The Bran Castle: the true story of DRACULA’s house

On the high grounds of Transylvania stand the castle of Bran, known as the residence of Count Dracula. What’s its true history?

credits: 0yepablo IG

The Bran Castle stands a few kilometers from the city of Brasov, in Romania, on the border between Transylvania and Wallachia. The fortress, built in medieval-gothic style, is one of the most visited places of the nation and lures every year crowds of tourists, also intrigued by the vampire legend that hovers over the castle.

The Bran Castle: the true story of Dracula’s house

# The Castle of Bran: the residence of Vlad III, also known as the Impaler

credits: fotografulcalator IG

The Bran Castle is commonly represented as the residence of Count Dracula, the main character of the nineteen-century gothic novel written by Bram Stoker. The author tells the story of the mysterious and terrific Dracula, a vampire who lives in a castle in Transylvania, near the Carpathians.

The description that Stocker does about the location and the residence of the Count seems to be truly and to find a concrete validation in the reality. The link is immediate: the vampire’s castle must be the Castle of Bran. This belief is actually only imaginary, Stoker in fact was an Irish author and he has never visited Romania.

However, the legend propagates and it is enriched with details. The character of the vampire Count relates to the one of Vlad III, nicknamed the Impaler because of his predilection to impale his enemies, who occupied the castle in 1400. This remain an assumption, even though we have to admit that there is certainly some link between the vampire and Vlad.

# The true story of the castle. Its functions through the time: from a fortress to a customs, from a royal residence to a museum

credits: romaniapitoreasca IG

Legend aside, let’s see what the true history of the castle is.

In 1211, the Teutonic knights built, by order of Andrew II of Hungary, a fortress to protect the border of Transylvania from invaders. In the following years, the citizens of Brasov, the near village, transformed the building into a real castle, finally completed in 1388. Before the occupation from the already mentioned Vlad, the building had several functions, including that of custom and outpost. When the Impaler died, the castle was bought by Saxon and in 1920 became the residence of the sovereign of Romania. During the communist dictatorship, the royal family, who was forced into exile, left the castle that became a national museum. Only in 2009 the Romanian authorities, after long negotiations, returned the propriety to the former royal family.

# The castle today: crowds of tourists repopulate the ancient royal residence and admire the old rooms

credits: fotomonik IG

The Bran Castle keeps its museum function and today it’s one of the most visited places in Romania. Tourists can admire the interior of the court and the royal rooms, among them the most beautiful are the library, the armory, and the music room of Queen Mary. Only one room offers a short report about how the vampire myth was originated in Romania.

The Castle is in the homonymous small town of Bran and it’s easy to reach both by car and means of transportation. The fortress is open every day and the schedule time change based on the period of the year. For updated information you can visit the castle’s website.