Cetatea Poienari, Arefu

#2 of 8 in Historic Sites in Arges County
A ruined 13th-century citadel perched on a steep cliff, Cetatea Poienari owes its fame to its former resident--a fierce medieval ruler who inspired the legend of Dracula. The citadel has often been advertised as the "real" Dracula castle, the one featured in Bram Stoker's novel, although the writer had never heard of it. To get to the site, you'll have to climb 1,480 steps. Vlad III the Impaler restored the citadel in the 15th century, making it one of his major strongholds. The castle features texts in English revealing legends of the world's most famous vampire. One says that the first wife of Vlad the Impaler jumped to her death from the fortress walls during a Turkish siege; her blood dyed the river red, and it has been called the "Lady's River" ever since. Use our Arefu day trip planner to visit Cetatea Poienari on your trip to Arefu, and learn what else travelers and our writers recommend seeing nearby.
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Cetatea Poienari Reviews

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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
276 reviews
  • Despite a local telling us the castle was still shut due to bears, we fortunately found it had re-opened, with what looks like brand new electric fencing surrounding the long staircase to the top...  more »
  • It was worth to try to visit castle cause of the scenery.Castle itself were closed due to the fact that proper protection to tourist couldn't have been done at the time.Poienari castle is settled in....  more »

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Side trips from Arefu

Duration: 2 hours
Duration: 2 hours
Duration: 2 hours