Travel info for Bran Castle in Romania

The legendary home of Count Dracula


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Strada General Traian Moșoiu 24, Bran 507025, Romania

GPS: 45.515205638802, 25.367381971332

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Travel info for Bran Castle Romania is undeniably associated with the bloodthirsty character of Dracula, Bran Castle is the most popular attraction in Romania. It is located in the iconic Transylvania region, about 30 kilometres from the city of Brașov, between the Bucegi and Piatra Cariului Mountains in the Southern Carpathians. Bran Castle owes its legendary fame to the Irish writer Bram Stocker, author of “Dracula”, a story published in the United Kingdom in 1897 recounting the history of Count Dracula, the vampire of Transylvania. This bloodthirsty character was probably inspired by Vlad Țepeș, Prince of Wallachia in the mid 15th century. He is also known as Vlad III Basarab and earned the unflattering nickname Vlad the Impaler for his reputation as a ruthless warlord.

Bran Castle was built in 1377 on the site of an old wooden fortress built by the Teutonic Order in 1212. It was Louis I of Hungary who authorised the transformation of this wooden fortress into a stone citadel on the Bran rock to protect the neighbouring town of Braşov. This structure initially played a military defensive role for the Kingdom of Hungary against the forces of the Ottoman Empire until the 18th century. Bran Castle then took advantage of its strategic location on the trade route between Europe and Asia, in the historical region of Wallachia, to be transformed into a customs post. This development contributed to the economic prosperity of the inhabitants of this rural land in central Romania.

In the 1920s, Bran Castle became the royal property of Romania and the summer residence of Queen Marie after the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It was transformed into a makeshift military hospital during the Second World War. Then the estate was seized by the Romanian communist regime in 1947, which at the same time forced the royal family to leave the country. Transformed into a museum of history and feudal art, this national monument was forced to close its doors between 1987 and 1993 due to its obvious lack of maintenance. In the end, Bran Castle was only handed over to Queen Marie’s grandson, Dominic von Habsburg, in 2006 after lengthy legal proceedings. A million tourists flock to the castle every year to visit this fascinating and intimidating residence. The entire village of Bran has also taken advantage of the popularity of the castle abroad. For example, the Halloween festivities remain the most anticipated event for fans of Count Dracula in Bran Castle, a place full of mystery and legend.

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  • The location of the castle in the mountainous Carpathian region, nestled at the entrance to the Bran-Rucăr Pass
  • The towers and turrets as well as the inner courtyard of Bran Castle; the narrow corridors, the numerous nooks and crannies of the inner rooms
  • The spiral staircase and the underground passages
  • The collections of furniture, arms and armour dating from the 14th to the 19th centuries
  • The many improvements made by Queen Marie (gardens, chapel, stables, tea house, terraces…)
  • The knight shows organized in season; the exhilarating night walks around the site
  • The magnificent views of the Transylvanian valley, forests and mountains; the misty and winding roads leading to the castle
  • The exhibition tracing the history of the Bran region complementary to the small museum adjoining the castle (displaying old objects and furniture); the haunted house Castelul Groazei nearby
  • The many legends and stories surrounding the characters of Vlad the Impaler and Count Dracula
  • Although not documented, Vlad III Basarab was imprisoned in Bran Castle for two months by Matthias Corvinus, also called Matthias I (King of Hungary).
  • In the 15th century, the voivode of Wallachia (count and prince) Vlad III Basarab fought several times against the troops of the Ottoman Empire in the vicinity of Bran Castle. This cruel fighter was infamous for impaling his enemies on sharp points while they were still alive (hence his nickname “the Impaler”). According to some accounts, the Prince of Wallachia had 40,000 people killed, claiming that only such violence could guarantee public order.
  • Count Dracula’s tomb is said to be located in Snagov Monastery. This orthodox monastery was founded by the grandfather of Vlad the Impaler (Mircea I the Elder), about 30 km south of Bran Castle.
  • Vlad II Dracul (known as Vlad the Dragon), father of Vlad Țepeș (Vlad the Impaler) is said to have been a member of the Order of the Dragon. Founded in 1408 by Sigismund of Luxembourg (King of Hungary and Holy Roman Emperor), this order of chivalry aimed to protect European nobility and defend the Christian faith against the rising power of the Ottomans.
  • The author of the best-selling novel Dracula (Bram Stoker) never visited the Transylvanian region and even less Bran Castle. He drew heavily on several books published before his own to create the literary character of Dracula in an imaginary place.
  • Ranked as the second most expensive property in the world by Forbes magazine in 2007, Bran Castle is the subject of persistent rumours that it is for sale. The Romanian government may be interested in turning it into a major tourist attraction and in keeping the myth of Dracula alive. According to the latest estimates, the price of Bran Castle would reach 80 million dollars and generate more than 7 million dollars in sales per year.
  • A few dozen kilometres from Bran, there is another place associated with the bloodthirsty character of Vlad the Impaler, namely the Poenari Castle. This citadel, which served as Vlad Ţepeş’s second home, is said to be haunted, according to some legends.
  • During the summer and school holidays, visit the castle when it is open (it is visited by more than half a million people every year).
  • Bran Castle has no running water or toilet facilities due to the complete lack of plumbing.
  • A haunted house (Castelul Groazei), established at the foot of the castle, offers visitors the chance to continue to get their thrills.

Where to eat

  • Trattoria Al Gallo
    (quiet and fast service)
  • Hanul Domnitorilor
    (hearty dishes)
  • Casa Rustica Zarnesti
    (traditional cuisine)

Where to go

  • Piatra Craiului National Park
    (the hiker's paradise)
  • Libearty Bear Sanctuary Zarnesti
    (bear sanctuary and reserve)
  • Parc Aventura Brașov
    (for all ages)

Where to stay

  • Pensiunea Ana
    (very close to the castle)
  • The GuestHouse
    (friendly accomodation)
  • Conacul Bratescu
    (nice and charming hotel)

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