Snagov is a village that is part of a commune, located 40 km north of Bucharest in Ilfov County, Romania. According to the 2002 census, 99.2% of the population (population: 6,041) is ethnic Romanian and 0.4% are Roma. The commune is composed of five villages: Ciofliceni, Ghermăneşti, Snagov, Tâncăbeşti and Vlădiceasca. Located next to a large lake, Snagov was once a popular weekend destination. Snagov area is also a natural reservation, with two natural protected areas for fauna and flora, Snagov Lake and Snagov Forest.
The main attraction of Snagov is now the Snagov monastery, one of the alleged burial sites of Vlad the Impaler (famous for having inspired Bram Stoker's character Dracula), which is located on an island on the northern part of the lake. Other tourist sites include Lake Snagov, Siliştea Snagovului, Snagov forest and the Imre Nagy monument.
The name Snagov is of probably Bulgarian origin, from the word sneg (meaning "snow"). It might also derived from the Bulgarian snaga, meaning "human body". Archaeologists have confirmed human presence in Snagov since 400 BC. The first written record of the village, dated 1408, is found in a document from the court of Mercea cel Bătrân.
The village was built around the Snagov monastery, where it is believed that Vlad Ţepeş, or Vlad the Impaler, was killed by the Janissaries during a battle between Wallachian and Ottoman forces and then buried wihtin the grounds surrounding the monastery. In 2002 the Romanian government decided to build in Snagov a Disneyland-style theme park, "Dracula Park", but the project's future has been uncertain as of 2005, and in 2006 the government canceled the project.
Frequent minibuses (departing from the public transport terminal at Presei Liberei square) link Bucharest with Snagov and the other localities around the lake. To get to Snagov monastery preferably use the "maxitaxi" (a sort of minibus) #443 heading to Siliştea Snagovului (a one hour trip). From there, it's a one kilometer walk to the lake. Make sure to understand how and when to take the minibus back to the city as the village is rather insular.
There's now a bridge linking this village to the monastery's island. It can also be reached by boat (rented from locals, as there aren't any ferries) from Snagov itself.
Mânăstirea Snagov (Snagov monastery). Located on the only island on Snagov lake, the monastery is a very old religious site founded in the early 15th century. The location of the monastery is well known because it is believed to be the burial place of Vlad the Impaler, better known as the inspiration for Irish author Bram Stoker's character Dracula in his 1897 novel. The monastery once housed the coin minting facility of the medieval principality Wallachia and in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, one of the most important printing houses in South-Eastern Europe was located on the island.edit
Snagov Forest. The last remnant of the Codrii Vlăsiei, a large forest that once surrounded the town of Bucharest. Codrii Vlăsiei was the forest that once covered parts of southern Romania, including the territory of today's Bucharest and the surrounding Ilfov County. Snagov Forest is also a natural protected area by the Aria Naturala Protejata Lacul Snagov (ANPLS) with about 10 different hectares and preserves 20 different species.
The thick forests were used by Romanians as a retreat during the age of migrations because they were not easy to cross on horseback. In fact, the name of the forest means "the Forests of Wallachia". Codrii means "forests" in the Romanian language, while Vlăsiei is the genitive form of Vlăsia, the Slavic denomination for Wallachia. Most of the forest was intact until the 19th century, when commerce involving cereals and wood began to develop in Wallachia and the forest was razed for the land to be used in agriculture. Of the old forests only a few small areas remain, mostly north of Bucharest, in localities such as Snagov, Pustnicul, Cernica, Romaneşti and Comana. Băneasa Forest, situated in the north of Bucharest, is in danger to be transformed in a park. edit
Lake Snagov. A very large lake that is about 25–30 km from Bucharest, Romania. Its maximum length is 16 kilometers and its maximum width is 600 meters. The average depth of Lake Snagov is 5 meters and its shore length is 32 kilometers. It has a surface of 5.75 km². Lake Snagov is also a natural protected area by the Aria Naturala Protejata Lacul Snagov (ANPLS) and has about 150 hectares in size and protect about 20 species.edit