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Bran Castle: The Famous Dracula Castle in Brasov, Romania

Updated on October 21, 2014

Bran Castle, the famous Dracula Castle, is a national landmark in Romania. Learn more about the castle's history, mystery, and legend.

A courtyard view of Romania's Bran Castle.
A courtyard view of Romania's Bran Castle. | Source

The Legend of Bran Castle

Romania is a dramatic East European country with a rich history and natural beauty. Bran Castle, also known as Dracula's Castle, is one of its most important landmarks.

Bran Castle attracts thousands of visitors each year. The unique fortress sits high above the picturesque village of Bran, near the city of Brasov in the Transylvania region. It overlooks the village from a 200-foot cliff.

The Mystery of Bran Castle

An aura of mystery surrounds Bran Castle. Some associate the building with Dracula, the title character in Bram Stoker's novel. Historians link it to Vlad Tepes or Vlad III, the infamous prince who ruled the region in the late 15th century.

Vlad Tepes is sometimes called Vlad Dracula, "son of the dragon" or "son of the devil." He is also known as Vlad the Impaler for the massive stakes he used to impale his enemies. While some believe he inspired Bram Stoker's Dracula, historians doubt the Irish author knew about the castle.

A view of Bran Castle / Dracula's Castle near Brasov, Romania.
A view of Bran Castle / Dracula's Castle near Brasov, Romania. | Source
Vlad Tepes in a 16th-century portrait.
Vlad Tepes in a 16th-century portrait. | Source

The History of Bran Castle

Bran Castle dates back to 1212 and the Teutonic Knights, a German military order who fought during the Crusades. The castle served as a fortress against the medieval Ottoman Empire.

Later, it was a customs post on the mountain pass between Wallachia and Transylvania. While it held little significance for Vlad Tepes, it sheltered him as he passed through Bran Gorge.

Between 1920 and 1948, Bran Castle was the home of Queen Marie of Romania. Her daughter, Princess Ileana, lived there until the country's communist regime seized the fortress.

The Romanian government reclaimed Bran Castle in 2005. A year later, it returned the ownership to Prince Dominic of Tuscany, Ileana's son and heir. The family turned the fortress into a museum in 2007.

Location of Dracula's Castle: Bran Castle near Brasov, Romania

Tourism and Bran Castle

Imposing towers and turrets. Narrow, winding stairways. Hidden, underground passages. Amazing works of art. This is the stuff of Bran Castle.

Wood paintings, sculptures, silver, and decorative furnishings fill the castle. The museum also houses an impressive collection of weapons dating from the Middle Ages to the 1800s.

The Customs House, an important economic center during medieval times, lies at the foot of the castle in Bran village. The Village Museum is an open air attraction of traditional folk architecture.

The cover of a rare book by John N. Merrill.
The cover of a rare book by John N. Merrill. | Source

Walking in Dracula Country

Your Turn

Have you visited Bran Castle? Do you plan to visit it? Leave a comment below and tell us about it. And if you liked this article, please share it with your social networks.

Reference Sources

  • Bran Castle. (2013) "Historical Timeline." Official Site of Bran Castle. Retrieved October 9, 2014.
  • Brasov Tourism. (n.d.) "Dracula's Castle." Brasov Travel Guide. Retrieved October 7, 2011.
  • Every Castle. (n.d.) "Bran Castle." Every Castle / Castles and Palaces of the World. Retrieved October 22, 2011.
  • Romania Tourism. (2011) "Castles and Fortresses of Romania." Romania Tourist Office. Retrieved October 22, 2011.
  • Wikipedia. (September 28, 2014) "Bran Castle." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved October 9, 2014.

A view from a walkway inside Bran Castle / Dracula's Castle near Brasov, Romania.
A view from a walkway inside Bran Castle / Dracula's Castle near Brasov, Romania. | Source

© 2011 Annette R. Smith

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    • Annette R. Smith profile image
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      Annette R. Smith 2 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

      Hello, CobbWayne. It's a pleasure to meet you, and I'm glad you like my hub. Your comment contains some interesting information, and it really adds something to the hub. Thank you for sharing it with us!

    • CobbWayne profile image

      CobbWayne 2 years ago

      The link between the castle and Dracula was made quite recently (mid 20th century) and it was exploited after to attract tourists, while the connection between Vlad Țepeș (Vlad the Impaler) and the castle is questioned by many as the castle was considered off limits to him, being in and enemy territory at the time.

      A small interesting fact: both "Drac" and "Diavol" mean "Devil" but "Diavol" has a more severe connotation. For example you can call a child "drac mic" (little devil) but you would never call him "diavol mic". Drac = Devil, Dracul = The Devil. Vlad Țepeș was the son of Vlad Dracul, "Dracula" having no meaning in Romanian.

      Anyway, nice to see a well done hub about The Bran Castle.

    • Annette R. Smith profile image
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      Annette R. Smith 2 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

      Hello, Romanian. It is good to meet you. Thank you for reading my post.

    • Romanian profile image

      Nicu 2 years ago from Oradea, Romania

      I'm from Romania and I visited the castle only once. It's a beautiful castle.

    • Annette R. Smith profile image
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      Annette R. Smith 4 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

      Thank you, tastiger04! I am so glad you enjoyed my hub on Castle Bran. I had a lot of fun creating it.

    • tastiger04 profile image

      tastiger04 4 years ago

      Great hub! The info on the castle and the famous (or infamous) Vlad the Impalor was very interesting. I hope to visit some day! :) voted up and interesting

    • Annette R. Smith profile image
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      Annette R. Smith 4 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

      Hello, Hubert Williams. What a creative comment, and fun to read! I am glad you enjoyed my article. Thank you for stopping by.

    • profile image

      Hubert Williams 4 years ago

      Dracula what a nice guy

      He looks you in the eye

      While he bleeds you dry.

      Nice story and beautiful castle.

    • Annette R. Smith profile image
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      Annette R. Smith 4 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

      You're welcome, Charity. I appreciate your comments and the follow!

    • Charity Squid profile image

      Charity Squid 4 years ago

      Thank you for the great tip!! And your willingness to share!!!!

    • Annette R. Smith profile image
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      Annette R. Smith 4 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

      I'm glad you enjoyed this hub, Charity. I had fun creating it! To make the dividers, I grab free graphics (horizontal lines/bars) and upload them into image capsules, which I then place between my text capsules. I'm glad you like them!

    • Charity Squid profile image

      Charity Squid 4 years ago

      Great Hub! I love the castles in Romania and their history. By the way, how do you get those cool borders in between each segment?

    • Annette R. Smith profile image
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      Annette R. Smith 4 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

      Thanks, Christy. I appreciate the share!

    • Annette R. Smith profile image
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      Annette R. Smith 4 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

      Hi, Princess Daffy. So glad to see you here on HubPages! Thank you for taking a few minutes to read my article and leave a comment. Blessings, Annette

    • Annette R. Smith profile image
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      Annette R. Smith 4 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

      Hello, Daisy. Thank you for the kind words! I'm glad you liked the article and format, and I so appreciate the encouragement.

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      Christy Birmingham 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Interesting background on the monument Annette!

    • princessdaffy profile image

      princessdaffy 4 years ago

      That Vlad was not a very nice person...Nice castle and beautiful countryside though ;o)

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image

      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Annette,

      This is a well-researched, beautifully-formatted article. You did a great job in presenting the information.

    • Annette R. Smith profile image
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      Annette R. Smith 5 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

      Hello, Sarah Lyn. Thank you for your comment. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub!