First built at the beginning of the 14th century by Wallachian prince Radu Voda (also known as Radu Negru, or Negru Voda) the Poienari Castle is one of the most visually striking citadels in Romania. Found high above the start of the Transfagarasan Highway, it looks menacingly down at the pass below, as if daring invading armies to try and take it. Few armies - unsurprisingly - ever did. It was nature - in the form of a landslide in the 17th century - which rendered the castle unusable for military purposes. Even today with the help of modern staircases and a bridge climbing up to the castle ruins is only for the very fittest: there are more than 1500 very steep steps. Often called 'the real Dracula castle' it is worth noting that while Vlad Tepes (Vlad Dracul) did use the castle as a home from time to time (more than can be said for Bran Castle) it was not his primary residence.