The truth is that Bram Stocker had never been to Romania, and he built the entire story by inspiring from books and pictures that described Vlad Dracul (Tepes) and the Bran Castles’ stories. His character is built following the stories about Vlad Tepes and his cruelty. He used to kill people who did not respect the laws by using brutal methods.
When you arrive in the Village of Bran you discover a mixture between reality and myth. You find the Bran Castle, you see all the historical books and documentation, but you also find a lot of souvenirs with vampires and bloody scenes.
You have to know that Bran Castle (Törzburg in German), also known as Dracula’s Castle, is a landmark of Romania. It is situated in Bran, this old village near Brasov (30 km).
The history of Dracula’s Castle began in 1377; back then, it was a new fortress of stone in the village of Bran. This place was known during that period of time for its Teutonic Order called Dietrichstein. The Teutonic Knights stayed in this region until 1226. They built this wooden fortified settlement called Bran in order to defend Transylvania. They were part of the order called – “Ordo domus Mariae Sanctae Theutonicorum Hierosolimitanorum”.
The Bran Castle was completed in 1388. It had a double role, as a defense settlement but also as a customs point. The Ottoman danger was imminent during that period, and the Bran Castle received a major importance as a strategic point of defense. The Bran settlement started to develop alongside with the new stone fortress. The Bran Castle had a strategic positioning, located on the road between Transylvania and Wallachia. This strategic advantage conferred to the new building a major political importance.
The Bran Castle history is linked to Vlad Tepes (the Ruler of Wallachia). After losing the throne, Iancu de Hunedoara (John Hunyadi), the voivode of Transylvania, made Vlad Tepes, Ruler of Walachia in charge of protecting the strategic road between Walachia and Transylvania. This is the reason why Vlad Tepes is connected with Bran Castle and its history.
During his first reign, Vlad Tepes, was an ally of the Transylvanians from Bran and Brasov, fighting against the ottomans. During his second reign, he conquered the city of Bran and killed many Saxons.
The Bran Castle was a part of the Habsburg and Austrian Empire between the 17th and 19th centuries, while maintaining its importance.
In 1836 Bran Castle lost its strategic and military importance because the border between Wallachia and Transylvania had been modified. In 1920, after becoming part of the Romanian Royal Family properties, it was restored.
The Bran Castle is opened to general public. When you travel to Bran from Bucharest you can have a beautiful experience.
It’s a beautiful experience to pass near the mountains in order to arrive to that sheltered spot between the rocks where the Bran Castle is located. You feel the old times when you arrive near it. The huge construction made of rock is visible from a few kilometers away, and becomes bigger with each meter that brings you closer to it. When you arrive inside the big court you feel the medieval ages and the spirit of Dracula still alive. Many boutiques selling souvenirs and antiquities amplify this feeling. It is awesome how big the castle appears from this place. The journey continues when you start walking in the Bran Castle Gardens. A big wooden gate allows you in. There, between the trees, you can see the auxiliary buildings of the castle. A stone road helps you mount the big rock on which the castle is built and enter inside. The medieval atmosphere becomes even more authentic. The small rooms, the small stairs, the great walls, the interior court and the smell, they all make you feel the old ages.
By listening to the information brought to you by the guide, and feeling the place that is whispering its stories – you become inspired. This is the right idea; the Bran Castle has the power to inspire. You will be sure of it when you realize that this place remains alive in your mind, even after many years.
Being born and raised in this area, in a town not too far away from the castle, I had the privilege to see it from an early age. The first time I had been here, everything seemed huge; the Bran Castle was something that I couldn’t even imagine. I was only five, I think. Now I still have the impression of an imposing place that overwhelms.
Bran Castle is an interesting place, to say the least, because it has the power to make you understand the charming mix between myth and history.
A Pure Romania Article
Bran castle – The Official Website