The most famous site is Bran castle, located in the southern Carpathians, south from Brasov. Bram Stoker, the vampire's literary father (1897), must have been impressed with the view of the castle perched on a hilltop, at the far end of a mountain range, which used to be wild and deserted. It is therefore, as everyone knows, a Mecca for gothic literature. It is true that the image of this medieval castle is perfect as it is so mysterious and a touch gloomy. Except that Vlad Tepes's real castle, the prince who inspired the character of Dracula, is the citadel of Poenari, standing high on the top of a steep mountain, watching over the passageway between Wallachia and Transylvania. It is possible to climb the mountain to the fortress, but it is not really worth it as only few ruins remain.
Commonly known as 'Dracula's Castle', Bran Castle is an important monument in the history of Romania, being linked as it is to the Habsburg Dynasty.© emicristea / 123RF
Belonging to the Habsburgs since the 14th century, Bran Castle was the residence of the Romanian royal family for 27 years before being returned to its rightful owners in 2006.© Easyvoyage.com
Built in the 14th century by John Hunyadi (in Romanian: Iancu or Ioan de Hunedoara), this is one of the largest castles in Romania. Vlad III is supposed to have lived here.© Easyvoyage.com
Located between the Carpathians and the Danube, all that is left of the Poenari citadel are ruins.© Xalanx / 123RF
Located on a cliff 800 metres high, the citadel is accessible via 1,480 steps.© Xalanx / 123RF