When you are planning to visit Romania is a must to stop in Brasov one of the most beautiful Transylvanian cities. From here you have the advantage of being very close to Bran Castle (approximately 20 miles/ 27km west) plus you get to live a unique experience discovering the medieval city and later the amazing Sinaia with Peles & Pelisor Castles.
At first, we’ll be traveling back to Vallahia in the northern part where we are going to visit one of the most spectacular castles not only in Romania but in the whole Europe.
Peles Castle is the crown jewel of the Romanian Royal family, build to the end of the 19th century by the 2nd king of Romania, Carol I.
Romania, as we know it today, had only 5 kings in its history, only the 1st one was Romanian, the other four came from a very long dynasty of European royalties, The house of the Habsburgs.
This tour will run according to the time schedule of the two castles: Peles and Pelisor respectively in summer and winter.
Summer program at Peles Castle: May 15th – September 15th;
Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday: 9.15 am – 16.15 pm;
Wednesday: 11 am – 16.15 pm;
Summer program at Pelisor Castle: May 15th – September 15th
Monday, Tuesday: closed;
Wednesday: 11 am – 16.15 pm;
Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday: 9.15 – 16.15 pm.
Winter program at Peles and Pelisor Castle: September 16th – May 14th
Monday, Tuesday: closed;
Wednesday: 11 am – 16.15 pm;
Thursday , Friday, Saturday and Sunday: 9.15 am – 16.15 pm.
Wednesday – Sunday : 7.45am
|Minimum Participants Per Group||Maximum Participants Per Group||Full Ticket||Reduced Ticket||Free Ticket|
*Full Ticket +18 years price.
*Reduced Ticket +0 -0 years price.
*Free Ticket -0 years price.
Short historical info about Romania
In January 24th, 1859 Moldavia and Vallahia realized the unification after more than 250 years, they decided that the capital city will be Bucharest and named, unanimously, as king of the new born country Alexandru Ioan Cuza. A very proud man, coming from a family of Romanian nobility, he wants the good of his country, and inevitably, made himself lots of enemies. In 1866, spring of that year, the king was forced to abdicate and he moved back to Iasi from Bucharest.
At this point the Romanian government they were in a race with the time, they need to, have to find quickly, a new replacement. At this point the options were limited so the job was offered to Philip Saxa Gotha, a Belgium prince, who refused and things got complicated . In the end, the job was accepted by Carol I a member of the Swisse Habsburg royal family. His family reigned in Romania for more than 70 years and had a major impact on Romanian society and external affairs. They have built and restored a number of castles, fortresses and churches or monasteries. The most impressive one, no doubt about it, is Castle Peles.
Erected at the foot of the Carpathian mountains, voted for decades on Europe’s top 10 most beautiful castles. King Carol, I start building it in 1874 and it was completed in the beginning of the 20th century. Right next to it we have another castle, build more or less In the same time, as beautiful as Peles but way less appreciated. Pelisor or the little Peles, this is the name of this castle, is 100% the work of Queen Maria, the wife of the 3rd king of Romania, Ferdinand, the nephew of Carol I. Queen Maria insisted that the castle was built next to Peles castle so her family: children, sisters, cousins etc to have a place to live without interfering with the political life of the king.
The architect Karel Liman, the same man who helped the queen to restore Bran Castle, the same architect whom design and build Peles Castle, helped the queen to design and build Pelisor Castle.
According to the Irish author Bram Stoker, it was the house of the most famous vampire in the world. Bran Castle by the end of the 14th century it has been, for hundreds of years, the most important military fortress on the southern border of the Austrian – Hungarian empire. Originally built to stop the invasion of the Ottoman empire it served for protection of the southern border of the empire for centuries, in the time of war, and in the time of peace here we had the customs.
Back then the medieval town of Brasov was the most important marketplace from this part of the empire, reason why once a year they were organizing a ten days fair. The most respectable merchants from across Europe and middle east were gathering here for the event. Now, in order to be able to attend the important event you had to pass through Bran stray and pay 3% tax on the value of your merchandise. Travelers on foot they have to pay one gold coin, one fiorino – which it was that times currency, travelers on horse two gold coins and so on and so forth. Money that was collected from taxes often went to the noble families which were fighting each other for the position as Castellan and a percentage went to the Hungarian king.
The truth is, as you already know, Vlad III Dracula never really lived here. When he conquered Brasov in 1458 the fortress Bran, which was the property of the Saxon nobility from Brasov at the time, the fortress was “part of the deal”. The Vallahian king kept it for almost a year only and exclusively for the tax money.
Brasov was founded in 1235 by the Saxon and Hungarian nobility, moved on this part of the Austrian -Hungarian empire by the Hungarian king Andrew I , 24 years before, together with the Teutonic knights to help each other building fortresses to protect the southern border of the empire and stop the Tartar invasion, and the first name of the city was KRONSTADT( or The Crown City).
Looking at city’s coat-of-arms , which you’ll be going to see it everywhere on the buildings, flags, trash-cans, on the floor etc, you’ll understand right away where from the Germans got its name in the first place.
