There are more than 100 fortresses and castles in Transylvania but unfortunately, not all of them are in good condition.
Time passing and especially human behaviour left deep and irreparable marks on many of these monuments.
The old glory of these places can be easily noticed and the ones which have been restored are real masterpieces and architectural jewellery.
Out of all these 100 fortresses, 3 of them stands out because of their picturesque location, unique architecture and interesting history.
It’s time to tell you which are there 4 monuments and why they are so important for Romanian history.
1. Bran Castle
By far one of the most well-known landmarks from Transylvania, Bran Castle is the most visited place of Romania.
This is the only castle from Romania which resembles perfectly with the castle described by Bram Stoker in his novel Dracula.
With its secret passages, narrow stairs and haunted atmosphere, Bran Castle is the place where you want to go if you want to step on Dracula’s footprints.
The first fortress built on this place dates from the 12th century and was built by the Teutonic Knights.
The place was chosen because it offers a perfect view over the surrounding area and on those times, here was the border of the Hungarian empire.
One century later, in the 13th century, King Andrew II of Hungary granted the people from Brasov the right to built a castle in that place.
By 1388, Bran fortress was finished; its role was not just to defend the Hungarian empire but also had a commercial role, as most of the good transferred in and out Transylvania passed through here.
Throughout the years, the fortress had multiple usages including administration, military and even customs purposes.
By the beginning of the 19th century, one of the most beautiful castles in Transylvania was given as a gift to the Romania Royal family of Queen Marie.
The furniture and what you can see today in the castle dates from Queen Marie times; she ordered a massive renovation of the palace after she owned the place.
Until now, I haven’t told you anything about Dracula and its legend, although this castle is being known as Dracula’s castle.
The reason is simple: count Dracula or Vlad the Impaler on his real name has never lived here and he never had any connection with this beautiful castle.
It is believed that for a very short period of time he was imprisoned here after he loses a battle with the Hungarian king.
But the mystical and occult atmosphere still surrounds the castle and if you want to get scared then you can visit the House of Terror located right near the fortress.
Today, the castle is open for public and tours from Brasov and Bucharest are organised if you are interested in visiting this castle.
If you are in Romania for a limited time and want to visit the Romanian castles I suggest you book Peles and Bran castle tour from Bucharest.
You have the unique opportunity to visit two amazing castles in a single day without worrying about transportation, parking and organising the trip.
Let others deal with such things and you just enjoy the beautiful scenery from the area and the castles.
Can you go inside Dracula’s Castle?
You can go inside Dracula’s Castle (also known as Bran Castle) during open hours on your own or with a guided tour. Inside you can see the medieval decorated rooms, the dungeon and there is even a torture chamber you can visit which is not for the faint-hearted. The castle is magnificent and beautiful, especially for how it is positioned on top of a cliff that oversees Bran.
2. Peles Castle
Located in a magnificent mountain resort at the foot of Bucegi Mountains, Peles Castle is an architectural masterpiece of German new-Renaissance architecture and one of the best castles in Transylvania.
The castle was built in the 18th century and served as the summer residence of the royal family until 1947.
It has 160 rooms, all decorated with the finest examples of European art, German stained-glass windows, Murano crystal chandeliers and Cordoba leather.
The royal family used a source of inspiration for naming the place the neighbouring Peles Creek which passes right through the courtyard.
Peles Castle was the first European castle which has electricity; it has its own power plant, hot and cold running water, central heat and central vacuum system.
Inside the castle, there is a stain glass roof at the foyer which opens mechanically and a small elevator.
Inside the castle, the rooms are decorated in different styles and ave different themes.
There is a Concert Hall, Music Room inspired by Indian culture, a Turkish salon, the Great Salon with Italian influences and even a small cinema hall.
The castle is open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday during summertime (from 15th May to 16th September) and from Wednesday to Sunday during winter time (from 17th September to 14th of May).
The ticket price for one adult is around 6.5 euro; reductions applied to seniors and students, while children and reduced mobility can enter the castle free of charge.
3. Corvin Castle
If the first two castles from my top with the best castles in Transylvania are conveniently located close to Bucharest and close to each other, Corvin castle is located in the heart of Transylvania, in Deva city.
The most spectacular Gothic-style Romanian castle is by far Corvin castle also known as the Hunyad fortress.
This medieval fortress was built in the 12th century by the Anjou family on the place where there was a former Roman camp.
The fortress served as a defence point until the middle of the 14th century when it became the residence of the Transylvania voivode, Iancu de Hunedoara.
This great Transylvanian voivode was the one who updated the fortress and transformed it into a castle, one of the most beautiful architectural pieces from Romania.
The best-preserved rooms from the castle are the Knight’s Hall, an impressive room used for ceremonies, the inner courtyard and a chapel.
The fortress is smaller than the previous two castles; it has only 60 rooms decorated with medieval art elements.
The castle’s courtyard features a 100 feet well dug into stone in the 15th century; the legend says that the wheel was dug by three Turkish prisoners who were promised freedom when finishing the job.
By the time the job was finish on the 16th century, the Transylvanian voivode was dead and his descendants did not respect the promise.
On 1854 a massive fire destroyed the castle and burned everything made from wood: the roof, the wooden beams, stairs, ceiling and doors.
At the beginning of the 19th century, a long and expensive process of renovation began to bring back the glory of the castle.
Today, the castle can be visited by tourists from all over the world according to the opening hours from the official site.
The good news is that the chateau is open daily, with a shorter program on Monday.
As the location is pretty far from Bucharest I strongly recommend you to spend the night there. Conacul Archia is one of the best choices from the area if you are looking for good night sleep and tasty breakfast.
What are the 3 best castles in Transylvania Romania ?
The best 3 castles in Transylvania which should be included in your travel list when visit Romania are: Bran Castle, Peles Castle and Corvin Castle. If you really want to get a better understanding of Romania, I advise you to book a few extra days to visit Transylvania and its hidden gems.
Banffy Castle, Teleki Castle, Rasnov citadel or fortified churches are just some of the most important attractions from the area.
Some of them had been neglected during the communist regime, but now they have been restored and regain their old glory.
I hope you will visit them soon and share with us your experiences from your trip to the Romanian country!