropolitan Church, and it is open for tourists.
#7 Rasnov Citadel, Brasov
This place is a 14th-century fortress built by Teutonic Knights to withstand frequent invasion from Tartars and Turks. At first, this castle was called Rustic Citadel because the main occupation of its constructors was agriculture. An interesting fact about this citadel is that the only single time in its history when the people from Rasnov were forced to capitulate was during Prince Gabriel Bathory’s reign in 1612 due to the lack of water. It is now open for visits daily, including the days of legal celebrations, when the program remains unchanged.
#6 Bánffy Castle, Bonțida
The Bánffy Castle in Bonțida is one of the most important castle ensembles in Romania. In 1944, Bánffy castle was transformed into a field hospital and was burned by retreating German troops in retaliation for pro-Allied efforts. Also, during the communist regime, the building was used as a cooperative farm, driving school, and hospital for children. Furthermore, in 1999, this location was included on the 100 Most Endangered Monuments List published by the World Monuments Watch. It is currently under restoration.
#5 Mikó Castle, Miercurea Ciuc
The Mikó Castle is a fortified castle in Miercurea Ciuc. Built from 1623 to 1630, Mikó castle was burnt down by Tartars in 1661 and then rebuilt in 1716 by the orders of General Stephan Steinville. In the present day, it is part of the Szekler Museum of Ciuc in which several exhibitions can be visited (such as local history, handicrafts, natural history, religious art, book art, and temporary exhibitions).
#4 Fagaras Fortress, Fagaras
This marvelous fortress in Transylvania is an impressive stronghold originally built in 1310 and expanded from the 15th to the 17th century. Fagaras fortress is surrounded by 2 rows of large walls, the space between them being filled with earth; the result is one amazing 8-meter thick wall. In 1948, the fortress became a dreadful political prison during the communist regime. Fagaras citadel has 85 rooms, spread over 5 levels, one of them being the torture chamber, still preserving the most notorious torture instrument in Europe, the Iron Maiden. Today, the gorgeously preserved fortress houses the Fagaras County Museum.
#3 Peles Castle, Brasov
Peles Castle, located in Sinaia (44 km from Brasov and 122 km from Bucharest), is a unique construction in the country and one of the most important monuments of its kind in 19th century Europe. Inaugurated in 1883, Peles castle was built in stone, wood, bricks and marble and comprises more than exquisite 160 rooms. This place was meant to be an establishment of a dynasty of kings, its location being a strategic one. Nowadays, the castle is open Tuesdays through Sundays year-round, except for the month of November, during which the castle is closed.
In addition, almost adjacent to Peles Castle is Little Peles, another small castle that consists of 70 rooms which feature a unique collection of turn-of-the-century Lalique and Tiffany glassware and Viennese furniture.
Corvin Castle, also known as The Hunyad Castle or Castelul Corvinilor, is the most spectacular Gothic-style castle in Romania. Construction work of the Hunyad castle began in 1440 and was designed as defense fortress and as a prison. The superbly preserved castle features a sumptuous Knights’ Hall, high buttresses, a 30 meter deep well, an impressive drawbridge, a chapel, inner courtyards, the Diet Hall and some 50 rooms resplendent with medieval art.
#1 Bran Castle, Brasov
Bran Castle, better known as Dracula’s Castle, is associated with the real Vlad who became the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s famous vampire Count Dracula (the name ”Dracula” is derived from the Romanian word for devil or dragon). In the 1400s, Vlad the Impaler was a ruler of modern-day Transylvania and a man with a colossal appetite for cruelty.
The building of the castle started somewhere around the year 1378. The constructors succeeded in combining wood with the rock brought from Magura Branului.
Interesting facts about Bran Castle:
- the castle is located atop a cliff in central Romania;
- it is valued at for more than $135 million;
- In 2006, years after communism ended, the castle was returned to Ileana’s son Dominic Hapsburg, a retired New York architect.