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Bran Castle

Listed under Castles & Palaces in Transylvania, Romania.

  • Photo of Bran Castle
  • Photo of Bran Castle
Photo of Bran Castle
Photo by flickr user problog
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Transylvania still holds the secrets of the original Vlad Dracul, provided you know where to look amongst the theme hotels and restaurants, and the costumed gatherings. Bran Castle, however, despite the efforts of many to photograph it at dusk, shrouded in mist, probably never heart the footfall of the sadistic Tepes – and if it did, it would have been merely for a quick overnight stop on the run from the Ottomans. After years of use as a defensive fortress, it became a customs stop on the mountain pass to Wallachia and finally, in 1920, it was handed to Queen Marie as a royal residence, since she preferred it to her husband’s palace.

The collapse of Communism in Romania suddenly rendered the tourist industry free to (quite understandably) enjoy the financial rewards of Transylavania’s appeal to the rest of the world and in the case of Dracula, this meant isolating a suitable historic building to bear the weight of such a great legendary, literary, historic figure. Ruined Poienari, the most likely site of Tepes’ castle, lacked potential – and so medieval, adapted, whitewashed, medieval-Gothic Bran seemed an obvious alternative.

As long as you can separate fact from fiction, there’s plenty to enjoy here. (All too many visitors come in search of Bram Stoker’s inspiration, expecting some sort of museum of the un-dead, and can be consoled in their disappointment at the lack of an evil presence only by the Haunted House ‘experience’ adjacent, which contains more vampire souvenirs than you can shake a clove of garlic at.) The castle is certainly atmospheric and has been the scene of many a drama since it was first built in the 15th century. There’s also a singular collection of antique furniture and art, collected by Queen Marie herself, and the interior and central courtyard are cool, shady and picturesque.

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Written by  lara_p.

Other expert and press reviews

“All signs point to heaven”

By Steven Herrick for The Sydney Morning Herald First Published May 24, 2009 The horse and cart trundle towards us. The old man holds the reins and steers expertly between our car and the hedge. Sitting beside him are two barefoot children wearing tatt… Read more...

Written by press. Continue reading on

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

Nice place to go, especially if you are a Dracula fan!

Try to avoid visiting the castle during the weekend, it is quite crowded. On Monday the castle is closed.

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