Destinations Magazine

In The Footsteps of Vlad The Impaler – Oratea Fortress

By Ingridd @cosytraveler

First, let us do a bit of recapitulation. In our last post, we stated that John Hunyadi at one point in history captured Vlad Tepes. That is a proven fact. What is not a proven fact is that Vlad was a prisoner in Hunedoara Castle. But historians are convinced that he was locked up in Oratea Fortress, which is located near the village of Podu Dambovitei, in the south of Romania.

There is only one problem… The fortress is really hard to find. Luckily for us, Lars knows some Romanian and the local population is really willing to help. Especially when it concerns Vlad Tepes! Indeed the Romanians still consider the man to be a hero.

Anyway, there is a beautiful National Park here as well. Try some of the local produce on sale here: delicious and cheap!


Just outside the village is a hill with a parking lot. If you stand on the edge of the hill, with your back towards the road and look down. you will see ruins.


These ruins are everything that is left of Oratea Fortress. Contrary to other places that are linked to Vlad Tepes, this one is not taken care of and I suspect it will gradually disappear.

Actually, since Hunyadi was Hungarian, it is highly probable that Vlad Tepes spent some time as a prisoner in Hungary as well. And although the Hungarian leader was responsible for the capture of Vlad and even for the execution of Vlad’s father, the two became allies and fought against the Ottoman empire.

There is one more post of Vlad Tepes coming up. And it is actually one of the most beautiful places in Romania!

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