Castles are declared historic monuments by the Romanian Culture Ministry.
Romanian architecture is diverse, including medieval architecture, modern era architecture, interwar architecture, communist architecture, and contemporary 21st century architecture. In Romania, there are also regional differences with regard to architectural styles.
n mediaeval architecture, influences of Western trends can be traced, to a greater or lesser extent, in all the three lands inhabited by Romanians. Such influences are stronger in Transylvania, and weaker in Moldavia, in forms absorbed by local and Byzantine tradition. In Wallachia, Western elements in architecture were even fewer; there, from the 14th-century architecture was based on the local adaptation of the Byzantine model (the Princely Church in Curtea de Arges and the Cozia Monastery).
Bran Castle (Dracula`s Castle) , Brasov
Bran Castle , situated near Bran and in the immediate vicinity of Braşov, is a national monument and landmark in Romania. The fortress is situated on the border between Transylvania and Wallachia, on DN73. Commonly known as "Dracula's Castle" (although it is one among several locations linked to the Dracula legend, including Poenari Castle and Hunyad Castle), it is the home of the title character in Bram Stoker's Dracula. There is, however, no evidence that Stoker knew anything about this castle, which has only tangential associations with Vlad III, voivode of Wallachia, the putative inspiration for Dracula. As discovered by the Dutch author Hans Corneel de Roos, the location Bram Stoker actually had in mind for Castle Dracula while writing his novel was an empty mountain top, Mount Izvorul Călimanului, 2,033 metres (6,670 ft) high, located in the Transylvanian Călimani Alps near the former border with Moldavia.
The castle is now a museum open to tourists, displaying art and furniture collected by Queen Marie. Tourists can see the interior individually or by a guided tour. At the bottom of the hill is a small open-air museum park exhibiting traditional Romanian peasant structures (cottages, barns, etc.) from across the country.
In 1212, Teutonic Knights built the wooden castle of Dietrichstein as a fortified position in the Burzenland at the entrance to a mountain pass through which traders had travelled for more than a millennium, but in 1242 it was destroyed by the Mongols. The first documented mentioning of Bran Castle is the act issued by Louis I of Hungary on 19 November 1377, giving the Saxons of Kronstadt (Brașov) the privilege to build the stone castle on their own expense and labor force; the settlement of Bran began to develop nearby. In 1438–1442, the castle was used in defense against the Ottoman Empire, and later became a customs post on the mountain pass between Transylvania and Wallachia. It is believed the castle was briefly held by Mircea the Elder of Wallachia (r. 1386–1395, 1397–1418) during whose period the customs point was established. The Wallachian ruler Vlad Țepeș (Vlad the Impaler; 1448–1476) does not seem to have had a significant role in the history of the fortress, although he passed several times through the Bran Gorge. Bran Castle belonged to the Hungarian Kings but due to the failure of King Vladislas II (r. 1471–1516) to repay loans, the city of Brasov regained possession of the fortress in 1533. Bran played a militarily strategic role up to the mid-18th century.
In 1920, the castle became a royal residence within the Kingdom of Romania. It became the favorite home and retreat of Queen Marie, who ordered its extensive renovation conducted by the Czech architect Karel Zdeněk Líman. The castle was inherited by her daughter Princess Ileana who ran a hospital there in World War II: it was later seized by the communist regime with the expulsion of the royal family in 1948.
Rasnov Citadel , Brasov
Râșnov Citadel (Romanian: Cetatea Râșnov, German: Rosenauer Burg) is a historic monument and landmark in Romania. It is situated in Râşnov, Brașov County, in the immediate vicinity of Brașov.
The citadel was built as part of a defence system for the Transylvanian villages exposed to outside invasions. A decisive aspect for building the citadel on the actual location was the route of the invading armies which were coming from the Bran pass and were passing through Râșnov, on their way to Burzenland. The only chance of survival for the inhabitants of the area, inclusively from Cristian and Ghimbav, was the refuge inside the citadel. Compelled to stay there for decades, the people of Râșnov and the nearby villages turned the fortification into a dwelling.