Experience adventure in Transylvania at Bran Castle
One of the best ways to explore Transylvania is on an adventurous trek, heading through the rugged mountains, passing glacial lakes, alpine grasslands and woodlands. However, it is also important to visit the city of Bran and the iconic Bran Castle. According to history, the castle was said to have held Vlad Tepes Dracula, known as “Vlad the Impaler” prisoner. This brutal history is probably what inspired Bram Stoker’s novel, leading to the nickname, “Dracula’s Castle.” In fact, the bloodthirsty Romanian ruler did inspire the novel of the famous vampire.Ironically, Stoker has apparently never visited central Europe at all, so there are other castles claiming the rights to Dracula’s legend. Despite this, the castle’s ancient armor and weapons, dank underground passages, and creepy atmosphere do make Bran Castle the likely home for Count Dracula.
The castle was built between 1377 and 1388 and stands over a mountain pass between Transylvania and Wallachia. Meanwhile, the latter was ruled by Vlad the Impaler during the 15th century. Nowadays, the castle belongs to the descendants of Queen Marie, who was given the castle in 1920 as a token of appreciation for her help in unifying Romania.Nowadays, travelers can explore the castle and its museum, mostly dedicated to Queen Marie. However, should you visit at Halloween, Bran Castle is perfect for various spooky events.
The Sphinx of BusteniAnother fascinating attraction is up in the Bucegi Mountains near Busteni. Also known as the Mountain Sphinx, the rock formation closely resembles the Great Sphinx of Giza in Egypt. From other angles, the rock is said to resemble a woman’s face.
However, the shape of the rock isn’t its main attraction. In fact, the Sphinx of Bucegi is surrounded by folklore and conspiracy theories. Some believe it was carved by an ancient civilization to represent a supreme being, while others believe the rock has a strong energetic force field, that that it is one of the chakras of the world.
Whichever story is true, a hike to the Sphinx of Busteni is definitely a worthwhile trip. In fact, there are numerous hiking trails from Bisteni and Sinaia to reach the rock. Meanwhile, a cable car is available to take visitors up to the top.
Brasov ‘Hollywood’ sign, TransylvaniaThe Transylvanian old town of Brasov and its surrounds are popular with filmmakers. One example is the 2003 movie Cold Mountain which was filmed in the fields surrounding the town, as well as the farmland in the Carpathian Mountains.
Likely for this reason, the town has a “Hollywood” sign standing proudly on a hill above the town. The sign is on the summit of Mount Tampa and can clearly be viewed from all over the medieval town. For those who wish to head up there, a cable car is available from Casa Padurarului at the base of the mountain.Meanwhile, the sign is a short, five-minute walk from the cable car station and visitors can stand beneath the huge letters, enjoying panoramic views over Brasov and the surrounding countryside.
Enjoy a fun adventure in Transylvania, Romania in 2023 exploring these and other fascinating attractions.