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  • A fairytale land of pine-veiled valleys,

  • gothic fortresses and villages untouched by time,

  • Transylvania is an eastern European region shrouded in legend and mystery.

  • Lodged in Romania's misty green heart and cradled by the Carpathian Mountains,

  • Transylvania has long occupied the darker corners of the human imagination.

  • This isolated destination is most famous for being the home of Vlad the Impaler,

  • the 15th century ruler of the state of Wallachia.

  • Earning the nickname for his gruesome method of dispatching his enemies,

  • some regard the prince as a national hero, others a savage tyrant.

  • But for the gothic novelist Bram Stoker,

  • he was the inspiration for one of literature's most infamous

  • and enduring characters, Count Dracula.

  • Shadowy folklore has soaked deep into the soil of this region,

  • but before you drape a string of garlic around your neck, take comfort,

  • visitors who make the journey to Transylvania

  • discover more than just dark legends.

  • From the Romans to the Saxons,

  • Transylvania's many conquerors have left their cultural marks.

  • And nowhere is this rich social tapestry more evident

  • than in the picture book streets of Sibiu.

  • Sweeping skyward from the heart of the city is Sibiu's proud symbol,

  • the Council Tower, whose medieval stones were first laid in the 13th century.

  • Down below, take a stroll around the grand square, Piata Mare,

  • where attic windows known as the city's eyes seem to follow your every move.

  • Follow the rolling hills west, past secluded hamlets and scattering herds,

  • to the city of Hunedoara,

  • where the turrets and spires of Corvin Castle rise from the horizon.

  • This 15th century Gothic-Renaissance treasure is one of the wonders of Romania.

  • Look past its fairytale façade, however, and you'll discover the dark secrets

  • and embittered spirits that roam its halls and ramparts.

  • Creep through the vaults,

  • where Vlad Tepes is said to have descended

  • into madness during his seven-year imprisonment,

  • before emerging to unleash his reign of terror.

  • Travel north to the reassuring 21st century bustle of Cluj Napoca.

  • Rising from the stones of a 2000-year-old Roman citadel,

  • over the centuries this city has matured into the elegant heart of Transylvania.

  • Once your nerves have settled,

  • take the 20-minute drive west to Hoia Forest

  • but don't venture too far from the paths.

  • Tales of disappearances, UFO sightings, and paranormal weirdness abound here,

  • earning Hoia the title of the world's most haunted forest.

  • When you've finished ghost hunting in the forbidden forest,

  • take the two-hour drive into the welcoming embrace ofrgu Mures.

  • Having endured war, the black death, fire and revolution,

  • this city has at last emerged,

  • as a sparkling celebration of Romanian and Hungarian culture and pride.

  • Just to the south ofrgu Mureş

  • feel the hands of time turn backwards in the walled city of Sighisoara,

  • the birthplace and boyhood home of Vlad the Impaler.

  • Wander the cobblestone streets where the future tyrant played, but fear not,

  • the bright pastel colors of this enchanting city

  • keep the sinister shadows at bay.

  • Uncover another medieval gem,

  • just a two-hour drive southeast of Sighisoara.

  • Fringed by the pine-veiled peaks of the Eastern Carpathian Mountains,

  • Brasov, was founded by the Teutonic Knights.

  • Visit the Black Church, renamed after it was scorched by the Great Fire of 1689.

  • Walk the square where legend has it the Pied Piper

  • and the Children of Hamelin reemerged after disappearing from Saxony,

  • over 1000 miles away.

  • Continue your journey back through time in the nearby streets of Rasnov.

  • Rising high above the town, is Rasnov Fortress,

  • a vast medieval citadel built to hold back invading Turkish and Tatar hoards.

  • More than a fortress, the citadel contained gardens, homes,

  • a school and a chapel, providing shelter and comfort in times of prolonged siege.

  • Seven miles away, stand before Transylvania's most famous landmark,

  • Bran Castle.

  • Though it's unknown whether Vlad the Impaler ever actually stayed here,

  • the towering turrets of this brooding cliff top castle were enough to inspire

  • Bram Stoker when he searched for the perfect lair for his famous vampire.

  • And today, that connection draws thousands of travelers each year,

  • who come to gaze out from the ramparts ofDracula's Castle”.

  • Transylvania is one of those rare places that blurs the lines between fact,

  • folklore and fantasy.

  • Whether you've come for the ancient citadels or the secluded fairytale hamlets,

  • the stirring landscapes or the dark legends,

  • Transylvania is a destination that is hard to define,

  • and impossible to forget.

  • Transylvania is immortal.

A fairytale land of pine-veiled valleys,

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Transylvania Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia | Halloween Special!

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    Eric Wang posted on 2020/05/22
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