A Look Inside The Most Mysterious Buildings in Romania

Romania is home to the mythical and iconic vampire, Dracula. Among its many interesting buildings, here are the most mysterious:

PALACE OF THE PARLIAMENT, BUCHAREST

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One of the world’s largest buildings, this opulent mega-structure took 13 years to build at a cost of US$3.3 billion. It was a vanity project for dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, who had bulldozers clear a path through downtown Bucharest to make way for it, only to be executed before it was completed in 1997.

THE BLACK CHURCH, BRASOV

 

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This enormous Gothic church in the beautiful Transylvanian city of Brasov took almost a century to build. Beyond its obvious beauty, the dramatic place of worship also captures the imagination via the many bullet holes in its facade, which occurred during the bloody Romanian revolution of 1989.

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PELES CASTLE, SINAIA

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Built on a hillside in the quaint ski resort town of Sinaia, Peles Castle (Aleea Pelesului 2, Sinaia) was a royal retreat. Yet, despite being a centre for relaxation, hidden beneath its ornate entrance hall is a horrifying dungeon bristling with a massive range of weapons.

STAVROPOLEOS MONASTERY, BUCHAREST

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Almost 300 years old, this Eastern Orthodox monastery is home to one of Romania’s most unusual choirs. The Stavropoleos Psalmodic Group perform Byzantine hymns, a rare form of music in Romania in which a soloist sings in a slow, chant-like style against a haunting musical backdrop.

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POENARI CASTLE, AREFU

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This imposing castle was one of the key fortresses of notorious medieval prince Vlad the Impaler. As his name suggests, Vlad was a ruthless leader who became known for impaling adversaries on stakes, once leaving thousands of victims in such a state in one single battlefield.

PELISOR CASTLE, SINAIA

 

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This royal abode has a majestic, tasteful exterior thanks to its Art Nouveau architecture. The interior is a very different story, at times heinously gaudy, including one room which remarkably has walls lathered entirely in gold leaf.

CONSTANTA CASINO, CONSTANTA

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An opulent building perched on the edge of the Black Sea, it opened as a casino in 1910 with grand plans to make Constanta the Monte Carlo of Romania. It enjoyed some initial success as a casino, before it became a hospital and then a restaurant. Because it was too expensive to maintain, it was abandoned, and is now one of Europe’s most beautiful derelict structures.

BRAN CASTLE, BRAN

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Set deep in the Carpathian mountains of Transylvania, Bran Castle has become known as the home of fictional monster Dracula, a character which spawned books and films. In reality, this 14th-century medieval castle was used as a fortress to protect against invading forces.

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Story originally appeared on SilverKris.

Photos: Ronan O' Connell, Pixabay

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