The ruins of Poenari Fortress stand high on a cliff overlooking the Arges River, at the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains. Built at the beginning of the 13th century by the first Walachian rulers, the castle changed names and residents a few times over the decades. The castle is well known for its connection to Vlad III Dracula “The Impaler”, whose name is said to have inspired Bram Stoker’s famous Dracula novel. The true Dracula, Prince of Wallachia, realized the castle’s potential as a major stronghold with an amazing vantage point, consolidated and fixed up the crumbling fortress, making it one of his main places of residence. Although the castle was used for many years after Vlad’s death in 1476, it eventually was abandoned again in the first half of the 16th century and was in ruins by the 17th century.