Visit Bran Castle

Historic sites

Visit the famous Bran castle and found out the real story about Dracula.

The legend of Count Dracula began in 1897 when Bram Stoker wrote the classic thriller about the vampire vilan who seeks to control peoples’ minds and feed off their blood. Since then, people and even researchers wonder,  was there ever a real vampire in Transylvania?
Visit Bran castleStoker’s story is based on the life of Vlad Ţepeş (the Impaler, 1431-1476), a ruler appreciated by Romanians and Europeans for his heroism and ruthlessness.
Although, the connection is weak between Bran castle and this medieval count, who Stoker  depicted as a vampire, he did live there for a short time, as a guest. He was actually born and raised in Sighisoara and lived in Poenari Castle as the ruler of Walachia. His relatives were brave Romanian rulers and he was sent, together with his brother, for education in the Otoman Empire. While his brother adapted to the new lifestyle and turned to Islam, Vlad disliked it. Being a ruler at the time when Otomans conquered Constantinopole, and since Wallachia was on their way to Europe, Vlad put up a powerful resistance and was merciless with his enemies. Ironically he was defeated by his brother who was leading a much more powerful Otoman army. He was infamous for employing cruel methods of execution, with preference for impalement. His own people called him Count Dracula as his father’s name was Dracul, which is Romanian for devil. This reputation of his character inspired Stoker to use him as the central antagonist in the novel.
Visit Bran castleBran Castle, commonly known as Dracula’s Castle, is situated in the heart of rural Romania, in Transylvania, and it is definitely a
landmark. It was built by the Knights of the Teutonic Order in 1212 and at that time it was called Dietrichstein. Bran Castle was first mentioned in 1377 by the Hungarian Ludovic I D'Anjou. The fortress had an essential role in protecting the Hungarian aristocracy, who ruled Transylvania for a long time, from the Ottoman and Tatar' invasions, coming from Wallachia through Rucăr Pass. In 1920, the castle was donated to Queen Marie and became the residence of the royal family until 1947. The Queen decorated the castle with her collection of fine furniture and tapestries, which can be viewed today. Bran Castle is definitely worth seeing and the best place to uncover the real stories behind the characters who inspired the legend of Dracula.