Romania – Bran Castle (Dracula’s Castle)

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This is one of my favorite castles!! (Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany is my favorite!) I love this castle because it is what I imagine a castle to be with the secret passageways, towers and turrets.

Bran Castle, which is better known as Dracula’s Castle, is located in the town of Bran.  It is a 45-minute bus ride from Brasov.  The castle is built on a 200 ft high rock and has gained fame thanks to Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula, written in 1897.  It is interesting to note that Stoker never visited Romania but did much research on the Eastern European folklore and vampires.  His description of Dracula’s castle has lead many to believe that Bran Castle is indeed the castle that he used for his story.  It is believed that he was influenced by the book Transylvania by author Charles Boner.  There is an illustration of Bran Castle in Boner’s book.

Stoker’s character, Dracula was loosely based on the Prince of Wallachia who is better known as Vlad the Impaler.  It must be understood, however, that Dracula is a fictional character of Stoker’s vivid imagination.  That point was made very clear while touring the Bran Castle.  Vlad the Impaler never did live in Bran Castle but was imprisoned there for 2 months in 1462.  If you are interested to read more about Vlad the Impaler and his life, there is great information on the Bran Castle website:  www.bran-castle.com/dracula

Actually, there were only a couple of rooms at the very end of the castle tour that had any information about the novel Dracula.  The history of Bran Castle was dedicated to Queen Maria and King Ferdinand I.

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Queen Maria of Romania was Maria of Edinburg and the granddaughter of Queen Victoria of England.

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King Ferdinand I married Queen Marie on January 10, 1893

In 1918, Transylvania became united with the rest of Romania.  In 1820, the council of Brasov voted unanimously to give Bran Castle to Queen Marie who was immensely popular with the people of Romania.  Queen Marie used the castle as her summer residence until her death in 1938.  She was only 62 years old.  The castle was left to Queen Marie’s daughter, Princess Ileana.

Once you pass through the souvenir booths that have been established at the bottom of the castle……fullsizeoutput_2a67

You start climbing to get to the castle entrance.  The castle is very imposing.  It is easy to imagine it with a full moon in the background and vampires coming out at night!

In the entryway, are the photos of the King and Queen and the history of the castle.  It is very informative.  You are then free to wander throughout the castle with the several other visitors.  I didn’t notice any tours being offered but we had a couple of people approach us offering to be tour guides in the castle.  You can rent audio guides that can be used as you visit each room.  Tickets were approximately $10 per person.

The first group of rooms that we entered were Queen Marie’s apartment.  This was a small parlor and the stairs took you to her bedroom.fullsizeoutput_2a6b

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Queen Marie’s Bedroom

Off from the salon, were her sitting rooms which are now used to display historical documents. IMG_7034This exposed wall was in the salon and shows how the walls looked before the restoration work that Queen Marie had done to make the castle more suitable to live in. fullsizeoutput_2a6cThe secret passageway takes you up to the next level.  My apologies for the blurry photo. I had to take it quickly as people were waiting behind me to enter the stairway. IMG_7037

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Looking down the secret passageway.

Music Hall and Library

The passageway brought us to a large room that contained the library at one end and….

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the music room at the other end.

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One of the many winding staircases that took us from level to level.

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This is the summer porch that was used as a dining area during the summers.

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These brass bells are hanging in the summer porch with a little note saying that “everytime a bell rings, an angel gets his wings.”  Sounds like  “It’s a Wonderful Life,” no? I am happy to share that two angels got their wings the day that David and I visited the castle!

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The view from the summer porch of the courtyard and mountains.  It is a nice vista to enjoy while eating a meal with family and friends, no?

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More of the courtyard from the summer porch.  The well was used to supply water to the castle.  It didn’t produce enough water for everyone, so pipes had to be installed to bring water from the nearby spring.

Dining Room

This was the dining room that was used when the weather was not good to enjoy dinners on the summer porch.

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The ceiling beams in the dining room painted in the traditional art.

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One of the doors painted in the traditional art.

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Looking out onto the balcony on about the third level of the castle.

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Part of the view from the balcony.

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This was one of the rooms of the king and queen’s son, Prince Nicolas’ apartment in the castle.

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King Ferdinand I’s bedroom with crown and scepter in the case in the foreground.

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Armor that was on display in one of the rooms.

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A collection of weapons.

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From inside the courtyard, looking up at one of the towers.

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For my parting shot of the castle, one of my favorite pictures that I took that day.

Around the town of Bran

For the rest of our time in Bran, David and I walked around looking for a cafe to get a coffee.  There were several restaurants but we had a difficult time finding just a coffee shop.  We did enjoy the sites that we saw in our wandering.

Here are a few photos of the various streets we walked on:fullsizeoutput_2a78IMG_7116

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The castle towers over the town!

I happened to look up and saw this stork on her nest! What a surprise!IMG_7118

Of course, I couldn’t resist a couple of doggie pictures!IMG_7120

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It appears that this little guy was exhausted from his work duties!

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The Bran Park

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The park was close to the castle and the bus stop!

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While walking around the park, we saw this little bird.  He appeared to be very young and wasn’t about to fly off as we approached.  David got him to hop to the grassy area and off the path.  I certainly hope he “found his wings” before something found him.

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We never found a coffee shop. David wanted something to munch so bought these “crackers” (I guess you would call them).  This bunch cost $1.25 and you had to buy the whole amount.  I think they were made from leftover pretzel dough.  I thought they tasted like cardboard and were just about as dry.

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On the bus back to Brasov.  We thought the air fresheners hanging from the ceiling were a hoot!

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Close up of the air fresheners.  The bus didn’t really have any kind of smell.  I think that these had all expired!

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The countryside of Romania is beautiful.  I wish the windows on the bus were a little cleaner!!

I was never a fan of Dracula and can say that I have never read the book or seen the movie.  I am just not a fan of “scary”.   I did want to visit Bran Castle.  My gosh, Romania is famous for it.  I could not imagine visiting Romania and not seeing Dracula’s castle.

It was well worth.  Until my next post, may you be blessed, be filled with joy and sparkle!✨✨✨

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Romania – Bran Castle (Dracula’s Castle)

  1. It is quite a lovely castle when you think how Dracula’s story is so dark and the castle is so white and has colourful furniture! I would recommend visiting Peles castle ( although not related to Dracula) it is so beautiful inside!

    • Thank you, Mihaela, for the suggestion. We heard great things about Peles castle and had hoped to visit it. We also heard that it was extremely crowded the time that we were in Romania. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to see Peles but it will definitely be on our itinerary the next time we are blessed to visit Romania! Wishing you joy and sparkles!

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