Jewish History Museum0
Bucharest possessed a thriving Jewish community of 40,000 plus at the beginning of the 20th century. But most fled the region after brutal treatment in communist and fascist regimes. Now the Muzeul de Istorie al Comunitatilor Evreiesti din România, or Jewish History Museum, which is housed in the Great Synagogue, acts as both a somber memorial and an enriching preservation of the past. The beautiful synagogue, constructed in heart of the city in 1850, houses this collection of Jewish artifacts. Recent visitors say the artistry and craftsmanship of the museum's works demonstrate the tragic loss of creative capital over the century. You should especially pay attention to the beautifully illustrated books and paintings that date back several centuries.
Visiting the museum between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on any day is free. You'll find more details and historical information on The Romanian Jewish Community's website.
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#0 Bran Castle
Although this remarkable fortress has weathered centuries of war, poverty and multiple political empires, Bran Castle is most famous for being the assumed residence of Dracula. Vlad Tepes, the real-life inspiration for the fictional vampire, attacked the fortress several times and even conquered it once in 1459. This castle, which sits on the border of the Transylvania and Wallachia regions, has endured legal battles and state-seizures. It has changed hands between the Romanian royals and the government several times in the past hundred years.
Hopefully, the ownership issue was permanently resolved in 2009, when the royal family transformed the castle into a public museum. Now, you can tour the five floors of this ancient structure and its grounds. However, don't say yes right away. A TripAdvisor user criticizes, "This castle is just a line of tourists goin' in one door and out the other with little of interest." Less of a tourist trap is a village museum, also located on the premises. Near the castle gates, you'll also be able to load up on vampire gear and traditional Transylvanian snacks from local vendors.
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