Today I will take you on a walk-in Dracula Fortress, guard your neck and prepare your legs.
First, we will go up to some stairs, exactly 1480 stairs, so take a deep breath, and let’s go.
After you enjoyed the view and climbed all the stairs, let me take you a bit through the history of the fortress.
The fortress was made in two phases :
The donjon tower was built most probably in the XIII century in the time of Negru Voda.
The rest of the fortress was built in the XV century during the reign of Vlad the Țepeș known by some as Dracula :).
The architecture of the fortress: the central tower has Transylvanian influences. The walls are made in a Byzantine style.
The fort was under siege just once, in the summer of 1462.
There are some legends about how the fortress was made in the time of Vlad Țepeș. Some of the townsmen of Targoviște betrayed Vlad Țepeș and killed his brother Mircea. Vlad Țepeș decided to take revenge. So on the day of Easter, Vlad Țepeș gathered all the people responsible for his brother’s death along with their families. Men, women, and children how they were dressed that day, walk from Targoviște to the Poenari fortress on foot. After they arrived at Poenari, they were put to work on the fortress walls. The old men were impaled.
Most of the people working at the fortress died by the hard work. They were supposed to finish in a few months the construction. The townsmen had to bring the rocks from near the downriver. There were no stairs, so they had to climb and give stones from hand to hand until up. Some say now that they felt some strange presence while they had been walking their way up. Maybe the dead people’s souls are still there, haunting the fortress.
Getting back to history and legends, there is a legend that while the fortress was under attack, Vlad Țepeș succeeded in running away from the Turks by using a hidden tunnel of the fort. He went to the village nearby, where he got help from 7 brothers, who helped him run away by changing the horseshoes and putting some new ones backward so the Turks would go in the opposite direction, while Vlad Țepeș could escape and go to his army.
Another legend talks about one of the Țepeș wives that killed herself throwing out of the fortress, so she won’t be caught by Turks.
Now getting back to facts, in 1550, the fortress was abandoned, and later in more recent times, the earthquake in 1915 damaged more the Poenari fortress. In 1972 the fort was restored. These days, the fortress can be visited. Some visitors are attracted by the ghost hunting of Dracula as there are stories that Dracula wasn’t actually decapitated and that he never died. Some visitors are looking for the secret tunnels that are in the fortress. Others are just enjoying the view. It doesn’t matter your reason to come and visit it for sure you will want even if you aren’t bitten by a vampire. Until you can find a vampire, you can throw a coin down and make a wish, as you can see in the picture.