20 Fairytale Castles in Romania

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It is not hard to find castles in Romania as there are castles everywhere. The castles of Romania are well-preserved and beautiful, with each castle having its unique history. These castles offer a glimpse into the past, telling stories about the people who lived there as well as being steeped in legends of vampires and ghosts.

Romania’s vast wilderness of mountains and forests provide perfect settings for castles. Throughout the country, there are castles built across the centuries for Romanian royalty and nobility. These castles in Romania are a must-see with deep historical value, stunning designs, and various breathtaking views of the Romanian countryside.

castles in transylvania romania
Bran Castle in Transylvania is one of the most famous castles in Romania.

Castles in Romania

20 Fairytale Romanian Castles 

1- Corvin Castle

Castles in romania (corvin)
Corvin Castle in Romania is straight out of a fairytale.

Built throughout the 14th century, Corvin Castle is a landmark in the Romanian region of Transylvania.

This gothic Transylvanian castle is one of the seven wonders of Romania and is often associated with Dracula.

During the 14th century, Corvin Castle acted as a fort before it became the residence of Voivode John Hunyadi.

Corvin Castle’s style is reminiscent of the gothic-renaissance style that dominated the Middle Ages, and some of the towers were used as cells for prisoners.

John Hunyadi imprisoned Vlad the Impaler in the castle.

The castle’s 17th and 19th-century expansions led to a hodgepodge of design elements from different periods.

Corvin Castle still ranks as one of the largest castles in Europe and is soaked in history.

Corvin Castle is at Strada Castelului 1-3, Hunedoara 331141, Romania.

2- Iulia Hasdeu Castle

The story of Iulia Hasdeu Castle’s conception is one of tragedy and grief.

At age 19, Romanian child prodigy Iulia Hasdeu, who excelled at music, art and spoke seven languages, died after complications with tuberculosis.

Her father, Romanian writer Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu, sought spiritual help and was given guidance from his deceased daughter to create a castle.

The story becomes even more peculiar when you discover that Bogdan paid particular attention to two numbers – 3 and 7.

As a result, he designed the castle with three towers and staircases featuring only seven steps.

The castle was completed in 1896 and became a museum in 1994, where you can see displays of Iulia’s items along with photos and transcripts of seances her father held.

The castles of Romania all have their legends, and Iulia Hasdue Castle is no different.

Visitors claim to have seen the ghost of Iulia walking the gardens. Others have seen a vision of Iulia Hasdeu sitting at her desk, where she did most of her writing in the castle’s library.

Iulia Hasdeu Castle is located at Bulevardul Carol I 199, Câmpina 105600, Romania.

3- Peles Castle

Peles castle romania
Peles is a Romanian castle with a blend of different architectural styles.

Peles Castle is a German-style Neo-Renaissance castle constructed in 1873 because King Carol I fell in love with the area and had to build a summer hunting retreat.

Located in the Carpathian mountains, which are considered some of the most beautiful mountains in Europe, Peles Castle is a landmark of this historic area.

Peles Castle was technologically advanced for its era and was the first castle in Europe to have electricity.

The castle had a power plant, central heating, hot and cold running water, and a central vacuum system.

Inside, there’s are Italian and Turkish salons, a music room, a concert hall, a 60-seat theatre and a library with a secret door.

Peles Castle is located at Aleea Peleșului 2, Sinaia 106100.

4- Pelisor Castle

Built on the same complex as Peles Castle, the smaller art-nouveau Pelisor Castle has 70 rooms.

Pelisor was the residence of King Carol I, his nephew Ferdinand and his wife Marie while Ferdinand was in line for the throne.

King Ferdinand, Carol I’s successor, built Pelisor Castle and Queen Marie took a special interest in this particular castle and designed elements of it herself.

Pelisor Castle has collections of Lalique and Tiffany glassware as well as lovely Viennese furniture.

