The ruins of the fortress at Poenari majestically rise 1480 steps high above the Arefu village in Arges County. Said to once have been Dracula’s castle, today they are just another interesting place for my followers to visit 🙂
Mind you, the 1480 steps are no metaphor, there actually are 1480 stairs to climb to an altitude of around 850m above the road. As the pictures show, this was only a fortified elevated position with military purpose, and was not ‘inhabited’ per se.
Successfully climbing 1400 stairs gives you this image (maybe with other tourists):
By the way, if you are here, you have already paid the visiting and photography taxes (quite small actually – under 1EURO/Person and 2 EURO for the camera). And then you go inside:
From the North Part depicted here, you can see the climb to the Black Peak and to the Transfagarasan.
Some records say that it was also used as a forced labor facility (“surghiun pentru hicleni”).
Practical info: To get here you need to take the DN 7 C from Pitesti – Curtea de Arges towards the Transfagarasan (Balea Lac / Balea Cascada). Then, in the Aref village, after passing the hydro-power-plant you stop on the left, notice the stairs going into the forest, brace yourself and CLIMB, CLIMB, CLIMB 🙂
Don’t let me scare you with the ascent, just go for it and you’ll be up in no time 20-30 minutes. It’s actually the reason I went to this place, to climb the 1500 stairs.
Here is the ‘inside scoop’:
This is a nice place to visit, but be sure you also include something else in your day. In my case it was the Stone Ravens Monastery, (check it out if you have not yet, there are some great pictures there too!) since I had already been at Vidraru.