5 weird and wonderful places to visit in Romania

Enter the world of Vlad the Impaler, who inspired Bram Stoker's Dracula, while exploring unusual sights in Romania.

Romania is a country that always brings to mind magnificent castles, medieval palaces and, of course, Vlad the Impaler, the brutal king who inspired Bram Stoker's character "Dracula."

Romania's cities are a mix of modern and historic buildings [VIDEO] as well as stunning architecture. The country naturally has a weirder side and offers unusual attractions to visit [VIDEO]. Below we explore Vlad the Impaler's possible burial place, a castle where he may have been imprisoned, a mysterious Sphinx, the ruins of an opulent casino and a museum that celebrates everything that is kitsch.

1

Snagov Monastery - Strada Mânăstirea Vlad Ţepeş, Snagov Island, Bucharest, Romania

A tiny island lies just off Bucharest and is the home of Snagov Monastery, which local legends say is the burial place of Vlad the Impaler, who inspired Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.” The monastery dates back to the 14th century and it is unsure whether the brutal and cruel Vlad Tepes III was actually buried there. Historians have found human and horse bones on the site, but nothing to point to them belonging to Vlad, but it is still a fascinating place to visit.

2

Constanța Casino - 19 Bulevardul Regina Elisabeta, Constanța, Romania

Constanța Casino was once a beautiful, Art Nouveau casino, but is now one of the country’s most beautiful abandoned buildings. The casino was commission in 1900 by King Carol I and opened to the public in 1910. It overlooks the Black Sea on the waterfront of the ancient port town, but as circumstances in Romania worsened in the 20th century, the casino fell into disrepair. It was used briefly as a hospital in World War II and was at one time a restaurant, but now stands empty.

3

Bran Castle (Dracula's Castle) - Strada General Traian Moșoiu 24, Bran, Romania

There is a medieval castle in Bran, Romania that is believed to have been a place of imprisonment for Vlad the Impaler, the bloody Romanian Ruler immortalised in the novel “Dracula” by Bram Stoker. Due to the legends, the castle has been nicknamed “Dracula’s Castle.” The castle was built between 1377 and 1388 and while Vlad might have passed by at some stage, there is no official historical document to prove he was imprisoned here.

4

The Mountain Sphinx - DJ713, Bușteni, Romania

The Mountain Sphinx is surrounded by occult legends and conspiracy theories. The natural rock formation closely resembles the Great Sphinx of Giza in Egypt and the rock formation has become one of the “Seven Wonders of Romania.” Some believe it is a “chakra” and there is a strong energetic force field there. Others believe it was carved by an ancient civilisation to represent a god. Yet others believe aliens are responsible for the sphinx.

5

Romanian Kitsch Museum - 1 Strada Soarelui, Bucharest, Romania

The Romanian Kitsch Museum is exactly that. Exhibits are garish, tacky, but somehow creative. It is a celebration to poor taste, but fascinating to visit with its “failed art.” There is, of course, a Dracula section paying homage to the character inspired by Vlad the Impaler, but there is also religious, interior design and gypsy kitsch. The museum even has a “Make Your Own Kitsch" section where you can have fun making something inventively tacky to take home.

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