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Bran Castle

Bran Castle is a slender stronghold with tile roofs erected in the 14th century, located not far from the city of Brasov in Romania. It commands the green hills on the edge of the Little Carpathians, a subrange of the great chain arcing across Romania.

The Bran castle was built in the 14th century, a stronghold to protect the villagers and landowners of the plains beyond the Bucegi Mountains, although it is most famous for being the location of the famous vampire, Dracula.

It is the perfect setting for a vampire-lord. Tall, turreted, red-roofed, with a massive guard tower, it has thick walls with narrow openings for archers and cannons, iron grates over the portals, and secret passageways.

The Bran castle had to be mended and refurbished over centuries of struggle with the Ottoman Empire. Once the two spacious inner courtyards had been flower gardens, and the white-washed walls of the high-ceilinged rooms had been covered with brilliant-hued carpets from the northern reaches of Moldavia.

Dracula’s Castle

There is much confusion regarding the myth of Dracula and why Bran Castle is known in pop culture as Dracula’s Castle. Bram Stoker never mentioned Bran as Dracula’s castle, but the castle fit perfectly into Stoker’s description as it stands on a rocky outcrop in the mountains. It is believed that Vlad the Impaler spent some time in Bran Castle, and some say he was even imprisoned there, but there is no evidence to sustain this.

Dracula’s Myth

Although there is no clear evidence that links Vlad the Impaler (Dracula) to Bran Castle, much of the myth surrounding Prince Vlad is true.

Dracula ruled this extraordinarily beautiful place for a couple of decades in the 15th century. Even for those rather bloodthirsty times, he was a savage and unforgiving man, though he was certainly not a vampire.

His nickname, Dracula, means "son of the dragon," after his father who was a Knight of the Dragon, a great royal distinction in the 15th century and before. His real name was Vlad, again after his father, and it was an unpleasant habit of his that earned his name in Romanian history: Vlad the Impaler.

His favourite method of executing enemies was to have them impaled. A victim would be held spread-eagle while a long stake or limbless, sharpened tree was plunged through his body.

Then the poor soul was left to die - a grisly process that sometimes took days. Vlad had numerous disagreements with the prosperous burghers of nearby towns, who occasionally challenged his right to rule. Most famously, he wreaked vengeance on the towns of Sibiu and Brasov.

A traveller reported to the court in Vienna once that the hills surrounding Brasov seemed to be forested with stakes bearing rotting corpses. He went on to tell that Dracula had ordered his men to set his table for lunch among the dead and dying.

Visit Bran Castle

Bran Castle lies off a wide, well-marked highway. As you approach, turns in the road reveal the castle's impregnable towers. Leaving the parking lot you struggle up a boulder-paved road, grabbing the hand-rail for support.

On the left, gloomy pine woods fall away to a valley where the moat had been. Panting, you reach the massive gate; inside the courtyard you climb another steep, rough path to the entrance.

A ticket for an adult costs only around $6, while students and people over 65 can get a discounted ticket. Permission for shooting costs another $6.


Bran Castle Map

Bran Castle is located about 30 km from Brasov, Romania. Get help with directions using the map provided below.

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Bran Castle Photos

dracula castle
Dracula Castle

Vlad Dracula mural
Vlad the Impaler - Dracula's Castle (photo by tamburix)

bran castle aerial view
Bran Castle aerial view

Bran castle tower
Bran Castle tower

bran castle roof
Bran Castle roof

Bran Castle courtyard
Bran Castle courtyard

View of Bran Castle Romania
View of Bran Castle Romania

Bran Castle wall
Bran Castle wall