Castles have been a staple in Romanian culture for centuries, and each one has its own unique story to tell. There are many beautiful castles in Romania that tourists can visit to get an idea of the history and culture of Romania .
Romanian castles often come with both historical facts and legendary tales passed down from history. This is what makes them interesting regardless of whether you are a history geek or simply a fan of interesting myths that reflect ancient beliefs.
Here are some famous castles in Romania that you can keep a lookout for when planning your trip to this fascinating Balkan country.
Most Famous Castle In Romania
One of the most famous castles in Romania is Dracula’s Castle. This castle is located in the city of Bran, and it is said to be the home of Vlad the Impaler – the real-life inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula novel.
Bran Castle is a Romanian Castles and one of the most famous castles in Romania. This castle was built by Vlad Tepes Dracula himself, also known as Vlad the Impaler. Bran Castle is located near Bran, which is about 40 miles from Bucharest, Romania.
Bran Castle has been referred to as “Dracula’s Castle”, because of the many myths and legends that are associated with it. One of these legends is that Vlad Tepes Dracula was imprisoned in Bran Castle for a short time.
Bran Castles is now a museum, which attracts many visitors from all over the world.
While Bran Castle or Dracula Castle is the most famous castle in Romania, it is actually not the most beautiful castle visually.
Here are some impressive-looking Romanian castles to consider visiting on your castle tour around Romania.
Corvin Castle (Hunyadi or Hunedoara Castle)
Romania is filled with gorgeous castles outside of just Bran Castle and Pelisor. Corvin Castle is one of those beautiful Romanian castles. It is also known as Hunyadi or Hunedoara Castle
With its incredible Gothic architecture that dates back to 1446, Corvin Castle has captured the heart of many tourists. Some locals call the castle Hunyadi or Hunedoara Castle, so be aware of these names when looking for the castle.
Despite the beauty of this castle in Romania, it has quite the spooky lore surrounding it. Like many castles in Transylvania, Corvin Castle has some lore of being a Dracula castle in Romania. It is believed that Corvin was where Vlad the Impaler was held as a prisoner.
Vlad is the inspiration for the blood-thirsty vampire, Dracula. His imprisonment brought these spooky rumors to the beautiful Corvin Castle. If you visit the Romanian castle, will you see it as beautiful, or scary?
The Peles Castles is located in Sinaia, Romania, and is one of the most beautiful castles in Europe. This Romanian Castle was built by King Carol I of Romania at the end of the 19th century
The Peles Castles has been used as a summer residence by the royal family since its construction and now serves as a museum. It’s home to a large art collection. Peles Castle is open to the public every day except for Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
The Castle is about 80 miles from Bucharest, and one of the famous landmarks in Romania.
The Fagaras Citadel was originally built in 1310 on top of an old fort. This Romanian castle was built to defend parts of Transylvania from the impending attacks of the Ottomans. It went through multiple reconstruction processes to make the walls stronger and thicker.
In 1541, Fagaras was attacked and captured – but not for long. Mihai Viteazul saved the Romanian castle in 1599, and gave it to his wife as a present. That may sound sweet, but the Fagaras Citadel is similar to the other Dracula castles in Romania. The old castle is said to have been home to one of the country’s most horrific torture devices.
The mechanism was said to be like the iron maiden and would dispose of the bodies into the Olt River. Though this is not confirmed, this legend has put Fagaras Citadel on the list of creepiest castles in Romania.
In the late 1940s, the Dracula-like castle in Romania was taken by the communist regime. It was used to house and recondition prisoners until 1977. Today, Fagaras Citadel has become a lovely museum and library. Though the Transylvanian castle’s current nature is education, it has quite a long history.
Perlisor Castle is nearby Peles Castle in the same area. Similarly, it is another beautiful castle in Romania, and definitely worth a visit while you are there.
The Pelișor Castle is a unique piece of history, as it features elements from several different styles. The castle is a beautiful construct in both Romanian and European standards.
The style of Pelișor Castle represents an interesting mix between French Art Nouveau, Byzantine influences alongside Celtic designs making for quite the stunning looking structure.
Similar to Fagaras, Rasnov Citadel was originally built to defend the city of Transylvania from Ottoman attacks. Rasnov protected its people for many years and saw many battles. Even battles that date as far back as 1211!
Sadly, natural disasters started to take hold on Rasnov Citadel and hurt its strong structure. In 1718, there was a fire that burned the castle. And in 1802, a major earthquake caused damages in parts of the Romanian castle. During the 1950s and 1960’s, the communist government restored much of Rasnov Citadel.
One of the more unique legends that surround the Transylvanian castle is that of its water well. There was a time in the citadel where there was no water. So, Turkish prisoners were forced to dig a well for the citizens.
If the legend is true, the two prisoners took 17 years to build this well. Though the legend is not confirmed, visitors can see Quran verses on the walls of the deep well.
