Bram Stoker’s character, Dracula, is a Transylvanian Count with a castle located high above a valley perched on a rock with a flowing river below in the Principality of Transylvania. Because Bran Castle is the only castle in all of Transylvania that actually fits Bram Stoker’s description of Dracula’s Castle, it is known throughout the world as Dracula’s Castle. Due to its lovely landscape and charming people, Bran-Moeciu is one of the most popular touristic areas in Brasov County and the ideal place to spend a great week-end or your holidaysEvery historical episode is characterized by certain factors that function as a constant, such as time and space. These factors define its place in the evolution of the human community.The region between Bucegi and Piatra Craiului has sparked a series of historical episodes, from prehistoric days until current times, all due to one major geographical and historical factor: the Bran Gorge.The Bran Gorge, one of the most important trans-Carpathian passages, has had a dynamic history. Its story has been characterized by two major components: the trade routes of its crossroads, and the recurring military invasions that utilized them.A natural amphitheater, guarded from the East by the Bucegi Mountains and from the West by the Piatra Craiului Massive, the Bran Gorge offered, due to its concave space, a wide panorama both to Burzenland (Ţara Bârsei), and to the hills and valley of Moeciu.
The Cosuna – Bucovatu Vechi Monastery is an orthodox monastery situated in Craiova, Dolj county. It is the oldest religious edifice from the city of Craiova, being built in 1483. The Monastery`s church was built between 1506 – 1512 and the actual church in 1572, by the Boyar Stephan and his son.
It is one of the most famous monuments of Sibiu. It bears this name because it used to defend the entrance gate into the second precinct, situated in the immediate vicinity of the building which once hosted the City Hall of Sibiu, mentioned in the documents for the first time in 1324 (no. 31, Small Square, recently rehabilitated).
The place brings together the rich history, and attracts its visitors with many different possibilities for relaxation and entertainment. The archaeological values found on that place such as the fortress walls of the ancient city of Terme (Thermopolis), the Roman baths of the 1st century AD with a warm and cold swimming pool, and various medieval rooms are accessible to tourists through the modern footbridges that facilitate their passage and viewing.
The complex allows citizens and guests of Burgas to visit the fully renovated bathroom of Suleiman the Magnificent. Upon restoration, the original vision is strictly adhered, lined with marble and typical oriental ceramics. The authenticity is complemented by natural and artistic lightning that performs the act of a functioning museum where visitors can watch a movie based on 3D mapping. It leads the tourists to a virtual walk from the Thracian times and the Sacred Spring of the Three nymphs-healers through the Roman period, the Crusades – until the time of Suleiman the Magnificent.
From the first glance, the Castle is made in the style of the classic Western European castles combining various styles from the Renaissance and Romantic periods – but this comes not to be true! The style of the Castle is one and only – the unique Fairy style. This is the secret of its magic impact – the dream that came true to make a castle existing only in fairy-tales.
It is interesting to know when and where was the ancient town of Plovdiv founded. What is the place where the people settled and remained to live there for 8 millennia? This place is the hill known today as Nebet tepe situated on the hilltop plateau in the northern part of the three hills (Trimontium).
The earliest settlements on the territory of the city are dated back to the 6th millennium BC. There were several prehistoric settlements on this territory, but the oldest and most important one was located on hill known as Nebet tepe.
Initially the village was situated in a naturally sheltered and consolidated place on the front side of the northern hill. It gradually expanded towards the other hills to become the most significant Thracian city on the territory of Bulgaria. At that time the lands of today's Plovdiv were inhabited by the Thracian tribe Bessi. The scientists are still not sure if the name of the city at that time was Eumolpia or Pulpudeva.
The complex of Nebet tepe continued to play an important role as an element of the fortification system of the city until the 14th century, with lots of improvements and supplements during the Antiquity and the Middle Ages. A notable finding of that later period is a reservoir of 350 cubic meters.
