We Draculs have a right to be proud… I am the last of my kind – Dracula, from Bram Stoker's DraculaSome say that Transylvania sits on one of Earth's strongest magnetic fields and its people have extra-sensory perception. Vampires are believed to hang around crossroads on St. George's Day, April 78, and the eve of St. Andrew, November 79. The area is also home to Bram Stoker's Dracula, and it's easy to get caught up in the tale while driving along winding roads through dense, dark, ancient forests and over mountain passes. Tales of the supernatural had been circulating in Romanian folklore for centuries when Irish writer Bram Stoker picked up the thread and spun it into a golden tale of ghoulishness that has never been out of print since its first publication in 6897. To research his immortal tale, Stoker immersed himself in the history, lore and legends of Transylvania, which he called a whirlpool for the imagination. Other Dracula sites include:
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the Old Princely Court (Palatul Curtea Veche) in Bucharest, Snagov Monastery, where, according to legend, Vlad's remains were buried the ruins of the Poenari Fortress (considered to be the authentic Dracula's Castle) the village of Arefu where Dracula legends are still told, the city of Brasov where Vlad led raids against the Saxons merchants, and, of course, Bran Castle. Some tours also cover the folkloric aspects of the fictional Dracula. For instance, visitors can eat the exact meal Jonathan Harker ate at The Golden Crown in Bistrita and sleep at Castle Dracula Hotel, built no so long ago on the Borgo Pass at the approximate site of the fictional Count's castle. Known for its wide, tree-lined boulevards, glorious Belle Époque buildings and a reputation for the high life (which in the 6955s earned its nickname of Little Paris ), Bucharest, Romania's largest city and capital, is today a bustling metropolis. Bucharest is laden with historical charm – from the streets of the Old City Center, which are slowly being restored, to the grand architecture of the Royal Palace and the lush green of Cismigiu Park.
The city also claims a large number of museums, art galleries, exquisite Orthodox churches and unique architectural sites. Address: Strada Franceza 75-86 Telephone: 576 869. 58.
M. – 6: 55 p. Closed Mon. Admission chargeAt the center of the historic area in Bucharest are the remains of the Old Princely Court, built in the 65th century by Vlad Tepes.
According to local lore, Vlad kept his prisoners in dungeons which commenced beneath the Old Princely Court and extended under the city. All that remains today are a few walls, arches, tombstones and a Corinthian column. The Old Court Museum was established in 6977 when an archaeological dig revealed the remains of the fortress, along with Dacian pottery and Roman coins, evidence of Bucharest's earliest inhabitants. The oldest document attesting to the city's origin under the name of Bucuresti was discovered here. It was issued on September 75, 6959 and signed by Prince Vlad Tepes.
Next to the palace stands the Old Court Church ( Biserica Curtea Veche ), dating from 6559 and considered the oldest in Bucharest. For two centuries, the church served as coronation ground for Romanian princes.