Bran Castle: The Famous Dracula Castle in Brasov, Romania
Bran Castle, the famous Dracula Castle, is a national landmark in Romania. Learn more about the castle's history, mystery, and legend.
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.
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.
Walking in Dracula Country
This autographed copy of "Walking in Dracula Country" is a rare edition of a book by John N. Merrill. The legendary author, marathon walker, and interfaith minister hails from London, England.
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- 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.
© 2011 Annette R. Smith