Jan 272010

Versiune în română

In spite of its medieval look, the castle in today’s photograph is actually not that old. The famous Vlad the Impaler (Vlad Ţepeş in Romanian) didn’t live in it or for that matter live to see it. But if he did live to see it, maybe it would have been a familiar sight, because the castle is supposed to be inspired by one of Vlad’s main fortresses, the Poenari Castle. This similarity is the reason the tower in the photo is called Ţepeş Castle. It was in fact built in 1906 with the occasion of the “General Exhibition of Romania” (also named “Jubilee National Exhibition”), an event modelled after the World Fair organized in Paris in 1900. The event took place in Carol I Park and was intended to show the progresses made by Romania under the leadership of King Carol I. The castle is in fact a water tower, 23 meters tall, 9 meters in diameter. Near the top it has a platform from where one can admire the panorama. It was build after the plans of architect Scarlat Petculescu. After WWI the castle served as a military garrison for the soldier’s guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier which is located nearby. Since 2004 it serves as the headquarters of the National Office for the Memory of the Heroes. At the present moment the tower is undergoing renovation.

  9 Responses to “The Impaler’s Castle”

  1. A catchy photo and thank you for the history of this castle–it's quite interesting.

  2. a very beautiful place and interesting history. i´m a fan of vampires and Dracula…

  3. Nasty guy, but he has a good taste for castles.

  4. Fascinating story. When is a castle not a castle? When it is a water tower!

    Great photo!

  5. An office for the memory of heroes. I wonder what kind of heroes. Probably different persons in different times as the winds of politics keep changing.

  6. What a disappointment. I thought it was going to be the Impaler's residence. It is still a nice chunk of mediaeval-looking kitsch. Well worth a photograph.

  7. Per Stromsjo: I was also curious so I had a look at their webpage. It seems it has more to do with preserving the memory of the soldiers who fought in the Independence War and the two world wars.

    AB: One of these days I'll post what's left of Vlad's Bucharest fortress (the real one) but you'll probably be even more disappointed because there's not much left (sneak peak here: http://www.virtualromania.org/places/bucharest.vr/places.vr/Old%20Court/old-court0.html)

  8. beautiful from afar, pity it's under renovation, would be curious to see what's left inside.
    i hope you'll do get to visit the impaler's castle sometime, would try checking out the website you left above! ^0^

  9. Wonderful that the tower is being repaired. It's fascinating and beautiful.

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