Transylvania, a region located in central Romania, is known as a mythical land where vampires have, and possibly still do live. Encircled by the Carpathian Mountains, the region of Transylvania is home to plenty of medieval villages, and fortified churches and castles.
Within the region of Transylvania lies the city of Brasov, where you can experience a mixture of Gothic, Baroque, and Renaissance styles. The most famous Brasov landmark is its Black Church, located in its picturesque Town Hall Square, Piata Sfatului. Here, you can also see the Old Town Hall, which houses the city’s history museum. Atop Mount Tampa, you can see the sign for the city of Brasov, and also the original defense fortress that once protected the city, easily accessible via cable car. Also, be sure to visit the Prejmer Fortified Church (with its 4 meter thick walls!) while in Brasov, as the newest additions to it, being the Evangelical Church and the Peasant Fortress, were made a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1999.
An important component of a trip to Transylvania is a visit to Bran Castle. This castle is known as Count Dracula’s Castle. It was restored by Queen Marie, and served as a defense castle as an attempt to stop Ottoman expansion. It also was used as an important place for trade, as it was known as the gate between the mountains. Although Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula, never visited Bran Castle, his description of Count Dracula’s residence is astonishingly similar to the castle’s appearance. You can go to Piatra Cariului National Park, which is said to be the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler, the man used as the inspiration behind Dracula. You can also visit Sighisoara, a 9-towered fortress that is also a UNESCO World Heritage site, and was the home to Prince Vlad III, aka Vlad the Impaler. The Peles Castle is another must-see castle located in Transylvania because it contains 160 rooms and beautiful, stained glass windows.
Another great town to visit within the Transylvania region of Romania is Rasnov. Also located near the Carpathian mountains, this fortified, small village was where the Teutonic Knights established themselves in Romania. The town had many fortified, hilltop citadels, and is currently a restored fortress. Transylvania is a beautiful place to visit for its wondrous history, its breathtaking mountains draped in fog, its gothic castles, and its charming medieval villages that are all still around today.