Romania Tourism offers a southeastern European country known for the forested region of Transylvania, ringed by the Carpathian Mountains. Its preserved medieval towns include Sighişoara, and there are many fortified churches and castles, notably clifftop Bran Castle, long associated with the Dracula legend. Bucharest, the country’s capital, is the site of the gigantic, Communist-era Palatul Parlamentului government building. The UNESCO World Heritage listed sites in Romania include: The Danube Delta, the Saxon settlements with fortified churches in Transylvania, Horezu Monastery, the painted churches and monasteries in northern Moldavia, the Citadel of Sighișoara, the wooden churches of Maramures and Dacian fortresses in the Orastie Mountains.
- Dracula’s Footsteps– 4 days to Transylvania from Bucharest – Tour EU1501
- Discover Romania – 8 days to see monasteries, medieval villages and alpine lakes – Tour EU1301
- Transylvania Tour – 9 days complete tour of Transylvania – Tour EU1801
- Bulgaria and Romania – 9 days – Sofia, Rila Monastery, Plovdiv, Kazanlak, Veliko Tarnovo, Bucharest, Sibiu, Sighisoara, Bran, Brasov, Sinaia, Bucharest – Tour EU206
- Classic Romania and Bulgaria – 10 days from Sofia to Bucharest – Tour EU1502
- Treasures of Romania and Bulgaria – 15 days from Sofia to Bucharest – Tour EU1302
Romania is a relatively young state. It was founded in 1859 by the union of Moldavia with Wallachia, later joined by Dobrogea in 1878 and Transylvania and Bukovina in 1918. Prior to this, the hole territory was divided politically, economically and religiously. The only common element has always been the Romanian language, a Latin language. Romanians are the only people of latin origin from this part of Europe, the only one from the eastern part of the continent keeping a memory of the old Rome. The great Romanian historian Nicolae Iorga compared us to “a Latin enclave at the gates of the Orient” or “a roman island in a slav sea”.
The story of Dracula is full of mystery begun with the birth of this mystical character presented in 1897 Bram Stoker’s book and later through multiple film adaptations. The most famous adaptation being that of Francis Ford Coppola which featured Gary Oldman, Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder and Anthony Hopkins as main characters. The action of the book takes place in Transylvania and the main source of inspiration for the famous vampire was Vlad Țepeș ’a stranger to mercy and forgiveness’- a ruler, well-known in the Romanian history for his cruelness and the torture techniques which he employed (mostly impalement). The main source of the vampire stories are Vlad Țepeș’s military expeditions into Transylvania when he was ruler of Wallachia, which were marked by many bloody battles. Today, Dracula is a Count from Transylvania that rules Bran Castle which is placed on a high cliff and watches over its surroundings. He is a fictional character shrouded in mystery. Bran Castle is the tourist attraction that you can visit if you want to meet Count Dracula. The castle, which is a medieval fortress, is situated near Brașov, in Bran village. It is the perfect place to celebrate Halloween with tourists from around the world who are all dressed accordingly and await the return of the Count.
Immediately after World War Two the Soviet Communists seized power and compelled King Michael to abdicate, proclaiming the Romanian People’s Republic. Communist rule in Romania was one of the most repressive and brutal regimes in Eastern Europe characterized by numerous crimes, torture and deportation. Former landowners, students, priests, intellectuals and political opponents refused to give the land to collectivization. They all became enemies of the new regime which did everything possible to annihilate them. Two terrible decades followed, in which hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives in communist prisons.
Nicolae Ceaușescu transformed Romania as the first country of the eastern bloc to have official relations with the European Community in 1974. However, Ceausescu attracted international opprobrium by constantly breaching the fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens. He was removed in the 1989 revolution that left over a thousand people dead. In 1991, with the new constitution, Romania became a republic with a multiparty system, market economy, freedom of expression, religious freedom and private property. Since then, Romania’s progress has been steady along with Euro-Atlantic structures, the most important steps being taken in 2004 when becoming a member of NATO and in 2007, when entering the EU.
Romanian culture is an exceptional mixture of Byzantine influences on an ancient Latin foundation. Starting from Dacia, the Roman influences from antiquity, Byzantine and Slavic influences to the Middle Ages. A great example are the painted monasteries that can only be found in Romania.
To find out more from the Romania Tourist Authority click HERE