Snagov Monastery is an important feudal religious and historical edifice, built in 1408 on an island situated in the centre of Lake Snagov, near Bucharest. Built by Mircea the Elder, the monastery was said to have been the burial place of Vlad the Impaler (Vlad Ţepeş), also known as Dracula. Even though in the church was found a tomb containing the skeleton of a man dressed in expensive clothes, historians claim that the chances for that to be the Wallachian ruler are slim.
Along the years, the monastery was an important religious and cultural centre. During the time of Constantin Brâncoveanu, here was brought a press where the first book in Romanian was written with Latin letters. Snagov Monastery also functioned as museum, school, bank, hiding place and prison.
Initially, the island in which the monastery is built was connected to the lake’s shore by a wooden bridge, which was burnt during the Revolution of 1821. Until recently, when a new footbridge was built, access to the monastery was made by boat.
Nowadays, visitors going to Snagov Monastery will have the chance to see the church, the bell tower, a fountain and the ruins of the prison and of the monks’ cells. Inside the church there are paintings dating from the 15th and 16th centuries, constituting the largest mural assembly in Romania, and numerous feudal art items. Other items from the church’s patrimony are exhibited at the Romanian National Art Museum.
How to get there:
Snagov Monastery is situated 40km north of Bucharest, in Snagov village.
By car: From Bucharest, take DN1 road to Ciolpani, turn right on DJ101M road through Snagov Forest and then turn left on DJ111 along Snagov Lake, until you reach Snagov Palace. Turn right on Snagov St and drive until you reach Manastirea Vlad Tepes St.
By bus: There are daily minibuses running from Piata Presei Libere (Square of the Free Press) in Bucharest, at the end of tram 41, to Silistea Snagovului village, from where you can walk to the monastery.