This has led to much speculation on what happened to the possible prisoners. Some say they were released, but most believe they were killed.
Not all Transylvanian castles are connected to the infamous Dracula legend. The Banffy Castle has been dubbed by many as the Versailles of Transylvania.
In the 18th century, an architect built parks, statues, wells, and more around the original Banffy Castle. These additions turned the classic gothic castle into a more Viennese-style we know today.
In 1944, Banffy was used as a hospital to help soldiers fighting in WWII. However, it was attacked by the Nazis and was no longer habitable for hospital use.
Years later in 1999, Banffy Castle was on the List of Endangered Sites. So, the Built Heritage Conservation Program worked hard on restoring and protecting the beautiful Banffy Castle. Thanks to this program, we are now able to marvel at the glory of Banffy Castle.
Other Romanian Castles outside Transylvania
In the romantic town of Miclaușeni, you can find the serene beauty of Sturdza Castle. The neo-gothic structure is surrounded by lush greenery and towering trees. It shows the true beauty of castles in Romania. It’s not all spooky Dracula castles in Romania!
The Sturdza Castle was first built by the well-known Moldavian Sturdza family. Many family members actually became rulers in Romania. You can see signs of this family throughout Sturdza, and can even see the family motto in the building itself.
Look for the words “Utroque clarescere pluchrum.” Which translates to “beauty shines everywhere,” in English. Which is a motto that truly captures the essence of this Romanian castle.
Thanks to multiple restoration efforts over the years, Sturdza Castle has maintained its beauty. Walk along the gardens and lake surrounding the building, and take in the spectacular Sturdza.
Iulia Hasdeu Castle
Before visiting Iulia Hasdeau Castle, you should probably buy some tissues. Despite being one of the most beautiful castles in Romania, it also has one of the most tragic backstories.
The Hasdeu Castle is not just a stunning Romanian castle but is also a memorial. The famous Romanian writer, Bodgan Petriceicu Hasdeau built the castle as an homage to his only daughter, Iulia.
Iulia was an incredibly intelligent young woman and was the first woman from Romania to be accepted into Sorbonne University. Unfortunately, during her studies, she caught tuberculosis and died at 19 years old.
B.P. Hasdeau was devastated to have lost his only daughter. He began to take part in séance sessions and build the castle in accordance to what Iulia was saying from beyond.
When you walk around the Iulia Hasdeu Castle, you will feel the warm spirit and love that was built into the house.
The Cantacuzino Castle has traded a couple of different hands over the years. In 1911, the castle was originally built for the Cantacuzino family.
The Neo-Romanian castle was taken over by the communist party in 1948, where the castle was completely changed. From the furniture to the color of the walls, the look of Cantacuzino Castle was very different.
When the communist party fell in 1989, the home was given back to the Cantacuzino family. They kept it until 2004, when the family sold it.
The Romanian castle is now a museum that houses the history of the castle and the Cantacuzino family. It is an interesting castle in Romania to visit.
If you are a wine lover, then you should definitely visit Jidvei Castle. This castle in Romania has become the face of wine in the country over recent years. Jidvei was originally built in the mid to late 1570s and was quite prosperous for a while.
Similar to many of the other castles on this list, when the communist party took over, the castle was given to the government. Due to this takeover, the government at the time took much of the furniture and silver goods that were in the castle.
Jidvei Caste was eventually renovated and housed numerous wine tasting events in the country. The most famous wine festival has to be the “Golden Grape Festival.” It happens right at the beginning of Autumn and serves some delicious wine for visitors to taste.
When exploring Jidvei look around the main hall for the famous collection of 45 watches. The watches have a lovely story. On the past owner’s 45th birthday, those living in the castle gifted him 45 watches to represent his long life so far.
It’s a great castle to visit for those who may not want to visit the Dracula castles in Romania.
Near the Jidvei Castle, you can find the hidden Bethlen Castle. It is just a bit away from Cetatea de Balta, a medieval Romanian village. This castle in Romania was built sometime in the 16th century and has seen its fair share of blows during the years.
Despite going through many ups and downs, Bethlen Castle has been able to maintain much of its original beauty.
Unlike most other Romanian castles, Bethlen is not a public castle. However, you can arrange tours with the castle’s current owner.
Bethlen castle has guest rooms you can stay in if you want to explore the grounds a little longer. Thanks to its proximity to Jidvei Castle, you can visit two castles in one day easily. Sip on some Jidvei wine, then explore the lush gardens surrounding Bethlen Castle.
Visiting Castles In Romania
Castles are not only beautiful but also give visitors a chance to learn about Romanian culture and history. These are just some of the famous castles in Romania that you can visit, and there are more waiting for you to discover.
If you’re planning a trip to Romania, be sure to keep a lookout for any castles on your itinerary and see what sort of insights they offer into the historic legends of Romania.
Make also to also try some tasty Romanian food as you explore the majestic castles that Romania has to offer!