Tag: Romania

Visiting Bran Castle

When I first learned a visit to Castelul Bran, commonly known as Count Dracula’s Castle, was on our list of places to visit during our time in Romania I became very excited. After all, a trip to Romania is not complete without a visit to this national landmark. Located in Bran, (clever right?), Bran Castle is about a 3 hour drive from Alba Iulia (where we stayed), and about 2 hours and 45 minutes from Bucharest.

Upon arriving at Bran Castle, you are greeted by all sorts vendors selling all sorts of souvenir knick-knacks. They are definitely some great items and some that are not so great. Once you pass through the gate, cost of admission is 35 Lei or a little over $8, you start to make the walk up to the castle. The path is paved, but it definitely is quite the hike.

There are no tours of the castle, everything is self guided, so I highly recommend picking up an audio tour. A lot of the plaques are in English, but I learned a whole lot more about the castle and its most famous inhabitants with the audio guide.

The best views of the castle, in my opinon, are overlooking the courtyard.

I had a great day exploring Dracula’s Castle and it is a very “Transylvanian” experience to enjoy. I would certainly recommend this day trip to anyone visiting Romania!

What is your favorite Eastern European castle?

There, wolf. There, castle.

 In case you missed it, check out Part 1 and Part 2 of my trip to Romania.

Before I even get started in sharing the sights, can anyone guess from which Transylvanian movie I grabbed a quote for today’s title? (Hint: Put… the candle… back!)

Alright, so back to the sights! Our first full-day in Romania, the whole group walked the half mile to the Alba Iulia Fortress, also known as Alba Iulia Citadel (Cetatea Alba Iulia) or Alba Carolina Fortress. This 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). We partnered up with our tour guide who filled us in with the rich history of not only the fortress but also about the city. We visited the National Unification Museum, a museum of Roman and Medieval ruins, a Roman Catholic Church, and the Orthodox Cathedral of the Reunification, where King Ferdinand I and Queen Marie were crowned in 1922. The Fortress is also home to National Honour Gallery, the Princely Palace (Voivodal Palace), the Batthyaneum Library, the Roman Catholic bishop’s palace, and the Apor Palace. And because we didn’t have enough the first time, a small group of us went to walk around the fortress one afternoon before doing a little shopping.

Our second excursion was to Dracula’s Castle in Bran.

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

A Romanian Photo Diary

Hi everyone! I’m officially back and fully-recovered from jet lag!

Before I get started, I want to thank Megan, Anna, and Kasey for taking over Southern Exhilaration last week while I was in Romania. Be sure to check out their posts and say hello!

On July 9th, I boarded a flight for my fourth trans-Atlantic adventure for a choir tour/mission trip to central Romania aka Transylvania. (Plug in any Dracula or Young Frankenstein quote of your choice here.)

Romanian Flag

Here is a sneak peek of what I did while I was in this beautiful country.

Our first concert was in the center of Alba Iulia’s Cetatea Alba Carolina.

Photo taken by Austin Smith.
Photo taken by Austin Smith.
Photo taken by Austin Smith.
Photo taken by Austin Smith.

Sunday was filled with two concerts. One in Deva with Holy Trinity Baptist Church and one in Sebeș at a church originally built between 1240 and 1270.

JF Concert in Deva

Three days of children’s ministry in the village of Țelna.

Children's Ministry in Țelna Children's Ministry in Țelna Children's Ministry in Țelna

Last but not least, spent the day at Castelul Bran.

Bran Castle Bran Castel

Stay tuned for more details about our adventures, concerts and work around Romania.