Weekend escapade: the Tepes Castle in Bucharest

Romanian 15th century prince Vlad Tepes inspired many thrilling stories, most famously Bram Stocker’s Dracula character. What is less known is the Tepes castle in Bucharest, found in the Carol Park.
The castle is a replica of the Poenari fortress in Arges county, built at the beginning of the 13th century. The Bucharest castle however was built in the 19th century by King Carol I of Romania. The castle was inaugurated in 1906 as part of Romania’s General Exhibition held in the Carol Park to celebrate the king’s 40 years of reign. The exhibition was also meant to showcase the way in which Romania had progressed between 1866 and 1906.
Architects Stefan Burcus and V. Stephanescu worked on the plan of the building for which Carol I ordered a water tower. This was incorporated in the castle’s 23 meters tall tower and has a capacity to 200 cubic meters. Winding wooden stairs take the visitor to the tower platform where they can admire the view of the Carol Park and of Bucharest. The entire building is dressed in stone and red bricks.
After inauguration, the castle accommodated many exhibitions and was visited often by Romania’s royal family. During the 1920s it became a site where troops guarding the Monument of the Unknown Soldier were stationed and between 1942 and 1944 several additional barracks were built in the vicinity to accommodate further troops.
Starting with the 1990s, the castle was used as headquarters for a gendarmerie sub-unit and in 2004 it became the official headquarters of the National Bureau for the Celebration of Heroes, an institution under the custody of the National Defense Ministry.

Nowadays the castle opens for visiting only on Museums’ Night but you can still take in its architecture while taking a walk in the Carol Park. The address is 6 General Candiano Popescu St.

Photo source: www.hoteleos.ro