Dracula Day Tour
Three castles in a day and pure storiesDracula Day Tour is a rich one day trip which will show you many interesting places. In just one day you will discover: 3 castles (Peles, Pelisor and Bran), the Citadel of Rasnov, the beautiful resorts of the Prahova Valley (Sinaia, Busteni, Predeal) and many stories about old times, the medieval period, the age of rulers and the age of kings. The most impressive part of this tour is the rich history of the places and the amazing myths like the Myth of Dracula. At the end of the day, what you are left with is the powerful feeling of authenticity, alongside with the memories of the beautiful places.
Dracula Day Tour
Our journey begins, as usual, in ground zero, the center of Bucharest – University Square, across the street from Hotel Intercontinental, at 8 o’clock in the morning. Our tour will continue north, towards the city of Ploiesti. We will go round the city and continue towards the Carpathian Mountains. The landscape changes fast and the mountains become magnificent. Soon we will enter the Prahova Valley defile. After about 2 hours of driving we will arrive in Sinaia, also known as the Royal City, due to its castles and the years spent here by the Romanian Royal Families. The city is beautiful. It has many traditional and also newer houses built on the north side of the river, on the slopes of Bucegi Mountains. Sinaia is also one of the best ski resorts in Romania. It has many slopes starting from 2000 meters in altitude. It is one of the best free ride ski spots in Romania.
In Sinaia we will visit the Peles and Pelisor Castles.
Peles Castle was built between 1866 and 1914, at the request of King Carol I, by architects Johannes Schultz and Karel Liman, and decorated by famous JD Heymann from Hamburg, August Bembe from Mainz and Bernhard Ludwig from Vienna. Peles Castle is the most famous royal residence in Romania and the first fully electrified castle in Europe, equipped with interior elevator and centralized heating, incredible things for that period of time. The castle has 160 rooms, many entrances and staircases. The cost for this imposing construction was estimated at 16 mil Romanian lei in gold (approx. US$ 120 million today), and between 300-400 people from all over Europe assisted to the actual construction works, as Queen Elisabeth stated in her journal.
Pelişor Castle is a small castle built in the interior park of Peles Castle on the Prahova Valley between 1899-1903 by Czech architect Karel Liman, and decorated by the Viennese artist Ludwig Bernhardt. Since 1903, the castle became the summer residence of the successors to the throne: King Ferdinand and Queen Marie. Pelişor Castle has 99 rooms and a valuable collection of decorative art belonging to the Art-Nouveau, including works by artists such as E. Galle, Daum brothers, J. Hoffmann, LC Tiffany Gurschner etc.
The two castles take 2 hours to visit. After the lunch break and a walk in the large green court of the castles we will get back on the road. The trip continues to Bran. We will pass through Busteni, a beautiful town at the foothills of the mountains. Seen from Busteni, the Bucegi Mountains with their steep slopes look gorgeous. Also, from here one can see the Caraiman Cross (Heroes’ Cross on Caraiman Peak), with a height of 36 meters (118 ft), built between 1926 and 1928 at the initiative of Marie of Edinburgh and King Ferdinand of Romania in memoriam of the Romanian soldiers who died during World War I. You also have to know that this monument is the tallest summit cross in the world situated at such an altitude (2,291 meters), being recognized by Guinness World Records in 2014. Kalinderu ski and snowboarding slope is also visible in the proximity.
Near Predeal the road takes the left exit and passes Paraul Rece and Rasnov before arriving to Bran. This settlement is the place where we can find the Dracula Castle. Bran Castle (Törzburg in German), also known as Dracula Castle, is a landmark of Romania. The medieval atmosphere could be seen and felt everywhere. There are plenty of elements that bring it to life and there are also many tourists that inspire happiness. The most amazing thing here is the castle that dominates the surroundings from the high rock that is situated on. It makes you really feel the old times’ spirit and the stories with Dracula will immediately come to mind. Read more about the Bran Castle in this article.
Our journey continues to Rasnov where we will visit the medieval citadel. Rasnov Citadel is a settlement built on a large rock near the mountains, with its tall walls offering protection in the past. Inside are some houses and auxiliary constructions that served population needs. The citadel was built in 1215 as a fortified settlement by the Teutonic Knights. It was only conquered once, around 1600. It offered protection to its citizens for more than 8 centuries. It is a nice place, well preserved, where the old times are kept alive.
The journey will continue to the road back to Bucharest, following the same path as the one chosen in the morning.
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