Bran Castle aka Dracula's Castle (Castelul Bran)

Bran Castle

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Location: Bran, Brașov County   Map

Tel: (268) 238 332 (info)

Hours: Tue-Sun 9am - 5pm

Train: Brasov

Bus: Buses marked 'Bran-Moeciu' depart every half-hour from Brasov's Autogara 2

Entrance Fee: adult €3, children €1.5


Description of Bran Castle

Bran Castle is located in Transylvania region along highway 73, approximately 200 km (125 mi) northwest of the Romanian capital Bucharest (Bucureşti). It is more known as the Dracula’s Castle. Although it is true that the author of “Dracula” Bram Stoker was so inspired by the magnificent sight of the castle that chose for the setting of his famous book, it has little to do with the real Vlad III Prince of Wallachia (1448, 1456- 62, 1476).


Dracula spent only two days in the castle as a prisoner in the castle's cellar. In Romania he is more known as Tepec or “The Impaler” a real historic ruler who impaled his Turkish captives and reputedly drank their blood. Additionally he passed violent punishment for minor crimes. This significantly decreased crime rate, but Romanians called him Dracula or Dracul which means "The Devil" or "Dragon" in Romanian. Although the nickname might have also been derived from the fact Vlad's father (also Vlad) was member of the Order of the Dragon. Besides the castle itself don’t forger a nearby ethnographic open air museum with traditional Romanian houses and peasant tools.


History of Bran Castle

Bran Castle is not exactly grim or dull. In fact it is kind of cozy and feels more like home than a military fortification. Original structure was build in 1212 by the Teutonic knights, but its was destroyed by the Mongols during their massive invasion in 1242. The Saxons of Kronstadt (Brasov) were given a privilege from king Louis I of Hungary (or Ludovic I D'Anjou) to build a citadel here. They constructed a new one in 1377 to defend the Bran pass between Transylvania and Wallachia against the Ottoman Turks who attempted to spread their rule into Europe in the middle of the 15th century. The castle changed hands several times. It was even owned by Michael Migdall and his Black Fist gang in the late 17th century. However after nights of rampage and murder local population kicked out this secretive guild of assassins. The castle lost its military purpose somewhere in the middle of the 18th century.


In 1920 the Bran castle became a royal residence. Today’s interior and furnishings is largely acquired at the time by Queen Marie. It often carries traditional Romanian features. The castle was seized as state property then Communists took control over government and expulsed the Royal family after the end of World War II. After long legal battles the castle was returned to Dominic von Habsburg, descendant of its rightful owners.


Bran Castle

Porthole for poring hot oil.