Bran Castle, more commonly known as Dracula’s Castle, is a famous landmark in Romania located between Transylvania and Wallachia. Even though it is regarded as the castle that inspired Bram Stoker’s novel, there is no evidence that he ever even knew about the castle’s existence but there are some links to Vlad III, the person whose Dracula’s character was inspired on.
The castle was built in the year 1212 by the Teutonic Kings and it was destroyed by the Mongols forty years later in 1242. Upon its rebuilding, it was used as a fort against the Ottomans and later on, it became a customs post between two cities. It wasn’t until the 20th century that the castle became a royal summer residence and Queen Marie’s retreat home. Afterward, it became a hospital for the soldiers from Brasov during World War II after Queen Marie’s daughter, Princess Ileana inherited the castle and used it for that purpose after the Red Cross hospital was bombed. Upon the ending of the war, it continued to serve as a hospital where Ileana herself cared for the patients. In 1948, Ileana and her family were exiled from Romania by the communist regime. In 1993, the castle became a museum.
The castle serves as a museum now showcasing Queen Marie’s collection for furniture and art and its surroundings are an open-air museum showing Romanian peasant structures such as cottages – a great insight into traditional rural Romanian life.
The museum hosts several events including musical performances, temporary exhibitions, and photography workshops. In addition, Halloween parties are held here every year!
Train: Take the train from Bucharest Nord Gara A to Brasov. In Brasov, you must either take a taxi or a bus at Bus Terminal No. 3, where buses leave every 30 minutes on weekdays and every hour during weekends