Transylvania

Transylvania

Turn back time as you travel through Dracula's Country

Transylvania is a region in central and Western Romania steeped in history and mystery combined. Medieval citadels and heavily fortified churches remain frozen in time, surrounded by the dramatic beauty of the Carpathian Mountains. It is an inspiring region that will make you think about how small local communities survived for hundreds of years despite kingdoms and empires changing all around them.

Transylvania is such a historically-significant region that UNESCO has recognised many of its medieval structures and settlements as World Heritage Sites. The first is Sighișoara, which was founded by German craftsmen and merchants in the twelfth century. The citadel has a very well preserved old town with a clock tower rising 64 meters above the city.

Second is the Wooden Churches of Maramureş, which offer a variety of architectural styles from different periods and traditions and are an expression of the cultural landscape of this remote region within the borders of Transylvania. They show a great deal of craftsmanship in their characteristic tall, narrow, timber clock towers. Maramureş is also home to the ‘Merry Cemetery of Săpânţa,’ so-called because the gravestones are painted in bright colours, hand-carved out of oak and adorned with an image of the deceased.

There are also several villages with fortified churches that have been recognised by UNESCO, including those of Viscri and Prejmer. They provide a vivid picture of the cultural landscape of southern Transylvania in the Middle Ages, when small Transylvanian Saxon communities were exposed to attack by the expanding Ottoman Empire due to their location in the foothills of the Carpathians.

Brasov, founded by the Teutonic Knights in 1211, has a restored old town and offers European charm in abundance. You can visit Rasnov Castle, the fortress of Cetăţuia Braşovului or wander up Rope Street, the narrowest street in Europe. Nearby is the imposing Bran Castle, which is thought to have been the home of Vlad the Impaler, who was the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s 1897 horror novel ‘Dracula’.

Tucan Travel offers a number of tours that travel through this fascinating, historic corner of Eastern Europe.

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