Sibiu – Transfagarasan Road – Peles Castle or Bran Castle
We will start our trip towards Transfagarasan road early in the morning so that we can be back in Sibiu for a late dinner. We will drive along the Fagaras Mountains and beautiful scenery of the medieval villages and forest. We will enter the heart of the Fagaras Mountains by driving on to the Transfagarasan mountain road, one of the most spectacular roads in the world.
The Transfagarasan road was built between 1970 and 1974 by military forces. After the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Soviets, Nicolae Ceausescu had it built as a strategic military route to cross the mountains in the event the Soviets attempted a similar move into Romania. The builders used 6000 tons of dynamite to clear a path for the road on the northern side of the mountains (this is the most spectacular) and on the tunnel. 40 soldiers lost their lives during construction.
On the top of the mountain we will stop to admire the Balea Lake situated at 2034 metres altitude. Here every winter The Hotel of Ice is (re)built every year using four-feet long ‘bricks’ made from ice from the nearby Balea Lake. Every year this unique hotel features a new design.
Between late autumn and spring the only way to reach the Balea Lake is the cable car, due to the rough weather conditions and to the amount of snow falling in Fagaras Mountains. We will take the cable car from Balea waterfall to Balea Lake and admire the breathtaking scenery from a higher view.
The ice church near the hotel completes the ice complex. The altar is decorated with ice sculptures in high-relief.
From here the guest will chose to visit Bran Castle or Peles Castle .
The Bran Castle was built in the 14th century for military purposes and has been altered many times along the ages. In 1920, Queen Mary of Romania receives the construction from the authorities of Brasov. It was given to her as a sign of gratitude for her contribution to the Great Union of 1918. Queen Mary turns the building into the fairytale castle we know today. The construction still has a lot of elements of medieval gothic architecture which give the castle a mysterious and fascinating flavor.
The Bran Castle is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Romania. The legend saying that the castle was the famous Count Dracula’s home is definitely the reason why so many tourists visit the castle. Bran is also one of the best conserved and impressive medieval castles in Romania and it served as a regal home .
The magnificent Peles Castles, with its fairytale turrets and pointed towers rising above acres of green meadows sprinkled with haystacks, was built as a summer residence by Romania’s longest serving monarch, King Carol I, who died and was buried here in 1914, just months after the castle’s completion.