1480 steps to a mysterious tourist location: a little known fortress of Vlad Țepeș (Vlad the Impaler) also called Vlad Țepeș Fortress or Negru Vodă Fortress. Poenari castle, on the top of Mount Cetăţuia, in a fortified natural setting, at a distance of 25 km from the municipality of Curtea de Argeş, rises the Poenari Fortress, named so mainly by both the sources of time and in specialized historiography, after the village nearby, about 6 km away. Although the fortress is located only two kilometers from the village of Căpăţâneni, it received the name of Poienari, from the village a little further away, but, most likely, older, which he also owned, as shown in a deed given to the people of Hares (arefenilor) by Mircea Ciobanul on April 8, 1546. With this name we find it in the documentary sources from the XV-XVI centuries, but also in the chronicles from the XVII-XVIII centuries. Poenari Fortress, Vlad Tepes’ place of refuge, remains today an almost inaccessible fortress. The fortress was the last refuge of the ruler before leaving for Transylvania. It was one of the fortifications that contributed to the final victory of the Romans in 1462. Vlad Tepes deserves credit for delaying the advance of the Ottoman armies to south-central Europe for at least seven decades. The last restoration of the fortress was made between 1969-1972, when the walls were consolidated and raised, access lines were built that allow visiting the entire fortress in the best conditions.
- on CP07
- coordinates 45.35415927002875, 24.635651307276024
- altitude 850 m
Numerous legends and stories about Poenari Castle have survived over the centuries. During the Communist era in Romania, foreign visitors sometimes spent the night inside the ruined structure; among them was Fatimeh Pahlavi’s husband, Vincent Lee Hillyer, who claimed that in the night the temperature was much lower than usual in the castle (even in the month of July), smelled rotten flowers although there were none, he suffered from bizarre nightmares, inexplicably contracted keratosis, and got the “overpowering feeling” that he was being watched and got bitten without being physically assaulted. It was also featured as a haunted location in Ghost Hunters International in Season 1 (2008–09).