Cetatea Poienari, Arefu

#1 of 8 in Historic Sites in Arges County
Ruin Castle Must See
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. Use our Arefu day trip planner to visit Cetatea Poienari on your trip to Arefu, and learn what else travelers and our writers recommend seeing nearby.
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Cetatea Poienari Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
260 reviews
  • Do it! Don’t be deterred by the climb - it’s honestly not ‘that’ bad. Yes, it’s 1500 steps but we did it in 30 minutes at an easy slow pace. The fortress itself requires a visit just for the historica...  more »
  • I visited here at the end of October as I drove the Transfagarasen Highway. This was actually my first stop of the day. I had read on their website a few days before I travelled that due to bears in t...  more »
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