After World War II the country was partially occupied by the USSR until the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989, which coincided with the Romanian Revolution in which Nicolae Ceausescu was overthrown and executed. Romania joined the European Union in 2007.

While the area boasts many beautifully preserved medieval castles, churches and villages, it is perhaps best known for Bran Castle. Built in 1212, Bran Castle was the home of the infamous Vlad the Impaler or “Dracula.” In addition to a colorful folkloric tradition, Romania has a rich cultural heritage of writers and musicians and is home to internationally renowned sculptor Constantin Brâncusi.