Ancient Plovdiv Architectural and Historical Reserve (The Old Town) is located in the Central part of the city of Plovdiv on the Three Hills (Nebet Tepe, Taksim Tepe and Dzhambaz Tepe) and covers an area of about 35 ha. It was formed due to the continuous life over the centuries – from Prehistoric, Thracian, Hellenic, Roman, Late-ancient, Medieval, National Revival, and Post-Liberation periods to present days. The combination of the prevailing Antiquity, Middle Ages and Revival in an independent core within the modern city is one of a kind for our country.
From the Roman and the Late-ancient period in the Old Town have been best preserved the Ancient Theatre, the Ancient Forum, the Roman Stadium, Early Christian basilicas, public and private buildings, pipelines, street network and parts of the fortress walls, constructed in the Antiquity and the Middle Ages.
From the National Revival period the authentic architecture of houses as well as several churches and school buildings have been preserved. The residential buildings are divided into two main groups. The first group of houses corresponds to the mountain asymmetrical type, but it has been expanded and enriched for the needs of the urban life. The second group is the so-called “Plovdiv symmetrical urban house”. This group of buildings is characterized by a unique national interpretation of the European baroque.
On the territory to the East and Northeast of the Forum (Agora) of Philippopolis in the years of Early Christianity were formed neighborhoods where several Christian churches were built. In the same area were found also the ruins of a synagogue - a unique building from that period.
The ruins of the Small Early Christian basilica were found during the construction works of "Maria Louisa" Blvd. The Small basilica is situated in the eastern outskirts of the Ancient city, next to the fortification wall with a tower from 2nd - 4th century AD.
The basilica has a central nave, flanked by two aisles. It is with one apse and with a narthex. A small chapel was built to the South and a baptistery is erected just next to the Northern aisle. The overall length of the basilica, including the apse, is 20 meters, and the width is 13 meters.
The basilica was built in the second half of 5th century AD with rich architectural decorations – marble colonnades separating the aisles, marble altar wall, pulpit and synthronos. The floors were covered with rich multicolour mosaic with geometrical motifs. The mosaic includes a panel with donor inscription. Remnants of an altar table were found.
The Ancient theatre of Philipoppol is one of the best-preserved ancient theatres in the World. It is located on the Southern slope of the Three Hills, in the saddle between Taksim and Dzhambaz tepe. Discovered by archaeologists from Plovdiv and reconstructed in the beginning of the 80s of XX century, the Ancient theatre of Philipoppol is among the most significant findings from the Roman period. Recently found and deciphered inscription on a monumental pedestal reveals that the theatre has been constructed in the 90s of I century A.D., when Philippolol was under the rulership of Titus Flavius Cotis – an heir of a Thracian Royal Dynasty, the high priest of the Tracian province, representative of the Metropolitan Court of Justice and a person in charge of the construction sites.
Nowadays, the Ancient theatre is symbolical for Plovdiv and adjusted to the city’s modern cultural life. It is operating as a stage of opera, music and drama. Some of the best annual events are the International Folklore Festival, the Opera Festival "Opera Open", the Rock Festival "Sounds of Ages" and many others.
The Stadium of Philippopolis was built in the beginning of 2nd century AD during the reign Emperor Hadrian. It is situated in the Northern part of the fortified city surrounded by defence walls, in the natural terrain between Taksim Tepe and Sahat Tepe.
The facility, approximately 240 meters long and 50 meters wide, could seat up to 30 000 spectators. According to the epigraphic and numismatic monuments games similar to the Pythian Games in Greece were held in the town. To honour the visit of the Roman emperor Caracalla in 214 the games were called Alexandrian while the games for the visit of emperor Elagabalus in 218 were called Kedrisian Games.
There you can dive underground at the original level of the Ancient town. The space open for visitors includes a part of the track, the semi-circular part of the spectator seats (sfendona) and a panoramic wall with hypothetical reconstruction of the missing space of the facility. Some of the discovered elements of the Stadium are identified along the main street of Plovdiv.