Pelisor was built similarly to Peles but was more intimate and cosier than Peles due to the influence of the future Queen Marie.

Pelisor Castle is at Aleea Peleșului 2, Sinaia 106100, Romania.

5- Macea Castle

Csernovics Castle, also known as the Macea Castle, is a massive complex built by a Serbian family, the Csernovics, which the castle was named after.

They lost the castle to the Nagy Karolyi family, who extended the building and provided various construction projects to create the castle we see today.

There’s no official reason why the Csernovics lost their home, but history tells us it was likely a card game.

You can’t go inside and explore Csernovics Castle as it houses the Vasile Goldis Western University but it’s worth walking through the gardens to admire its exterior.

Csernovics Castle is at 791 -792, Macea Village, Macea Commune, Arad.

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6- Bran Castle

bran castle romania
Bran Castle in Transylvania is steeped in history.

Bran Castle is one of the most famous castles in Romania as well as Europe.

The castle lies 2500 ft (762m) above sea level, with a stunning mountain backdrop, gracing the landscape with its regal architecture.

King Louis I of Anjou ordered the construction of Bran Fortress in 1377 to defend the Magyar kingdom against Walachia.

Its red-tiled turrets and towers command attention while the inside of this stunning, albeit spooky castle, is impressive.

When Transylvania became part of Romania, Queen Maria became the castle’s owner in 1920 and used it as a royal residence.

Bran Castle is also popularly associated with Dracula’s castle because Bran Castle inspired Bram Stoker’s description of the castle in his Dracula books.

Bran Castle is located at Strada General Traian Mosoiu 24, Bran 507025.

7- Sturdza Castle

Sturdza Castle is a vast complex with the main castle and a church and monastery park.

Built during the 19th century with a Neo-Gothic style in the northeast of Romania, Sturdza reminds you of the grandeur of Romania’s 19th century.

The castle was once home to some of the most impressive books, art, jewels, paintings and various other historical artifacts.

Sturdza Castle was ruined when the Russians invaded and razed castles and other buildings when Communist rule swept through Europe.

Sturdza remains standing to this day, and while not entirely in its former glory, it remains striking and beautiful.

One of the oldest trees in the vast park surrounding the castle is more than 400 years old.

Sturdza Castle is at Sat, Miclăușeni 707066.

8- Cantacuzino Castle

Cantacuzino Castle’s Neo-Romanian architecture is stately and grand, with a facade of stone.

Built during the 20th century, Cantacuzino Castle is the legacy of the Romanian aristocratic family of Cantacuzino.

Featuring neo-Romanian architecture, Cantacuzino Castle is surrounded by lovely gardens with waterfalls, grottos and beautiful fountains.

Cantacuzino Castle is a shrine to aristocratic life in the Romanian countryside.

In 1948, forced nationalisation caused the family to lose their home before they regained it in 1989.

15 years later, they sold the castle to private investors, and it now operates as a conference centre popular for weddings and other events.

Cantacuzino Castle is located at Strada Zamorei 1, Bușteni 105500.

9- Miko Palace

Miko Palace is an impressive fortified complex in the Romanian city of Miercurea Ciuc.

Built during the 1620s, Miko Castle burnt down 40 years later when Ottoman troops invaded.

During the Austrian-Hungarian occupation of Transylvania, and fifty tears after the fire, Miko Palace was reconstructed and returned to its former glory.

Miko Castle now is the home of an ethnographic museum after serving for more than a century as a military fortress.

Miko Palace is considered one of the most important monuments in the city of Miercurea Ciuc.

Miko Palace is located at Piața Cetății 2.

10- Banffy Castle

Castles in Romania banffy
Banffy is a Romanian castle with an interesting history.

Banffy Castle is the castle that refused to quit.

Although it was destroyed and rebuilt several times throughout history, Banffy Castle remains a beautiful and rather popular location in Romania.

