Medieval Transylvania Short Tour
The anonymous chronicle Gesta Hungarorum mentions Menumorut, Gelou, and Glad as rulers of some local statal entities in Transylvania and Banat. The Vita Sancti Gerardi mentioned Ahtum, descendant of Glad. By 1003, King Sthephen I of Hungary led an army into Transylvania and the local ruler Gyula (Geula, Gyyla or Jula), his uncle submitted to him. Transylvania was part of the Kingdom of Hungary since its establishement. However, certain pre-Magyar aspects had been preserved. Thus, the administration of the Hungarian counties were in the hands of a Voivode. As early as 1288, Transylvania’s noblemen convoked their own assembly, or Diet. By the 11th century, according to chronicles and traditions, Szekely had established themselves in western, later southern Transylvania as guardians of the frontier from where they were moved to their present day homeland in the 12th century. In the 12th century, the Germans who would become known as the Transylvanian Saxons were invited to colonise in Transylvania to develop the urban and commercial centers. Their Citadels would give Transylvania its German name, Siebenburgen („seven cities”).
Day 1 Bucharest – Pitesti – Curtea de Arges
Meet with our guide (Airport, or at your hotel). Leave Bucharest for Curtea de Arges, the former second capital of Wallachia. Visit the strongholds of the former Princely Court rebuilt in the 14th century. See its Princely Church and its frescoed interior which is one of the first examples of Romanian religious painting. The Curtea de Arges Monastery is a recreation of the original one built in 1512 -1517 by Prince Neagoe Basarab (rebuilt in 1875 – 1885). Than we’ll continue our route to Poienari Fortress. Standing on a cliff but now is in ruin this is known as the real castle of Vlad the Impaler. To get to the top you must climb up its 1400 steps (takes approx. 1 hour). Once you arrive to the top of the Citadel you will find that the fortress is surprisingly small, one third has collapsed down the mountainside in 1888. Entering through a narrow wooden bridge, you come across the crumbling remains of two towers within; the rectangular shape one was Vlad’s (Dracula’s) residential quarters, from here, according to the legend , the Impaler’s wife flung herself out from the window, declaring that better this way than be captured by the Turks, who were besieging the castle. Legend has it that Vlad himself escaped over the mountains on horseback. Overnight to Curtea de Arges on a 3*/4* hotel.
Day 2 Curtea de Arges – Sibiu – Medias – Sighisoara
After the breakfast we’ll continue our journey in the middle age once that we are about to get in the narrowpath of Olt River at Cozia Monastery. The Monastery was built between 1386 and 1388 in a region which, at that time, was difficult to reach, but where walnut trees easily grew; the name of the place itself derives from the Petcheneg-Cumanian term „coz” = walnut, which became Cozia = nut grove. The amazing scenary will keep us company till Sibiu (Hermannstadt) the cultural capital of the Siebenburgen and European Cultural Capital in 2007. Here we shall visit its beautiful centre that reminds the old days: the Large Square, the Evangelic Church, the Liar’s Bridge and many more. Next stop to Medias (Mediasch) one of the 7 Saxon Cities (Siebenburgen). Medias has one of the best preserved historical centers in Romania and also some well preserved medieval fortifications. One of the most impressive symbols of the town is the Tower of the Buglers, which is about 70 meters tall. Its construction started in the 13th century. In the 15th century it was raised to 5 tiers. The St. Margaret Church was finished at about the same time. Later, 3 more tiers were added in only 2 months. The roof consists of colored vitrified tiles, and 4 turrets were built. The tower had a guard, who would sound his bugle whenever an enemy approached. Therefore the tower has this name. The tower has in its South-Western corner (between the clocks) a small wooden man who rings a bell, thus announcing in advance when the clock will ring on the hour. The heavy pressure of the tower on the sandy soil is the reason why the tower is slightly tilted to the North. In the afternoon reach Sighisoara built in the 12th century by Saxon colonists under the Latin name Castrum Sex. It is an inhabited medieval citadel that, in 1999, was designated a UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE for its 850-year-old testament to the history and culture of the Transylvanian Saxons. Birthplace of Vlad III the Impaler, also known as Dracula, Sighisoara marks the upper boundary of the Land of Sachsen. Accommodation in the Citadel on a hotel built in 1531.
Day 3 Sighisoara – Viscri – Brasov
After the breakfast and the final souvenirs shopping in Sighisoara south to reach Brasov. On the way a visit to a Saxon Village in Viscri (weisskirch) 50 km from Sighisoara. This village, solitary situated next to the big road wich links Brasov to Sighisoara, hosts one of the most spectacular fortified church. This church is part of the UNESCO World Heritage. The fortified church is considered to be oldest church in Transylvania, and also one of the best preserved. It has been built in the beginning of the 13th century. On the way to Brasov we’ll have a panoramic view of the former fortresses made by Teutonic Knights – The Fortress of Rupea and the Ruins of Teutonic Knights from Feldioara. In the afternoon we reach Bran Castle to visit. Built in 1212, is commonly known as Dracula’s Castle and is situated in the centre of present-day Romania. In addition to its unique architecture, the castle is famous because of persistent myths that it was once the home of Vlad III Draculea. Visiting the main highlights of Brasov – the council Square, the Black Church, Ecaterina’s Gate, the Rope’s Street, the Weaver’s bastion – will end a beautiful day. Accommodation on a 3*/4* star hotel or guesthouse in Brasov
Day 4 Brasov – Sinaia – Bucharest / Airport
Our final day we’ll visit Peles Castle – the former summer residence of the royal family a Neo-Renaissance castle placed in an idyllic setting in the Carpathian Mountains. The tour ends at the airport / hotel in Bucharest.
- Accommodation on as specified on 3*/4* basis
- Breakfast except the day of arrival
- Transportation by car or minivan
- Guide / driver English language, entrance fees
- Local taxes, parking fees and fuel
- Air fare
- Personal insurance
- Photo fees at visited sites (where allowed)
- Other personal expenses
Lunch and dinner