Neamt Monastery was first mentioned in the XIV century and it’s the oldest religious settlement in this area – it’s also known as “The Jerusalem of the Romanian Orthodoxy”. We don’t know for sure who was the main founder of Neamt monastery and at what date but among the rulers that contributed to the rising of this church there are Petru Musat (1375-1391), Alexandru cel Bun (1400-1432) and Stefan cel Mare (1457-1504).
The Holy Trinity Church and especially its tall belfry have become a symbol of Bansko as one of the most attractive mountain resorts, successfully combining the charm of its rich historical past and its picturesque location at the foot of the mighty Pirin Mountain with the most modern facilities for recreation – a wide choice of reputable hotels for all tastes and budgets, one of the best ski zone in South-East Europe.
The Church dedicated to the Holy Trinity was built in the period of the Bulgarian National Revival. Its inauguration was made in 1835. The architectural plan of the church is a three-nave basilica or more exactly a pseudo-basilica with 44 m length, 22 m width and 12 m height. The walls are 1.1 m thick and entirely constructed of local ashlar, welded together by mortar. Large wooden beams of centuries old white fir (typical for the region) are used in the foundation and for leveling the walls. Part of the church is sunken under the ground level in order to look smaller from the outside and Turks can not get an idea about its real size. The altar piece is set within a skillfully constructed and decorated apse in the form of the half of a 18-angle prism with a remarkable stone cornice on the exterior. The roof is hold in the interior of the church by 12 massive wooden columns of white fir, symbolizing the 12 apostles.
The Citadel of Soimos was built after the first invasion of the Tatars and documented since 1278. Soimos Citadel is on the list of historical monuments.
From 1278 until 1509, the city was ruled by Ladislau Kan II and Iancu of Hunedoara.
In 1509 the citadel and the domain become the property of Gheorghe Hohenzollern of Brandenburg. It was besieged in 1514 by Romanian and Hungarian rebels, led by Gheorghe Doja. After a brief resistance, the garrison of citadel led by Prince of Ciuci is an uprising against people of Gheorghe Hohenzollern and joins the rebels.
Turks occupied the citadel in 1552, after repeated sieges, and in 1595 was recaptured by György Borbély - Captain of Stephen Bathory - reaching into custody rulers of Transylvania.
In 1599-1600 pass under the rule of Michael the Brave (Mihai Viteazul). The citadel was finally liberated from Turkish domination in 1688.
The Stefan Tower is the bell tower of the former church dedicated to "Saint King Stephen of Baia Mare. The tower is located between Crișan and 1 Mai streets, in the immediate vicinity of Liberty Square - Central Square (Circulus fori) - of the old city. It was built The
first documentary attestation of the "Sfântul Ștefan" church dates from 1347, but the construction was officially inaugurated only in 1387. The tower, built of solid stone, was built at the initiative of Prince Ioan de Hunedoara, to mark the victory. from Ialomita (1442) against the Ottomans. The construction of the tower begins after 1446 but is completed only in 1468, under the reign of Matthias Corvinus.
In 1619, the upper part was rebuilt, having the shape of a pyramid with a square base, with four turrets and is endowed with bells. Nine years later, a moon clock is set. Repeatedly affected by lightning and fire, the two buildings underwent several major repairs, but in 1763 only the tower was rebuilt. On this occasion, the porch at the top is built.
Libertăţii Square is undoubtedly the oldest of the Timişoara squares. Libertăţii Square’s location is also the site of the original nucleus from which Timişoara’s evolution started, the first place where people settled and lived continuously in the hearth of today’s city.
The monument has two names – both used: “St. Mary monument” and “St. Nepomuk monument". Both are (and were) correct, but could cause confusion: there was another “Mary”, quite famous, and it is in the namesake square from Iosefin, and there is also another Nepomuk near the Millennium Church in Fabric.
