Cetatea Poienari, Arefu

#2 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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271 reviews
  • The entrance to the stairs (more than a thousand) at the outset seems to overcome, but beating the same amount of down having everything in the legs, it is difficult to move afterwards. However, it is really worthwhile, drivers with poor condition better let them be at the bottom, unless they have an automatic chest and cruise control (the car will go to the next route itself). The enchanting approach, the ruins of Dracula's headquarters are truly remnants of Spleny, but... They pay all the trouble. Beautifully, dignified, you do not want to go back down.
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  • After walking the Transfagarasan, we planned to stop and climb to the Poienari Rock, the real fortress of Dracula. Removed that the entrance of the path is located practically under the wires of high voltage (passing quickly below, they are so low that you feel the burst of electricity), between two pylons that stand undisturbed next to a campsite and a bar ..... (no comment), we notice that the gate is closed and there is a series of signs in which it is realized that, due to the presence of bears, the path is closed. Not knowing the Romanian, we ask the campsite manager who confirms us to be closed by 'longtimes' (And we had read rather recent reviews that instead gave it open - google including... well). We were ready to walk more than a thousand steps... but having actually met a teddy bear on the street just before, with regret we got back in the car and were content to admire its profile on the top of the mountain.
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