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Cetatea Poienari, Arefu

(4.6/5 based on 180+ reviews on the web)
A ruined 13th-century citadel perched on a steep cliff, Cetatea Poienari owes its fame to its former resident--a fierce medieval ruler who inspired the legend of Dracula. The citadel has often been advertised as the "real" Dracula castle, the one featured in Bram Stoker's novel, although the writer had never heard of it. To get to the site, you'll have to climb 1,480 steps. Vlad III the Impaler restored the citadel in the 15th century, making it one of his major strongholds. The castle features texts in English revealing legends of the world's most famous vampire. One says that the first wife of Vlad the Impaler jumped to her death from the fortress walls during a Turkish siege; her blood dyed the river red, and it has been called the "Lady's River" ever since. Put Cetatea Poienari into our Arefu trip itinerary maker and find out what's close by, where to stay, and where to head next.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • I travelled on foot to Transylvania in Feb for 5 days, this castle was my goal. I was the only visitor. Wonderful scenery, snow everywhere and mist wafting up into blocks. The castle is not touristy and not superristrutturato as it is used in Romania, panels tell the story and the defensive architecture. For me it's gorgeous, thanks to the atmosphere.
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  • The climb was worth the views, and the entrance fee is very cheap. It is not an easy climb and I passed many people who had underestimated it- dont forget to take some water. We went early, it was muc...  more »
  • Don't worry about getting there and back. There are plenty of buses that go that way (a little bit of walking but it's straight on). Also made bffs with the stray dogs that were there and one climbed ...  more »
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  • Vlad the Impaler's real defence castle. Constructed by the teuctonic nights in the 13th century, enlarged by Vlad in mid 15th century. Ofers great views, keep in mind you need to climb 1480 steps to reach the top, but definetly worth the effort.
  • Amazing! Totally worth a visit to see the real Dracula's castle. When I was there it was cold, rainy and foggy - so couldn't even see the view, but was still great
  • This is REAL Vlad Palovnik aka Count Dracula's fortress. Great site! Great fun!
  • Nice view, but I would recommend going up early in the morning because there a lots of people from about 10pm til afternoon.. :)
  • The real Dracula's castle. Lot to climb, but it deserves the effort.