The Old Aqueduct, the Medieval Aqueduct, is work of the Byzantine period, which held extensive repairs during the Ottoman rule, particularly during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent and Legislator (1530 AD approx.) This double arch structure was designed to bridge the peninsula of Panagia with the foot of the mountain of Lekani.
Imaret is an impressive building erected by Mehmet Ali (1769-1849) as a donation to its native town. Ali was born in Kavala and later became Ruler of Egypt. It is situated on the western side of the Old City, in Panayia, occupying an area of 3500 m2.
The Fortress of Arad is a solid fortification system which was built in the 18th century at the orders of, and with the funding from, the Habsburg Empress, Maria Theresa. The cost to complete and erect the fortress reached 3 million Gulden (the currency used by the Habsburg Monarchy at the time). The fortress was built as an inner fortification system to protect the outer region of the Habsburg empire from conflicts in the area.
The main conflicts at the time were the ongoing wars between the Habsburgs and the Turkish Ottomans. The location for the fortress was chosen strategically to be at the crossroads of two very important trade routes of the day. It lies in the middle of the trade routes that led from the West to the Transylvania Region, and from the North, Oradea, and Satu Mare, to Timisoara, and down to the Danube waterway.
The Administrative Palace of Arad is a building built between 1872-1875, which today houses the Arad City Hall. Architectural gem, shaped in "U", with 90 rooms, a true "Palazzo del Municipio", the building reflects the possibilities and also the willingness of citizens to keep up with European modernization.
The Purgly Castle is a historic monument located in Şofronea, Arad county.
Based on documents is believed the castle construction date would be around 1789. However, the first documentary mention is in 1889, the building appears in a document that mentions an exchange of land. Baron Janos Purgly is one that has transformed the old castle giving her current appearance.
THE BLACK EAGLE COMPLEX is probably the most monumental architectural accomplishment in Oradea and in Transylvania, as far as the Secession building style is concerned. The contest to build this architectural complex was won by architects Komor Marcell and Jakab Dezső.
One of the magnificent ancient buildings of İstanbul is the Basilica Cistern located in the southwest of Hagia Sofia. Constructed for Justinianus I, the Byzantium Emperor (527-565), this big underground water reservoir is called as “Yerebatan Cistern” among the public because of the underground marble columns. As there used to be a basilica in the place of the cistern, it is also called Basilica Cistern.
The cistern is a giant structure covering a rectangular area of 140 meters in length and 70 meters in width. Covering a total area of 9,800 m2, this cistern has a storage capacity of approximately 100,000 tons of water. There are 336 columns, each 9 meters high, inside this cistern, which is descended by a 52-step stone staircase. These columns, erected at intervals of 4.80 meters, form 12 rows of 28 columns each. Most of the columns, which are understood to have been collected from older structures, were carved from various types of marble and consisted of one piece and two pieces. The walls of the cistern, 4.80 meters thick, made of bricks and the brick-paved floor, were plastered with a thick layer of Horasan mortar and made water impermeable.
Belgrade Fortress stands on top of a cliff overlooking the confluence of the Sava and the Danube. This is the last raised ground in the Balkan Peninsula before the vast stretch of flatland of the Pannonian Basin, extending all the way to Central Europe. The Fortress controls the access to the Pannonian Basin and the navigation on the Sava and the Danube, a position of outstanding strategic importance, accounting for its role as a border fortress throughout much of its history. It served to guard the border between the Roman Empire and barbarian lands across the Danube and the border between the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian Empires, to name a few, which explains why it was so often destroyed, rebuilt and redesigned. The Romans were the first to build a fort at this site in the late 1st century as the HQ for the IV Roman Legion - Flavia Felix. Its remnants are barely visible today. Belgrade Fortress consists of the Upper Town, Lower (or Water) Town and Kalemegdan Park. The present layout of the Fortress took shape in the late 18th century, but there used to be many more buildings within its walls that had perished in different battles.
