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TRIP TO "PELES CASTLE"

Located on Peles brook valley, on the spot named Pietrele Arse (the Burnt Stones), the Peles Castle, the most famous royal residence in Romania, was built between 1875 and 1883 – when it was officially opened.

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It is said that sometime in august 1866 king Carol I arrived in the neighborhood, and spent the night at the monastery of Podul Neagului (as Sinaia was known at that time). He liked so much the wild and picturesque landscapes that he decided to built here a castle. So he bought the land in 1872, and then hired the German architect Wilhelm Dodderer to make the plans for the construction. That is why, in what concerns the exterior architecture, the main elements are specific to the German neo-renaissance style.

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Both, at the end of the 19th century and nowadays, the Peles Castle was and is considered to be one of the most beautiful castles in Europe, and the first to be entirely electrified on the continent. Its own power station was located on the bank of Peles Brook. Otherwise, the building had, even at that time, an interior elevator, vacuum cleaner and central-heating system. The castle has 170 rooms, out of which only 10 can be visited by tourists, and shelters various valuable collections of paintings, sculptures, armours, carpets, furniture, tapestries, statues, potteries, gold, silver and china dishes, stained-glasses.

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Bugaboo for Ceausescu family

A story famous in the 80s said that the Ceausescu would have liked to have a protocol residence at Peles (the building was closed for the public between 1975 and 1990). Because it was well known that they had the habit of ordering all kinds of demolishing and renovations, the persons in charge of the museum scared them by saying that inside the Castle there is a fungus that attacked the wood and that it was very dangerous for man’s health. The truth is that there was indeed a fungus that affected the girders of the building because of the dampness and lack of airing. Cautious, Ceausescu husband and wife spent only one night at the Castle, sleeping in the Foisor. That is the reason why they started the restoration works, the resistance structure from the Honor Hall and the ground floor dining room being replaced. It is also said that Elena Ceausescu was the one who ordered the six pillows embroidered in silver and gold for the castle. At that time, the value of one pillow was that of a Dacia car, meaning 70000 old lei.

Trip Price: 20 EU/person

 

TRIP TO "BRAN - MOECIU"

Short History

Bran Castle also known as Dracula's Castle is situated between Bucegi and Piatra Craiului Mountains, right where you enter Rucar-Bran Pass.
The building of Bran Castle started somewhere around the year 1378. The constructors somehow succeeded in combining wood with the rock brought from Magura Branului.
The castle had a protective and commercial purpose. It had two rows of walls closing the passing towards South. They were made in stone and brick. Only few traces of the initial defense position still exist.

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Many legends are connected with Bran Castle. It is said the castle belonged to Count Dracula (Vlad Tepes), but nobody has any proof. Vlad Tepes lived only for a short time in the castle and only as a guest. What is really true is that Bran Castle conjures up the perfect Gothic fairy-tale image of a Transylvanian castle and as a result draws crowds of tourists from far and wide.

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Dracula's Castle - The Legend

In 1897 Bram Stoker wrote a terrifying story about Count Dracula. A century after, there are still people who believe in it. Even researchers are trying to find out the truth about Dracula. All are trying to clear the mystery: was there or wasn't there a vampire in Transylvania?
How many of these fabulous stories are legends and how many say the truth ? Here is the legend about Dracula.
Stoker's story is based on the life of Vlad Tepes/Vlad the Impaler (1431-1476), a ruler revered by Romanians for standing up to the Ottoman Empire. Known as one of the most dreadful enemies of the Turks, Vlad started organizing the state and enforcing the law by applying death penalty and impaling all those he considered enemies: robbers, cunning priests, treacherous noblemen, beggars, usurper Saxons. In fact he fought against everybody who tried to replace him either by his step brother Vlad the Monk or by his cousin Dan the Young. The historians nicknamed him Vlad Tepes while people say he was Count Dracula because he used to sign with his father's name, Dracul "The Devil". Dracula is derived from the Romanian word for devil or dragon.
This word alone carries with it magic and mystery.

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His castle is supposed to be Bran's Castle since its narrow corridors constitute a mysterious labyrinth of ghostly nooks and secret chambers easy to hide a "vampire".
The Dracula's Castle was built on the edge of the Bran Pass and nowadays lures guests worldwide who wish to partake in the legend of the Count Dracula.

Who was Vlad Tepes?

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VLAD TEPES/The Impaler (DRACULA)
Prince of Wallachia (1448,1456-1462,1476)
Son of Vlad Dracul (Knight of the Order of the Dragon - since his nickname Dracul, meaning 'dragon', 'devil' in Romanian-in 1431) and Grandson of Mircea the Great, King of Wallahia (1386-1418).
Vlad Tepes introduced a very strict order in Wallachia, strengthened the army, helped the trade with the neighboring countries and was merciless towards those who went against him. He adopted a totalitarian leadership and fought against The Ottoman Empire scoring many victories.

TRIP PRICE (carriage ride and lunch in the Romanian traditional custom) - 50 EU/person