Vampire legends are popular. Series like Twilight or True Blood are a worldwide success. They bring back to life the creatures who have frightened generations of readers and movie buffs. But if you want to place yourself at the crossroad between history and fiction, you should dive into the fantastic world of Count Dracula. So, what is Transylvania famous for besides this remarkable story? Find out in what follows.
Tales from the Dark: What is Transylvania Famous For
In the minds of most people, Transylvania is linked to the name of Count Dracula. Bram Stoker found inspiration in a local historical figure by the name of Vlad Țepeș, who lived there in the 15th century and also founded the nowadays capital Bucharest. It was his ruling style and methods of torture that made the Romanian prince a bloodthirsty hero. From the 1960s onward, many tourists from Western Europe, the United States, and Japan traveled to Romania to see for themselves the places mentioned in Stoker’s novel.
It is easy to understand why Irish author Bram Stoker placed the action of his cult book Dracula in Transylvania. He found inspiration in vampire legends and other variants of the dead, deeply rooted in the local customs. He also used the identity of a real local hero, Vlad “the Impaler” Țepeș.
The Royal Transylvanian Castle
Easily accessible from Bucharest, Transylvania is the most attractive and visited region of Romania. Its many beautiful villages and historic sites are worth discovering. The Bran Castle (Dracula Castle popularly) has placed the area among the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. Children, especially, will love the Transylvanian palaces and castles. But en route to this Dracula Castle, there’s another must-see destination.
Located at the foot of the Bucegi Mountains, in Sinaia, the Peleș Castle is easily accessible from Bucharest. It is a masterpiece of German neo-Renaissance architecture. Many see it as the crown of all Transylvanian castles. The imposing and very diversified royal mansion has over 160 rooms spread over 3.000 square meters. One of the great things about Peleș Castle is its diversity of decorative styles used for interior design. It is a recommended stop-over in any travel itinerary in Romania. Haven’t found the answer to what is Transylvania famous for? Here are more interesting facts.
What Else is Transylvania Famous For
In addition to the many well preserved medieval chateaux, the traditional village life and deep forests filled with legends and wild animals give Transylvania a particular appeal. Transylvania was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until 1918, and it has an extraordinary cultural heritage. The old city of Sighișoara, for example, the birthplace of Vlad Țepeș, has nothing obscure or terrifying, but rather a well-preserved medieval charm that made it a World Heritage Site (UNESCO).
Transylvania owes part of its culture, historical heritage and architecture to the Saxons. These German communities arrived here in the 13th century by the will of the King of Hungary to counter the raids of Turks and Mongols. They have built fortified churches and strongholds which are still preserved today in this historical region. Visiting such villages is like going back in time and entering another dimension. You may find everywhere pastoral scenes worthy of a different time or even lost paradise. Here, life and toil rest on the basic natural resources: earth, wood, and grass. Moreover, in Transylvania, ecology is neither a choice nor a calculation, but a certainty.
The Eastern Promises
The mountains here remind a bit of Switzerland but with modest shepherds’ shelters instead of luxurious chalets. The splendid landscapes and impenetrable woods are a refuge to the last bears and wolves of Europe. Likewise, the raw pastoral activity is still very present in Romania.
So, if you’re one of those neo-rurals, a locavore or descendant of other ecological “tribes,” then Transylvania is simply cut out for you. It is an ideal destination for those seeking a change of scenery and different fantastic culinary experiences. This picturesque region of Romania always requires a particular love for walking. Just don’t forget to slip a clove of garlic and a crucifix in your travel backpack.