During the 15th century, Banffy endured many years of tragic events that caused it to be completely renovated in the 18th century by an architect from Vienna.

When WWII hit Romania, Nazi troops destroyed the castle, and during the communist rule, the castle was repurposed for various regime needs.

As communist rule subsided in Romania, Banffy Castle was fully restored and turned into a historical attraction.

For years Banffy Castle has been used to host the famous music festival Electric Castle.

Banffy Castle is at DJ161, Bonțida 407105.

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11- Jidvei Palace

The French Renaissance gave way to some of history’s greatest masterpieces in arts and culture.

In Central Romania lies a beautiful 16th century French Renaissance-styled castle, and it’s magnificent.

Since the 16th century, the castle has been restored and is a fair mix of different styles, but the French Renaissance origins remain strikingly evident.

The large distinct round towers are a feature that showcases the original french renaissance style that was prevalent at the time.

One of the most beautiful and romantic castles in Romania, Jidvei Castle is also known for its wine cellars and winemaking.

The surroundings of lush green nature, the fields, and the village below only add to Jidvei’s charm.

Jidvei Palace is located at Aleea Peleșului 2, Sinaia 106100.

12- Poenari Citadel

romania castle aeriel (fortress poenari)
Poenari Citadel was once an impressive castle in Romania.

Poenari Citadel was an impressive castle back in its day. But today, the citadel sadly lies in ruins due to an earthquake that destroyed much of the structure.

What remains is an impressive reminder of what this castle in the hills used to be.

Poenari Citadel is another location to have housed the famous Transylvania ‘vampire’ Dracula, although this one is confirmed.

Vlad the Impaler was one of the original residences of this immense palace, looking down on the villages below.

Although it isn’t an intact castle, it’s still one worth visiting as the ruins alone are enough to have jaws on the floor.

Poenari Citadel is located at Transfăgărășan, Arefu 117040.

13- Sighișoara Fortress

The Sighișoara Fortress is one of the most incredible castle complexes on this list.

Filled with Saxon structures, in the heart of Sighișoara, this fortress has been kept largely intact and is a sight to behold.

Nine towers still stand out of its original 14 towers, and the surrounding town still looks like it’s straight out of the medieval age.

From medieval churches, town squares, and other remarkable places, Sighișoara is straight out of a fairytale.

You’ll find so many interesting things while touring this expansive location, including collections of medieval weapons and torture systems.

Sighișoara Fortress is located at Sighișoara 545400.

14- Bethlen Castle

In its infancy, Bethlen Castle was nothing more than the small humble residence of a Hungarian captain in charge of the Deva Fortress.

Nearly four decades later, things quickly changed, and the humble nature of the home faded away and made room for a Renaissance-style palace.

Gabriel Bethlen led the charge, creating what remains one of the oldest castles in Transylvania.

The light pink exterior gives it charming character, as the ruins of the Deva Fortress look down from the mountains.

Today, the Bethlen Castle houses a museum of Dacian and Roman civilisation, while Deva Fortress can be visited by journeying up the mountain on the funicular.

Bethlen Castle is at Strada 1 Decembrie 39, Deva 330005.

15- Enisala Fortress

Near the Black Sea, isolated in the hills of South-East Romania, lies the Enisala Fortress.

At one point in time, it was one of the most important fortresses due to its strategic value.

The fort has striking views of the countryside and the sea and served as a vantage point for medieval troops who guarded the lands against a foreign invasion.

It was an impressive structure during its heydey but today, most of the structure is in pieces, but five defensive towers still stand intact.

Genovese merchants built the fort during the 14th century after winning control of the Black Sea trading route from the Byzantine Empire.

They built the fortress on the site of the 11th-century Byzantine fortress of Heracleea.

Enisala Fortress is in Enisala.

16- Fagaras Fortress

castles in romania (Fagaras Fortress)
Fagaras Fortress in Romania.

In the 14th century, Transylvania constructed a new fortress to protect the people and fight off invasions.

