Bran Castle: The Home of Dracula

Bran Castle: The Home of Dracula

The story of the Castle with the darkest past: Dracula’s Castle

The British Association Shadow Seekers came to Romania a couple of years ago to see if they can find ghosts that might live in one of the most famous castles in the world: Bran Castle. They came prepared with special equipment and camera to detect ghost, and not only that they found what they were looking for, but they found more: the ghost of Dracula. They say that he told them to leave his house immediately, so they didn’t feel very welcomed at Bran.

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Photo credit: Kyle Taylor/Flickr/Creative Commons (licence here)

The myth of Dracula is based on something more than just stories. It is inspired by the real life figure, Vlad Țepeș of House Drăculești, a 15 century ruler. To understand where the legend comes from, you need to understand the reality behind, who Vlad Tepes was and the meaning of his name. In Romania, Tepes comes from the word Teapa which means spike. The ruler got his name after his favourite torture and killing method: on the spike, which is said to be one of the slowest and most painful deaths. Another component of the story was given by the fact that Vlad Tepes’ father, Vlad II, was awarded the Order of the Dragon, for heroic fighting against the Turks. This was a monarchical and chivalric order, given to Vlad II by the Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund of Luxembourg. The emblem of the order was a dragon, a symbol for the devil. These historic facts were easily developed into legends due to the XX century fascination towards myth, fantasy and mystery and with the help of literary and cinematographic productions such as Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula and the movie Interview with a Vampire which was partially filmed in Bran  Castle.

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Photo credit: Lisa Cyr/Flickr/Creative Commons (licence here)

The way the castle looks, makes the legend seem very real. Bran Castle, which was build 600 years ago, has  a strategic position, right on the edge of a ravine. It looks dark, gothic, mysterious while endless stairs you have to climb to get to the castle, the forest and mountains that surround the castle, make you feel like you are entering the world of fantasy and dark secrets.

Ironically enough, Vlad Țepeș only lived in the castle for a short period of time as a guest (one of his main residence was Poenari Castle). In 1920 it became a royal residence as it was the favourite home and retreat of Queen Maria. Bran Castle nowadays houses an indoor museum, with ceramics, furniture, armour and arms collections. The castle also houses a small outdoor museum, with traditional houses for the Rucăr-Bran region.

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Photo credit Jaysmark/Flickr/Creative Commons (licence here)
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Photo credit Jtriefen/Flickr/Creative Commons (licence here)

 

Dans le chateau de Bran
Photo credit Erwan Martin/Flickr/Creative Commons (licence here)

Ironically enough, Vlad Țepeș only lived in the castle for a short period of time as a guest (one of his main residence was Poenari Castle). In 1920 it became a royal residence as it was the favourite home and retreat of Queen Maria. Bran Castle nowadays houses an indoor museum, with ceramics, furniture, armour and arms collections. The castle also houses a small outdoor museum, with traditional houses for the Rucăr-Bran region.

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Photo credit: Emmanuel Dyan/Flickr/Creative Commons (licence here)

 

You can visit the Castle and the museum any day between 12:00 – 16:00 on Mondays and between 09:00 – 160:00 from Tuesday to Sunday. In the summer months, the museum is open until 18:00.

I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post. Hit the follow button to get travel tips and free travel guides delivered in your inbox (no adds and no spam email I promise) and don’t forget – sharing is caring. Happy Halloween!

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Photo credit: Ruben Holthuijsen/Flickr/Creative Commons (licence here)

 

 

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