Step Inside Bran Castle... and Meet Count Dracula!

Step Inside Bran Castle... and Meet Count Dracula!

Who hasn't heard of Count Dracula? I have always been fascinated by him, and dying to see the famous Bran #Castle perched on a terrific precipice in #Romania.Thanks to some friends, here is their #aspirational tale and photos to entice you to pay him a visit if you dare...


We are very happy to present a special article from friends of the Fairytale Traveler, Cheryl and Lisa of What Boundaries travel blog. When we discovered they were on location at Bran Castle in Transylvania, we couldn’t help but invite them to share their great story with us!

This looks like a hobbit hut
This looks like a hobbit hut

Cheryl and Lisa at Bran Castle, Transylvania

Deep within Transylvania lies the forbidding old fortress of Bran Castle, notably the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula. Bran Castle – also called Dracula’s Castle – overlooks the surrounding countryside with a sinister sneer.

Dracula’s Castle – overlooks the surrounding countryside with a sinister sneer

Come with us as we go inside the castle and look deep into the dark places. Let’s explore the secret stairways and the hidden passages where you’ll feel the cold breath of those who came before…if you dare!

Beautiful details
Beautiful details

Bran Castle has a history going back to 1211 when the Teutons erected a fort on the present location. The Turkish name for Bran is “gate” and this gateway has served as a protection to the people against invading armies since that time. The castle sits high on a steep, rocky cliff and closely resembles the description from Stoker’s Dracula. 

On the very edge of a terrific precipice . . . with occasionally a deep rift where there is a chasm [with] silver threads where the rivers wind in deep gorges through the forests. -Bram Stoker, Dracula

Die-hard Bram Stoker fan? Check out this year’s Bram Stoker Festival in Dublin Ireland, home of Bram Stoker!

View from the window
View from the window

Bran Castle and Dracula are historically connected, but not quite as closely as we would hope. Bram Stoker used a combination of folk sources, historical facts, and personal friends to design a complex character we know of as Count Dracula. The evil, bloodthirsty vampire of lore came from stories in the small Romanian villages near Bran, where there is a belief in the existence of ghostlike evil spirit the people call “strigoi”. These troubled souls of the dead roam the earth as vampires. 

from  $77

Peles & Bran (Dracula's) Castle Trip in Romania

Aspirational
 Bucharest, Romania
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However, the real Dracula – Vlad the Impaler – never lived in the castle, but actually came through Bran and Brasov in 1459 to ruthlessly burn the suburbs and kill hundreds of Saxons from the Transylvania area.

Wooden sculpture of a lion
Wooden sculpture of a lion

Bram Stoker had access to the book History of Moldavia and Wallachia by Johann Christian Engel. This is likely where he saw Vlad the Impaler first described as an evil and bloody tyrant. Stoker also may have seen famous Saxon engravings of Vlad the Impaler at the Royal Library in London. In the British Museum collections, these engravings show Vlad as a monster, a vampire who drinks man’s blood, and an astoundingly cruel conqueror. It’s no wonder Count Dracula has the ability to raise goosebumps even over 100 years after his creation!

Creepy underground tunnel
Creepy underground tunnel
Edgar Allan Poe books
Edgar Allan Poe books
The Bran Castle
The Bran Castle
This picture is spooky
This picture is spooky

A step back in time at Bran Castle is a must for all Stoker fans and those who love the secret shadowy places found in ancient castles. It can be crowded at times, so be sure to make the effort to find those special places in the dark recesses of Dracula’s Castle…because you never know what you may find!

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