They replaced the old wooden fortification, built Fagaras Fortress, and consistently upgraded the fort over the next few years to fortify the structure.

When the 16th century rolled around, it became the royal residence of the Prince of Transylvania and his family.

Eventually, it became a military prison, and in 1946, during the communist takeover, it expanded to be a prison for dissenters.

When the communist rule collapsed, authorities turned Fagaras Fortress into a library and museum open to the public.

Fagaras Fortress is located at Str. Mihai Viteazul 1.

17- Karoly Castle

Built in 1492 by the Karoly family, the Karoly Castle is a beautiful castle among the trees that hides many secrets.

With the frequent incursions of the Turks, the Karoly family in 1592 began making changes to the castle to attempt to fortify the existing building and property.

They began constructing stronger walls, bastions and even built a ditch strengthened with palisades and completed with a single suspension bridge.

Stories have emerged about the basement in the home, which was nicknamed the Rackoczi’s Basement after the castle’s owner Rakoczi Prince Francis II.

According to legend, there are 10 m deep tunnels under the castle surrounding the property and accessible through the basement to surprise enemies in unsuspecting places.

The Austrians sent a handsome officer to the castle to learn the castle’s secrets, and in the process, the officer seduces the Prince’s daughter.

His daughter gives up his secrets, and the Prince attempts to escape through his tunnels while under the watchful eye of the Austrian soldier, living in his daughter’s betrayal.

Karoly Castle is at Károlyi Mansion, Carei, Carei 445100

18- Lazar Castle

Transylvania is home to so many impressive castles, and Lazar Castle is no different.

The region is historically rich in castles with deep histories and harken back to a different time, and Lazar Castle is one of those stunning examples.

The fortified castle features a mixture of styles from Renaissance to Baroque.

During the 18th century, a fire claimed parts of the complex and, to this day, hasn’t been restored.

Regardless of the parts lost in the fire, Lazar Castle still retains much of its charm and adds character to this beautiful part of Romania.

Lazar Castle is located at Lăzarea 537135.

19- Pekri Ozd Palace

The charming Pekri Ozd Palace lies on the hilltops of Ozd and looks over the village below.

Featuring four towers on each corner and a mixture of renascence and baroque architecture elements with a hint of Gothic, this beautiful castle remains a stunning hillside reminder of Romania’s history.

Built in 1682, Perki Ozd was originally an engagement gift for baroness Teleki Ilona; she left the castle behind when she fled the country during the communist uprising.

Perki Ozd Palace was burnt down over fifty years later, and only the corner towers remained in one piece.

The remaining structure was donated to the Bonus Pastor Foundation, which has fully restored the castle.

Even in its current state, it’s a beautiful castle to visit and see in person when you’re visiting the hilltops of Ozd.

Pekri Ozd Palace is located at nr. 5, Ozd 547123, Ozd 547123.

20- Rasnov Citadel

castles in romania (rasnov)
Rasnov Castle in Romania sits above the town.

Rasnov Citadel is one of the most impressive castles on the list and is in a scenic and remote location chosen to keep enemies out.

Rasnov is in Central Romania and was created as a defence system for the Transylvanian villages.

Long before the citadel existed, the land was a fortress before being turned into a castle in the 13th century.

The Ottoman empire besieged the building in the mid-15th century.

During the 18th century, the citadel was hit by fires and earthquakes.

The Rasnov Citadel is located at Strada Cetății 17, Râșnov Romacril 505400.

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Christina Pfeiffer is a writer, photographer and video blogger based in Queensland, Australia. She has lived in three continents and her career as a travel journalist has taken her to all seven continents. Since 2003, she has contributed travel stories and photographs to mainstream media in Australia and around the world such as the Sydney Morning Herald, CNN Traveller, The Australian and the South China Morning Post. She has won many travel writing awards and is a full member of the Australian Society of Travel Writers.