The Skopje Fortress commonly referred to as Kale Fortress, or simply Kale (from kale, the Turkish word for 'fortress'), is a historic fortress located in Skopje, the capital of the Republic of Macedonia. It is situated on the highest point in the city overlooking the Vardar River. The fortress is depicted on the coat of arms of Skopje, which in turn is incorporated in the city's flag.
The first fortress, according to research and available data, is believed to have been built amidst the 6th century A.D., on land that had been inhabited during the Neolithic and Bronze ages or roughly 4000 B.C. It was constructed with yellow limestone and travertine and along with fragments of Latin inscriptions, asserts the idea that the fortress originated from the Roman city of Skupi, which was completely destroyed by an earthquake in 518.
The fortress is thought to have been reconstructed during the rule of emperor Justinian I and constructed further during the 10th and 11th centuries over the remains of emperor Justinian's Byzantine fortress which may have been destroyed due to a number of wars and battles in the region, such as that of the uprising of the Bulgarian Empire against the Byzantine Empire under the rule of Peter Delyan. Not much is known about the Medieval fortress apart from a few documents which outline minor characteristics in the fortress' appearance.
The neighbouring building is the Town Hall built by the plans of Ödön Lechner and Gyula Pártos.
The 150-year-old building of the City Hall was demolished in 1892. József Katona, the writer of our national drama worked there for 10 years. He collapsed and died at the entrance. The cracked stone monument set up at the scene of his heart attack in front of the building reminds us of this tragic event. The notice on this monument says: „The heart of the son of Kecskemét broke here.” In 1895 the offices moved into the building of which area is 5534 m2 and has 174 rooms. On the 8th July, 1911 there was a huge earthquake in the city which did not spare the City Hall either. Its collapsed chimneys and cracked walls were soon reconstructed under the direction of Ödön Lechner. The style of the building with its nearly rectangle-shaped ground-plan mixes the forms of the French Renaissance architecture and the elements of our popular art. The Ceremonial Hall is the venue of the General Assembly meetings of the city, national and international conferences, wedding ceremonies and ceremonial receptions.
The period furniture of the Ceremonial Hall is handicraft work. The wooden furniture and the printed leather backed chairs were made in Szeged according to the design of Lechner and Pártos. The beautiful and richly coloured glass windows were made in the workshop of the famous Miksa Róth. The decorative wall-painting was made by Adolf Götz, the wall-candlesticks and the chandelier were made by Sándor Árkay, Imperial and Royal locksmith upon the basis of the designs of Szilárd Várady.
The paintings were made by the famous Hungarian painter Bertalan Székely. These paintings show some periods of the Hungarian history embracing one thousand years.
The builders of Ohrid’s ancient theater have estimated very precisely where to put the building - in the center of the elevated old town. The open theater holds a perfect location, as the two hills (Gorni Saraj and Deboj) keep it protected from winds that could interfere with acoustics during performances. The Ancient theatre of Ohrid of the Hellenistic period was built in 200 BC and is the only Hellenistic-type theatre in the country as the other three in Scupi, Stobi and Heraclea Lyncestis are from Roman times. It is unclear how many people the original theatre used to seat, as only the lower section still exists.
During Roman times, the theater was also used for gladiator fights. However, since the theater was also a site of executions of Christians by the Romans, it rapidly turned to a highly disliked site by the locals. In fact, as a result of this dislike, the theatre was abandoned and buried by the locals after the demise of the Roman Empire. Discovered accidentally and later excavated completely, this 4, 000 square meter monument to antique Greco-Roman culture is being used today during the annual Ohrid Summer Festival for performances of ancient tragedies and comedies. The Theatre offers a wonderful view of Lake Ohrid and Mt. Galichica to the southeast.
The ancient city of Aiane was the most important of the kingdom of Elimeia. From the finds here, archaeologists have concluded that it was home to quite an advanced civilisation, on a par with the Mycenaeans.