The castle of Vlad the Impaler in Bucharest

by Victor Grigore, Webphoto.ro

The most famous historic personality of Romanians, Vlad The Impaler, was very tied to Bucharest, today’s capital, which was first mentioned in a document during his reign, in 1459. The legendary king is usually associated to Transylvania, being born in Sighisoara, but he ruled a neighbor part of today Romania, Wallachia. Several castles, among which the Bran Castle is the most famous, lure tourists with the legend of Dracula, though it is not proven that the cruel king lived there.
In 1906, a replica of a genuine fortress of Vlad the Impaler (Poienari fortress) was raised in Bucharest for a national exhibition that commemorated 40 years of reign of king Carol I. The destination of this very convincing fortress was quite humble, that of a water reservoir. The architects of this monument are Stefan Burcus and Victor Stephanescu. The tower is 32 m in height, with a diameter of 9 m.
The castle of Vlad the Impaler is found in the Carol Park, and now is the headquarter for the National Office for Heroes Memory, the institution that administers monuments and military cemeteries. Not far from the castle, in the same park, there is the Monument of The Unknown Soldier, a flame that commemorates the soldiers who died in the first and second world war. The park is dominated by the crimson marble mausoleum where former communist leaders used to be buried. The plateau of that mausoleum is now used at special occasions for small military parades and demonstrations.

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