Transylvania Romania

Transylvania Romania is situated in the historic area in the country’s central region bordered by the Carpathian Mountains on both the east and south sides. Most commonly associated with the legend of vampires, mainly because of Bran Stokers famous novel “ Dracula,” Transylvania’s beautiful, mountainous landscape and fascinating layers of history create a wonderful location for anyone traveling in Eastern Europe. 

History

History

History

In the early years, between 1002 and 1526, Transylvania belonged to the Kingdom of Hungary, which had fought against them for ongoing, intermittent periods throughout early history; the Hungarians aimed for control over Transylvania simply because the land acted as a gateway to Budapest and Vienna. In later years, between 1867 and 1918, it was also an official part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after the Habsburgs of Austria gained significant power. The Dacian Empire is also at the root of Transylvania history. It consistently grew in strength until the Romans defeated it under the rule of Trajan the Emperor. Who controlled the land was always the bone of contention; Hungary, Moldalvia, and Wallachia to south warred over rule (Wallachia and Moldalvia formed more modern Romania in the 1800s). It was in 1919, just after World War I, that a unanimous vote by the people saw Transylvania become a part of Romania. After World War II, the region came under communist rule - as did the country and most other Eastern European countries. The area continues to have a sizeable ethnic Hungarian population, which coexist today with the Romanian population. 

Brasov

Brasov

Brasov

Brasov is a popular mountain resort nestled in the Carpathian Mountains in Transylvania and is one of the top ten cities in the region by population. It is located roughly 100 miles from Bucharest. Old Town reveals interesting medieval history with plenty of prominent German influence found scattered around Old Town Brasov (pronounced Brashov). Old World history and charm and modern, vibrant city life meet headlong in the city. Excellent food, choice transportation methods, and great lodging options make it one of the top visited destinations in Romania. Top attractions include Old Town, Brasov Citadel, Rope Street (Strada Sforii), and the historic Schei district.

Bran Castle

Bran Castle

Bran Castle

Bran Castle in Transylvania is synonymous with Dracula, a famous fictional character who, despite popular belief, did not actually exist. It is likely that the fictional Dracula was loosely based on Vlad Dracul, known as Vlad the Impaler, who was the Prince of Wallachia in the 15th century and who was know for his sadistic cruelty. In spite of his reputation for cruelty, he is looked upon as a true hero and leader - one of the few leaders in the region wiho repelled Turkish Ottaman invasions. The castle, with history dating back to the 1400s, is within a short distance of Brasov and is a landmark and national Romanian monument on the border between Wallachia and Transylvania. Bran Castle is just one of several places tied to the legend of Dracula; the others including Hunyad Castle and Poenari Castle. The Saxons of Brasov built it of stone and the surrounding city developed around it. The castle was also used a fortification during the Ottoman Empire. For a time it belonged to Hungarian nobility, known as the Magyar Kings. Bran was a residence for Romania royalty in 1920 but they were expelled in 1948 following the communist regime. Sine June 2009, Bran Castle has been a private museum opened to the public.

Saxon Fortified Churches & Wooden Churches

Saxon Fortified Churches & Wooden Churches

Saxon Fortified Churches & Wooden Churches

Within Transylvania, there are more than 155 ( out of an original 290+) fortified churches that are extremely well preserved and found in an array of architectural styles. It is within the southeast of the region that visitors will find the highest number of these wooden and fortified churches  spanning back to between the 13th and 16th century. There are seven specific villages with fortified churches that comprise a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Transylvania founded by the early Saxons. The pattern of settlement throughout these villages is a one that has been maintained since the later Middle Ages.

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