The Royal Court of Targoviste is an architectural complex built in Romania between the 15th and 17th centuries. The town of Targoviste itself was the capital of Wallachia for three centuries and occupied an important location on the main trade route connecting Wallachia to Transylvania and the Balkan Peninsula. The Royal Court consists of a southern gate, royal palace, bell tower, royal gardens, fortifications, the Chindia Tower, Lady Balasa’s home and several churches.
Today, only ruins remain of the royal palace and its gardens. Numerous frescoes remain in the Great Royal Church, including portraits of Wallachian rulers, and visitors can see examples of old pottery work in the Small Royal Church. The Chindia Tower, which dates back to the 15th century, features a viewing platform that can be reached by climbing a flight of more than 100 stairs. The tower also hosts an exhibition about the reign of Vlad the Impaler, who was the inspiration for the fictional Dracula.
The town of Targoviste can be reached from Bucharest in about an hour and a half by car or an hour and a half to two hours by train. The train station is about two kilometers from the Royal Court. Buses also run regularly from Bucharest to Targoviste, usually departing from Bucharest’s North train station. Guides are available at the Royal Court in French and English.