Transylvania, a region in central Romania, is famous for its stunning landscapes, medieval castles, and dark history and myths. Known as the land beyond the forest, Transylvania has a rich and diverse cultural heritage, shaped by the region’s tumultuous history and legends that have captured the imaginations of people around the world. But those sometimes spooky origins have also kept visitors to a lower level than a number of other European destinations.
When visiting Romania and Transylvania, you’ll have fewer crowds, less waiting in queues, and more space to yourself, giving your adventure a little more breathing room.
History of Transylvania
Transylvania has a complex history that has been shaped by various cultures and civilizations over the centuries. It was inhabited by the Dacians, an ancient people who were conquered by the Roman Empire in the 2nd century AD. In the Middle Ages, Transylvania was part of the Kingdom of Hungary, and later became a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In the aftermath of World War I, Transylvania became part of Romania.
Myths and Legends
Transylvania is perhaps best known for its connection to the infamous Count Dracula, a fictional vampire created by the Irish writer Bram Stoker. The character is said to be based on the real-life ruler of Wallachia, Vlad the Impaler, who was known for his cruel and viscious tactics in defending his kingdom against invading Ottoman forces. The story of Dracula has become synonymous with Transylvania, and many visitors flock to the region to explore the dark and eerie castles and landscapes that inspired Stoker’s writing. The forests outside of the Bram Castle indeed have a dark and storybook quality to them, reinforcing some of the legends.
Beyond the myth of Dracula, Transylvania is also home to a rich folklore tradition, with stories of witches, fairies, and other supernatural creatures that have been passed down through generations. These myths and legends are often intertwined with the region’s history and culture, and provide a fascinating glimpse into the beliefs and values of the people who have lived in Transylvania over the centuries.
Transylvania is a fascinating destination for travelers interested in history, culture, and the supernatural. Visitors can explore the region’s medieval castles and fortified churches, including the iconic Bran Castle, often referred to as Dracula’s Castle. Other must-see attractions include the Gothic-style Corvin Castle, the fortified city of Sighisoara, and the ancient Dacian ruins at Sarmizegetusa.
In addition to its historic and cultural attractions, Transylvania also boasts stunning natural scenery, including the rugged Carpathian Mountains, the tranquil forests of Hoia-Baciu, and the idyllic rolling hills of the Transylvanian Plateau. Visitors can hike, bike, or horseback ride through the region’s diverse landscapes, or simply relax and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of this enchanting destination.
Transylvania is a region that has captured the imagination of people around the world, thanks in large part to its dark history and mythical connections to the infamous Count Dracula. But beyond the myths and legends, Transylvania is a fascinating destination that offers a rich cultural heritage, stunning natural beauty, and a unique glimpse into the complex history of this fascinating region. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or simply seeking an adventure, Transylvania is a destination that should be on your travel bucket list.