The legend of the crown goes back to 1032 when the Hungarian king Solomon I chased by the Cumans ( a barbarian tribe living somewhere between Germany of today and Scandinavia) after his all army was decimated he
end up in the middle of a big black forest right on the foot of Tampa mountain, where, more than 200 years later Germans and Hungarians start the city, the place that according to the legend saved the life of the king. Our hero believed that the forest was magic so he placed his crown on top of a chopped wood and he built for himself a small house around it. The legend of the Hungarian king lived through the centuries, still is today, and we have a very strong reason to believe that the founders of the city knew about it and to keep alive the legend they name the city Kronstadt and as coat-of-arms we have, as it can be seen in the image above, THE CROWN, THE TREE TRUNK and THE ROOTS which represent the stability of the place in front of the invaders.
The medieval fortress build in 1235 was, as many others in this area, entirely in the wood reason why it was burnt to the ground not once but the people living here never give up hope for a longer time of peace and rebuild it every time.
Even in its early days, Brasov was a proper and rich city having within the city walls the biggest market place in the southeastern part of the Austrian- Hungarian Empire, the reason why it was often attacked and robbed. The population of the time decided to move the fortress in a better location and they start building the new city on top of Tampa Mountain, 920m/2800 feet above the sea level, and they called it BRASOVIA. Unfortunately, not even there were safe enough and in the beginning of the 15th century the Turkish sultan Murad II conquered Brasovia and destroys every single Christian church building until then inside the old city. A couple of years later Iancu de Hunedoara buys back the city from the sultan and he starts the construction of a new Brasov, all in river rocks, bricks and concrete, and from his own money builds a 3km/2 miles double wall around the city, becoming one of the best-protected fortresses : it had 4 surveillance towers on the exterior ( two of them are still standing) 24 towers inside the surrounding wall 7 bastions, in time of peace, were used as work houses and in time of war everyone protected his part of the town, weaver bastion is still standing. Every year the bastion is hosting the biggest medieval event from Transylvania.
The city’s economy grows exponentially together with the fame of being the biggest market in the south-east. Merchants from all Europe and not only start invading the place looking to get rich, but as you know the mirage of the money it became very attractive for the invaders, reason why the place was under attack several times.
In 1458 the famous Vallahian king Vlad III Dracula conquer the city for the first time in almost 50 years. The real reason for his actions was not the money but to punish all the nobility that fought against him in his battle for the throne of Vallahia, given their support to his rival/brother. All the prisoners were impaled, survivors that manage to escape to Budapest complained to the Hungarian king Matei Corvin about what happened and called the king THE IMPALER. Our hero remained in the history of the Hungarian kingdom as one of the biggest enemies.
Later on Bram Stoker describes Vlad the Impaler as one of the most ruthless kings of his time inspired by the Hungarian history calling him THE DEVIL WALKING THE EARTH.
After the death of Vlad III Dracula in 1476 Transylvania remains a Hungarian colony for more than 400 years until 1918, months after the first world war, Romania accepts Transylvania as part of the United Romanian countries to become Romania as we know it today.
Brasov was more than a money making establishment or the center of wars between east and west, was also a melting pot. Many nationalities lived together within the walls of the medieval city for centuries, for example in 1600’s when the Austrian take over the Hungarian kingdom to become the Austrian-Hungarian empire they made sure in Brasov there were exactly 33% from each nationality German, Hungarian and Romanian this way there were no differences between the inhabitants.
In years 1689 Brasov is entirely destroyed by the biggest fire ever to heat the city, but, with everybody’s commitment, the fortress was rebuilt in less than 2 years.
In 1807 the 4th “players” joined the game. A party of 5 Jewish moved to Brasov and 100 years later were more than 20.000.
Having all this cultures together in the same place, they all brought with them their all food culture ,clothing and religion that’s why today in the old city you can visit the BLACK CHURCH which represents the German Protestant part, the CHURCH OF THE ASSUMPTION OF MARY which represents the Romanian orthodox part, the BASILICA OF SAINT PETER which represents the Hungarian Catholic part and the JEWISH SYNAGOGUE which represents the Jewish community. All of this ecclesiastical places are located in the city center around the Council City Square within 500m radius. Then after a nice walk around the city, you can find a big choice of restaurants typical German or Hungarian or Romanian.
Our tour covers all the major touristic attractions seen under the moonlight which gives a different perspective of all baroque structures: THE BLACK CHURCH and KATHERINE’S GATE, medieval buildings surrounding the COUNCIL CITY SQUARE all this incorporated in a special tour.
When you’re on vacation you want to enjoy yourself, you want to see new things, you want to meet new people and create memories, look no further. We are the 1st tour agency to organize a mixed tour which combines the history with lots of fun. The tour starts with an explanation about the city and it ends with a stop at one of the most interesting pubs in Brasov where you’ll find a big spectrum of choice from Romanian beer, here we have almost 600 years of experience, to Romanian super alcoholic drinks, pub food and wedges and much more.
Residence Piața Sfatului, Piața Sfatului, Brașov, Brașov County, Romania