The social program may be subject to change.
We are pleased to offer a selection of optional activities to enhance the conference experience. A unique selection of tours and activities have been curated which provide excellent opportunities to connect with colleagues and to provide one-of-a-kind experiences that highlight the conference host city.
All social activities are optional and are not included in the conference registration rate.
Social Program 1- Peles Castle - Sinaia
Sinaia is a town and mountain resort in Romania's Prahova County, and it is named after Sinaia Monastery, around which it was built and which was named after the Biblical Mount Sinai.
Sinaia is more than just a resort, it is history. The city is officially documented first time around year 1200. The city’s Orthodox Church is the oldest proof and one of the interesting places to visit.
In Sinaia you can find the amazing Peles Castle, one of the best-preserved royal palaces in Europe. It served as the summer residence of the first Hohenzollern king of Romania, Carol I. Built in the latter half of the 19th century; it was the king's attempt to imitate the styles of his former homeland, creating a Bavarian setting in the mountains of Romania. The palace is beautifully decorated, both the interior and the exterior, with intricate wood carvings and paintings of scenes from Wagner operas.
Sinaia is one of the most famous and oldest mountain tourist resorts in Romania, known as “The Carpathian Pearl”. The mountain beauty can be explored in the summer and Sinaia is the best place to start your journey into the deep forest hiking trails. More info about Sinaia and its surroundings here
Social Program 2 - Bran Castle
Many legends are connected with Bran Castle. It is said the castle belonged to Count Dracula (Vlad Tepes), but nobody has any proof. Vlad Tepes lived only for a short time in the castle and only as a guest. What is really true is that Bran Castle conjures up the perfect Gothic fairy-tale image of a Transylvanian castle and as a result draws crowds of tourists from far and wide.
Dracula's Castle - The Legend. In 1897 Bram Stoker wrote a terrifying story about Count Dracula. A century after, there are still people who believe in it. Even researchers are trying to find out the truth about Dracula. All are trying to clear the mystery: was there or wasn't there a vampire in Transylvania? How many of these fabulous stories are legends and how many say the truth? Here is the legend about Dracula:
Stoker's story is based on the life of Vlad Tepes/Vlad the Impaler (1431-1476), a ruler revered by Romanians for standing up to the Ottoman Empire. Known as one of the most dreadful enemies of the Turks, Vlad started organizing the state and enforcing the law by applying death penalty and impaling all those he considered enemies: robbers, cunning priests, treacherous noblemen, beggars, usurper Saxons. In fact he fought against everybody who tried to replace him either by his step brother Vlad the Monk or by his cousin Dan the Young. The historians nicknamed him Vlad Tepes while people say he was Count Dracula because he used to sign with his father's name, Dracul "The Devil". Dracula is derived from the Romanian word for devil or dragon. This word alone carries with it magic and mystery. More info about Bran Castle here
Social Program 3- Sighisoara
Founded by Transylvanian Saxons during the 12th century, Sighisoara City (Schassburg in German) still stands as one of the most beautiful and best-preserved medieval towns in Europe. Designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, this perfectly intact 16th century gem with nine towers, cobbled streets, burgher houses and ornate churches rivals the historic streets of Old Prague or Vienna for atmospheric magic. It is also the birthplace of Vlad Dracula, also known as Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler), ruler of the province of Walachia from 1456 to 1462. It was he who inspired Bram Stoker's fictional creation, Count Dracula.
His house is just one of the many attractions here. Others include the Church on the Hill with its 500-year-old frescoes, the 13th century Venetian House and the Church of the Dominican Monastery, known for its Transylvanian renaissance carved altarpiece, baroque pulpit, Oriental carpets and 17th century organ.
Sighisoara's citadel was built in the 12th century, when it was known as Castrum Sex (Fort Six), and was further strengthened and extended in the 15th century. The name must have existed long before, as the Saxons built their walled town on the ruins of a former Roman fortress. In 1298, the town was mentioned as Schespurch, while in 1367 it was called Civitas de Seguswar. The name of Sighisoara was first noted in a written document issued by Vlad Dracul, Vlad the Impaler's father, in 1431. More info about Sighisoara here