Cultural programme - Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Lipizzaner stud – Sâmbăta de Jos

Sâmbăta de Jos State Stud was founded in 1874 at the time of Brukenthal count Johannes. Today it belongs to the authority of the National Forestry Administration Romsilva. The stud has over 300 Lipizzaner horses, which are bred in four sections and subsections. At the stud farm from Sâmbata de Jos we can find the breeding and dressage stallion stations and the mother mare section. The pure Lipizzaner horse breed comes from the following blood lines: Conversano, Favory, Maestoso, Neapolitano, Pluto, Siglavy-Capriola and Tulipán.

Originally a carriage-horse, the Lipizzaner is wildly used to perform difficult exercises of the Spanish Riding School. The beauty and uniqueness of this bred is often exemplified by the Spanish Riding School in Vienna.

The horses of the stud are structured by age, the effective number of the breeding stallion is 14, and the mother mare’s number is 72. The stud has for sale approx. 40 young horses each year. The sales are made at public auctions held at Braşov Forest District of National Forest Administration every Thursday of the week. The day before the auction, the horses can be viewed at the stud. More info about Lipizzaner stud http://www.hergheliidestat.ro/

Cultural programme - Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Dracula’s Castel in Bran

Many legends are connected with Bran Castle. It is said the castle belonged to Count Dracula (Vlad Tepes), but nobody has any proof. Vlad Tepes lived only for a short time in the castle and only as a guest. What is really true is that Bran Castle conjures up the perfect Gothic fairy-tale image of a Transylvanian castle and as a result draws crowds of tourists from far and wide.

Dracula's Castle - The Legend. In 1897 Bram Stoker wrote a terrifying story about Count Dracula. Stoker's story is based on the life of Vlad Tepes/Vlad the Impaler (1431-1476), a ruler revered by Romanians for standing up to the Ottoman Empire. Known as one of the most dreadful enemies of the Turks, Vlad started organizing the state and enforcing the law by applying death penalty and impaling all those he considered enemies: robbers, cunning priests, treacherous noblemen, beggars, usurper Saxons. In fact he fought against everybody who tried to replace him either by his step brother Vlad the Monk or by his cousin Dan the Young. The historians nicknamed him Vlad Tepes while people say he was Count Dracula because he used to sign with his father's name, Dracul "The Devil". Dracula is derived from the Romanian word for devil or dragon. This word alone carries with it magic and mystery. More info about Bran Castle http://romaniatourism.com/castles-fortresses-romania-bran-castle.html

Cultural programme - Thursday, April 27, 2017
Prejmer fortified church

The largest fortified church in southeastern Europe, Prejmer (Tartlau in German) was built by Teutonic knights in 1212-1213.
The powerful surrounding walls are 40 feet high and 10-15 feet thick. Historical records attest that in its 500 years of existence, the fortress was besieged 50 times. However, it was only captured once, in 1611 by Gabriel Báthori, Prince of Transylvania; the fighters defending the fortress have surrendered after not having no drinking water available for several days.
Access to the building was through a 100-foot-long arched passage fortified with two rows of gates. Each village family had a designated room for shelter in case of attack. The red-roofed wall accommodated 272 rooms, stacked over four stories and linked by wooden staircases.

More information about Prejmer (Tartlau) Fortified Church: http://romaniatourism.com/castles-fortresses-romania-prejmer-fortified-church.html

Cultural programme - Friday, April 28, 2018
Citadel of Sighisoara

Founded by Transylvanian Saxons during the 12th century, Sighisoara City (Schassburg in German) still stands as one of the most beautiful and best-preserved medieval towns in Europe. Designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, this perfectly intact 16th century gem with nine towers, cobbled streets, burgher houses and ornate churches rivals the historic streets of Old Prague or Vienna for atmospheric magic. It is also the birthplace of Vlad Dracula, also known as Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler), ruler of the province of Walachia from 1456 to 1462. It was he who inspired Bram Stoker's fictional creation, Count Dracula.

His house is just one of the many attractions here. Others include the Church on the Hill with its 500-year-old frescoes, the 13th century Venetian House and the Church of the Dominican Monastery, known for its Transylvanian renaissance carved altarpiece, baroque pulpit, Oriental carpets and 17th century organ.

Sighisoara's citadel was built in the 12th century, when it was known as Castrum Sex (Fort Six), and was further strengthened and extended in the 15th century. The name must have existed long before, as the Saxons built their walled town on the ruins of a former Roman fortress. In 1298, the town was mentioned as Schespurch, while in 1367 it was called Civitas de Seguswar. The name of Sighisoara was first noted in a written document issued by Vlad Dracul, Vlad the Impaler's father, in 1431.

Find out more about Sighisoara: http://romaniatourism.com/sighisoara.html