Bran Castle, between myth and history

Bran Castle Guided Tour

Everyone knows something about Dracula, the famous character from Bram Stocker’s book, which had a remarkable echo. What not everyone knows is that Bran Castle is actually the place that inspired the writer. In Bram Stocker’s description there are details that indicate that Bran Castle is indeed the source of inspiration.

The truth is that Bram Stocker has never been to Romania, and he constructed his entire story by drawing inspiration from books and images depicting Vlad Dracul (The Impaler) and stories about Bran Castle. His character is built on stories about Vlad the Impaler and his cruelty. He used to execute people who did not respect the laws using brutal methods.

When you arrive in the village of Bran you will discover a mixture of reality and myth. You’ll find Bran Castle, see all the books and historical documentation, but you’ll also find a lot of souvenirs with vampires and bloody scenes.

You should know that Bran Castle (Törzburg in German), also known as Dracula’s Castle, is indeed a Romanian landmark. It is located in Bran, an old village near Brasov (30 km away).

The history of Dracula’s Castle

The history of Dracula’s Castle began in 1377; at that time, it was a new stone fortress built in the village of Bran. This place was known in this era thanks to the Teutonic Order called Dietrichstein. The Teutonic Knights remained in this region until 1226. They built this settlement called Bran in order to defend Transylvania.

Bran Castle was finished in 1388. It had a double role, as a defensive settlement, but also as a customs point. The Ottoman danger was imminent at that time, and Bran Castle acquired a major importance as a strategic point of defense. The settlement of Bran began to develop in parallel with the new stone fortress. Bran Castle enjoyed a strategic position, being situated on the road linking Transylvania and Wallachia. This strategic advantage gave the new building major political importance.

The history of Bran Castle is linked to Vlad Tepes (ruler of Wallachia). After he lost his throne, Iancu de Hunedoara (the prince of Transylvania) supported Vlad Țepeș to become ruler of Wallachia, responsible for protecting the strategic road between Wallachia and Transylvania. This is why Vlad Tepes is linked to Bran Castle and its history.

During his first reign, Vlad Țepeș was an ally of the Transylvanian inhabitants of Bran and Brașov, fighting against the Ottomans. During his second reign he conquered the fortress of Bran and killed many Saxons.

In 1920, after becoming part of the property of the Royal Family of Romania, it was restored. Today Bran Castle is open to the general public.

The Castle with more than a million visitors each year

If you come to Bran you will definitely have a beautiful experience. It is a wonderful experience to pass through the mountains to reach this place nestled between the cliffs on which Bran Castle stands. It’s like living in the olden days when you arrive near it. The huge stone structure is visible from miles away and gets bigger with every meter you get closer.

When you reach the large courtyard, it’s as if you’re reliving medieval times and feeling the spirit of Dracula ever alive. The countless boutiques selling souvenirs and antiques amplify this feeling. It’s extraordinary how big the castle seems here.

In the Bran Castle Gardens, a large wooden gate lets you step inside. Here, among the trees, you can see the auxiliary buildings of the castle. A stone path helps you climb the impressive cliff on which the castle is built and enter. The medieval atmosphere becomes even more authentic. Small rooms, narrow staircases, high walls, inner courtyard and scents all make you feel the ages long gone.

Bran Castle has the power to inspire. If you are interested in a guided tour, please see more details about the Bran Castle guided tour here.

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