MEDIEVAL CASTLES OF ROMANIA – WHERE THE SPECTACULAR ARCHITECTURE STUNS AND IMPRESSES
By Nikolin Svetlana
Known for its great historical and cultural heritage, stunning nature and some regions which are real living museums, Romania in southeast Europe is also famous for its castles.
Some of them are amongst the most beautiful castles in Europe.
The castles built from the 14th to the 18th centuries are constructed like strong, functional and austere fortifications to protect landowners and rulers from invaders. These are huge fortifications often built on top of the hills or some important point which is good for protection.
One of the best known castles from that period is the 14th century Corvin Castle, the impressive Gothic-style castle of Romania, which first served as a fortress and then as residence of rulers from this region. It has stunning Knights’ Hall, an impressive drawbridge, high buttresses, inner courtyards, a chapel and 50 rooms resplendent with medieval art. The famous Bran Castle is full of fairy tales and mystery connected with Bram Stocker’s novel about Dracula, the medieval warlord Vlad Tepes, ruler of Walachia who lived there. The Bran Castle is one of the most dramatic in Romania and is situated on top of 70 meters high rock with tall towers, turrets, narrow winding stairways, some 60 timbered rooms and many underground passages.
The largest castle of the central region of Transylvania is the fascinating Banffy Castle made in Baroque style whose history goes back to the late 15century. It is one of the most spectacular castles and aristocratic residences, which functions at present as an educational and cultural centre, attracting 50,000 visitors annually. Amongst all Romanian castles one has a special place. It is famous world known Pelesh Castle, a masterpiece of German new-Renaissance architecture and considered by many one of the most stunning castles in Europe. Completed in 1883, the castle served as the summer residence of the Romanian royal family until 1947. It has 160 rooms and rich collection of paintings, crystals, stained glass and books. This castle was the first of European castles entirely lit by electrical current produced by the castle’s own plant. It is the place where the first movie projection in Romania was held in1906.
Rich medieval history of this country and hundreds of castles spread in all regions of Romania are today some of the most visited places by local as well as foreign tourists. Their stunning architecture, rich art collections, beautiful nature around them and legends have inspired many artists, writers and film makers. Let me mention that there are more than 200 films which feature Count Dracula, a number that is second only to Sherlock Holmes.
journalist/ editor in chief monthly news paper ‘Trgoprodukt’ (1982-1990)
freelance journalist from1990
editor in chief – non profit
intercultural magazin „XXI Century” (2006-2016)
independent researcher on intercultural dialogue, minorities and small ethnic communities of the Balkans (Banat Bulgarians, Aromanians)
specialised ”XXI Century” magazine editions:
”Palchens in Banat”
”Aromanians of Pancevo city”
Aegeo (Egej) travel book
‘Small anthology of Aromanian poetry’
‘ Aromanian old songs’
‘Aromanians in south Banat’/project book)
‘The nomads of the Balkans’ -(translation project book)
coordinator in NGO”In Medias Res” department for small ethnic communities and intercultural dialogue ( from 2006 to 2016)