A true historical and Romanian cultural cradle, Târgovişte is a provincial town with a vintage feeling, its development closely tied to its status as Wallachia’s capital for over three centuries.
A walk down its streets it will feel like you have stepped back in time; here you can admire the architecture, elegant fountains and statues. The Princely Court and Chindiei Tower (the symbol of the city) are a must when visiting the city.
80 km from Bucharest, in the sub-Carpathian hills, on the banks of the Ialomiţa river, stands the city of Târgovişte with a population just under 80,000. Although first mentioned in documents from 1396, archaeological evidence found near the city proves that the town dates back to the Neolithic Age.
The city’s fate has been tightly linked over the centuries to different prominent historical figures, such as the likes of Mircea I, Vlad the Impaler, Michael the Brave, Constantin Brâncoveanu and Tudor Vladimirescu. During the three centuries when it was the capital of the historical region Wallachia (1396-1714), Târgovişte had enjoyed a flourishing political, economic and cultural life, which can be seen in its architecture, museums and even in the spirit of its inhabitants.
Your first stop while here should definitely be the Princely Court Museum Complex built between the 14th and 18th centuries. The most symbolic of its structures is the Chindia Tower, standing at 27 m high and dating back to the reign of Vlad the Impaler. Originally used as an observation point, today it houses an exhibition consisting of weapons, documents, maps and various relics belonging to the famous ruler. The Princely church is another impressive medieval monument inside of which you can admire an art collection from the Brâncoveanu period.
In the immediate vicinity of the Court you will discover the St Friday Church, one of the best preserved medieval monuments in the country, housing an impressive collection of icons. You should also visit Lady Bălaşa’s house, the Lordly Baths and the Gazebo.
For book lovers we recommend visiting the Printing Press and the Old Romanian Books Museum that houses the historical testimonies of the Romanian printing tradition: the old printing press, school manuals and newspapers like "Albina Românească" (The Romanian Bee), "Curierul Românesc" (The Romanian Courier) or "Gazeta de Transilvania" (The Transylvanian Gazette).
Other attractions worth visiting include the National Museum of the Romanian Police Force, the workshop of Gheorghe Petraşcu and the Art Museum.
And if after visiting so many of the city’s museums you wish to take a break, you can relax on one of the many terraces in the historical centre or in Chindia Park, a real oasis of greenery and peace.
- If you wish to see the city in a festive light, consider visiting it during the Days of the Citadel, beginning of September.
Good to know
- Getting to Târgovişte can be done easily by car via national route DN71, DN72 and DN72A, or by train from Bucharest.
- The nearest accessible airport is in Bucharest.
- The Tourist Information Centre is located at 2A Tricolorului Square. Schedule: Daily 9:00-17:00.
- The nearest Post Office to the Princely Court is on Dr. Marinoiu Street.
- There are an array of accommodation and food options here, mostly found in the historic centre.