Poenari Citadel Poenari Castle, Dracula Citadel, Arges
Vlad Dracula, (Vlad Tepes) consolidated and expanded the fortress. There are many stories about the relation between the cruel impaler and the nobility of that period of time. It is said that he rebuilt the fortress with the bodies of the noblemen of that period of time that were convicted for breaking the laws. The fortress served Dracula’s necessities for many years, as he used it as protection and refuge during his war with the Ottoman Empire. The fortress lost its importance after his death. Now, many years later, a large portion is still visible and in good conditions. Dracula’s Fortress is situated on a big cliff, next to Transfagarasan road, at a high altitude. In order to reach this place, visitors have to climb almost 1500 steps. From above, a great panorama of the Arges Valley is visible. It is quite amazing to listen to the guide’s stories and actually see the place which he is speaking about. There are also stories about military tactics that helped the armies of the rulers (like Vlad Dracul) to escape from the enemy. For example, it is sad that he once put the horseshoes in reverse, tricking the enemy about the direction of his flee.
After the visit to Dracula Fortress, our one day trip continues towards Vidraru Dam. The 5 km road upstream, following the narrow valley is spectacular. The stone cliffs, the big gap between the road and the bottom of the river, the steep slopes, the woods and the thin mountain air, they all give a beautiful sensation. After reaching the dam everything calms down, while the imposing Fagaras Mountains are visible on the north side. This is the place where we will take the lunch break.
The day tour continues back to Curtea de Arges. This is one of the oldest towns in Wallachia and it has a rich history. Being the first Capital of Wallachia, it had a Royal Court and a Royal Church which still exist nowadays and are opened for visitors. We will visit this old place after going to the Municipal Museum, where we will better understand the history of the settlement and of the entire Wallachia. After that, we will pay a visit to the Folk Art Museum, hosted by Norocea House. This is an old house, built in 1922-1923 by the painter and restorer Dumitru Norocea. The museum has more than 12000 pieces: traditional objects, used in the households of Arges, crafted products, traditional clothes made by wool and other fabrics.