With a rich medieval heritage, Romania has a large collection of castles and fortresses dotted across its landscape. From the impressive 14th-century Bran Castle to the 19th-century neo-classical masterpiece, Peleș Castle, these buildings span a history of over 500 hundred years. One of the best things about Romania’s castle is the stories that go with them. From the terrifying tales of Vlad the Impaler to the heartbreaking reason for building Iulia Hasdeu Castle, the history behind these buildings is fascinating. So, whether you are planning to visit or just want to learn more, here are the best castles in Romania.
7 Best Castles In Romania
1. Bran Castle, Transylvania
Bran Castle is probably the most famous of all the castles in Romana. Tourists know it as Dracula’s Castle as many believe this is the place the inspired Bram Stoker to write the book of the same name. The castle’s roots date back to 1212, though the first documented mention of Bran Castle is in 1377. In the beginning, professional soldiers and mercenaries lived in the castle, then, eventually, it became a royal residence. In the 1920s Queen Maria of Romania restored the castle and now it is a museum filled with art and furniture collected by Her Majesty.
2. Iulia Hașdeu Castle, Câmpina
Historian and politician Bogdan Petriceicu Hașdeu built this small castle in memory of his daughter Iulia Hașdeu who died from tuberculosis at the tender age of 19 years old. Iulia was the first Romanian girl accepted at Sorbonne University in Paris. A great honour. Her death hit her father hard. Bogdan, a spiritualist, claims that the spirit of his daughter transmitted the building plans for the castle during a spiritist meeting. Construction started in 1893 and finished in 1896. Nowadays, it is a listed Historical Monument and houses the B.P. Hașdeu Memorial Museum, which displays furniture and personal belongings of the Hașdeu family.
3. Corvin Castle, Hunedoara
Corvin Castle, aka Hunyadi Castle or Hunedoara Castle, might look like something out of a fairytale, but the truth is, it is more like a nightmare due to how spooky it is, especially at night. Many historians believe it is here that Vlad the Impaler was kept as a prisoner and it is this dark history that also adds to the spookiness. The castle has also appeared in horror movies. Construction began in 1446 and as well as being one of Europe’s largest castles, it’s also one of the most important. The castle protected Romania and much of the rest of Europe against the Ottoman Empire. Without this castle, who knows how far the Ottomans would have advanced into Europe.
4. Peleș Castle, Sinaia
King Carol I of Romania commissioned the building of Peleș Castle in 1873, however, workers didn’t actually start building until 1873 and it wasn’t complete until 1914. Constructed in the Neo-Renaissance style, the unique and charming features are a must-see for any architecture lover. The communist regime seized the building and turned it into a museum, before closing in 1975. Officials re-established it as a cultural site following the 1989 Romanian Revolution. Fun fact: this was the first castle in Europe to have electricity, it even has its own power plant.
5. Banffy Castle, Bonțida
Once a 15th-century manor house, Banffy Castle is one of Transylvania’s largest castles and is a treasure of Baroque work. In the 18th-century, a famous Viennese architect added to the property. He built a park, alleyways and wells and decorated the gate with stone statues giving it its beautiful Baroque look. When it was in its prime, it was known as “Transylvanian Versailles”. Nowadays, it is home to the Electric Castle annual music festival.
6. Mikó Castle, Miercurea Ciuc
Diplomat, Ferenc Mikó began building this fortification in 1623. It used to be known as “Mikó’s new citadel”. During the 17th-century it was the town’s most crucial fortification. Today, it is a museum of Székely heritage. The Székelys were a small group of ethnic Hungarians living in the Székely region of Hungary. The name “Székely” comes from a Hungarian phrase for “frontier guards”. This is one castle packed with history, heritage and heart.
7. Sturdza Palace, Miclăușeni
Sturdza Palace or Sturdza Castle is an exquisite castle that the trees hide. During World War II, communists raided the palace and stole most of the valuable and artefacts. However, despite this violent past, it is an incredibly romantic and serene place to visit. Since 1598, when the castle was first built, many people have demolished and rebuilt it. Nowadays, officials have restored the castle and you can visit and explore this true architectural gem of neo-Gothic style.