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Poenari Castle

Ruin · Muntenia · 823 m · closed
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  • Cetatea Poenari
    Cetatea Poenari
    Photo: Bejan Neculai, CC BY,
Poenari Castle is a ruined castle, notable for its connection to Vlad the Impaler. Access to the ruin is made by climbing the 1,480 concrete stairs.

This fortress was built on a rocky peak surrounded by steep slopes and Argeş water in three parts. The only way to reach the fortress is to pass a narrow saddle linking the rock to the neighboring mountain. It can be said that this fortress was impenetrable.

Poenari Castle was epicly constructed around the beginning of the 13th century and around the 14th century, Poenari was the main citadel of the Basarab rulers. In the next few decades, the name and the residents changed a few times but eventually the castle was abandoned and left in ruins.

However, in the 15th century, realizing the potential for a castle perched high on a steep precipice of rock, Vlad III the Impaler repaired and consolidated the structure, making it one of his main fortresses. Although the castle was used for many years after Vlad's death in 1476, it eventually was abandoned again in the first half of the 16th century and was in ruins by the 17th century. The size and location of the castle made it difficult to conquer. In 1888, a landslide caused by an earthquake brought down parts of the castle which crashed into the river far below. It was slightly repaired and the walls and its towers still stand today.

During the Communist era in Romania, foreign visitors sometimes spent the night inside the ruined structure. Since 2009, the site has been administered by the Argeș County Museum.

Opening hours

closed today


Profile picture of Paul Wasicsek
Paul Wasicsek 
Update: February 08, 2022


45.353713, 24.634914
45°21'13.4"N 24°38'05.7"E
35T 314745 5024965
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

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Hiking Route · Muntenia
Hiking to the Poenari Fortress
recommended route Difficulty moderate
Distance 1.9 km
Duration 0:50 h
Ascent 209 m
Descent 209 m

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 ...

from Paul Wasicsek,   Outdooractive Editors

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