Brasov and Romania's Mountain Resorts
This medieval city, picturesquely situated nearby the
Postavaru Mountain, is both fascinating in itself and is close to
Transylvania's major mountain resort area, with first class hotels (see
the page on the Mountains).
Look for its old Saxon architecture around the 14th century
Black Church, the ruins of the citadel, and the 18th century Old Town
The Bran Castle and the Royal Resort of Sinaia
A trip to take from Brasov is to the castle of Bran,
supposed to have been the home of Prince Vlad Tepes, who inspired
Beginning with the stark contours of the Bran Castle,
where Prince Vlad Tepes, the legendary Dracula, is said to have lived
Also, don't miss the castle of Peles, fancifully built in
1883 at the foot of a mountain side for King Carol I, in Sinaia.
This resort was first made popular by the King and it is
worth a stay either in summer for its glorious mountain scenery, hiking
and riding, or in winter for skiing, not to mention health cures.
Sibiu, also Saxon in origin, is a very pretty town, with
cobbled streets and pastel colored houses. The open air Museum of Folk
Technology in woodland by a lake is a "must" to visit, just as the
Brukenthal Art Museum.
The town is well placed for excursions to mountain
villages, such as Sibiel, where there is a fascinating museum of icons.
Further away near Deva stands the Corvin Castle, rebuilt in
the 15th century in Gothic style by Prince Iancu Corvin, who gave it a
sumptuous Knights Hall and towers and buttresses that remind one of the
Chateaux de la Loire.
This south-western corner of the country has a drier, more
Mediterranean climate than most of Romania and is also slightly
different from the cultural point of view.
Habsburg rule until 1918 gave it an Art Nouveau
architecture, while almost 1,900 years earlier the Romans had
established a spa at Baile Herculane that is still one of Romania's
most fashionable ones.
Nearby Mount Domogled is a 60,000 ha protected area, while
the Semenic Mountains have a few small ski resorts. Finally, the
capital of Banat, Timisoara, is the city where the 1989 Revolution
Originally a Roman town, Sighisoara is one of the greatest
medieval cities left in the world.
Sighisoara, one of the great medieval cities of Europe
The city has a walled citadel on the hilltop, secret gateways and
passages, a 14th century Clock Tower and the house where Prince Vlad
Festivals and Folklore
Wherever you go in Transylvania, you will discover rural
traditions that are a real part of everyday life. Shepherds produce
large round cheese which you will see for sale by the roadside.
The house doors are intricately carved. Colourful
traditional costumes are worn on Sundays and for weddings and festivals
because they have special meaning.
As to festivals, you will find them in full swing from
An Ideal Place to Get Away
To sum it up, both in summer and winter, the valleys and
mountains of Transylvania are refreshingly unspoilt and welcoming, an
area where you can genuinely get away.