Located in the center of Romania lies the region of Transylvania known for its scenic beauty of the Carpathian landscape and its rich history. It also claims the fame of being home to vampires thanks to Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

Related: Visiting Bran Castle

This region is also home to Alba Iulia, the location of my most recent trip to Europe. This beautiful city holds a rich history in the area. There have been inhabitants in the region since 1st century AD, and its one of the oldest settlements in Romania. Discover the historical and architectural places of interest of Alba Iulia.

Alba Iulia Fortress

The Alba Iulia Fortress, also known as Alba Iulia Citadel (Cetatea Alba Iulia) or Alba Carolina Fortress, is a grand fortress is situated in the center of the city and operates as a hub of sorts for the city. The fortress was built between 1716 and 1735, but it was once the location of an Ancient Roman center, Apulum, which was the largest city of Roman Dacia (aka present-day Romania).

The fortress is made of about 7.2 miles of ramparts made of brick and quarry stones form a seven-point star shape with seven bastions guarded by six gates. The Fortress is also home to National Honour Gallery, the Princely Palace (Voivodal Palace), the Batthyaneum Library, the Roman Catholic bishop’s palace, the University of Alba Iulia, and the Apor Palace.

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National Unification Museum

This was one of my favorite sites visited, as it contained a rich history of the region. The National Museum of Unification, located in the Babylon Building, was originally built for military purposes between 1851 and 1853 and transformed into a museum in 1887.

Orthodox Cathedral of the Reunification

Located near the western entrance of the fortress, the Orthodox Cathedral was built between 1921 and 1923. The first monarchs of unified Romania, King Ferdinand I and Queen Marie, were crowned there in 1922.

Roman Catholic Cathedral

The Catholic Cathedral, built in the 13th century, features one of the most impressive early Renaissance interiors in Transylvania.

Have you ever been to Romania? What are your thoughts?