Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bran Castle

The beautiful castle of Dracula

Bran Castle was originally a fortress built by the Knights of the Teutonic Order in the year 1212. It was known by the name of Dietrichstein at the time. Later on, towards the end of the 13th century, it was taken over by the Saxons in that region in order to protect the City of Brasov, an important trade center.Vlad Tepes used Bran Castle as headquarters for his incursions into Transylvania. This castle should not be mistaken for the actual Castle Dracula (now in ruins), which is located on the Arges River.

Bran Castle (German: Törzburg; Hungarian: Törcsvár), situated near Bran and in the immediate vicinity of Braşov, is a national monument and landmark in Romania. The fortress is situated on the border between Transylvania and Wallachia, on DN73. Commonly known as "Dracula's Castle" (although it is one among several locations linked to the Dracula legend, including Poienari Castle and Hunyad Castle), it is marketed as the home of the titular character in Bram Stoker's Dracula. There is, however, no evidence that Stoker knew anything about this castle. Furthermore, there are persistent myths that it was once the home of Vlad Ţepeş, ruler of Wallachia. This is not true. The historical person Vlad III never resided there.

The castle is now a museum open to tourists, displaying art and furniture collected by Queen Marie. Tourists can see the interior individually or by a guided tour. At the bottom of the hill is a small open air museum park exhibiting traditional Romanian peasant structures (cottages, barns, etc.) from across the country.

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