We are all aware of the fictional legend, Count Dracula. Who resides in an old medieval gothic castle perched high upon a hilltop. Yet you may be wondering, does Dracula really exist, and where is the castle of Dracula?
Unfortunately, Bram Stoker’s Dracula does not exist. However, the mythical man’s humble abode in his book has been compared to one of Romania’s most well-known landmarks, Bran castle. Bran Castle or the castle of Dracula is 25kmg south of the Transylvanian city of Brasov. Bran is one of the five quaint villages of Brasov overlooking the Piatra Craiului national park.
The Surroundings of the Castle of Dracula
This historical 13th-year-old mighty castle is located in the picturesque Carpathian Mountains, in the heart of Transylvania.
What’s unique about Transylvania is that it’s full of medieval history and heritage. When visiting, you will become trapped in time by its gothic influence and local legends of fairytales and folklore.
One village housed in the foothills of the Bucegi which breathes ancient folklore is, Bran is. Each year, residents of 5000+ witness tourists flock to this area to go on tours of the castle of Dracula.
It is housed on the hilltop, overlooking the phenomenal vistas of Romania.
About The Castle of Dracula
This hauntingly beautiful medieval castle was erected in the 12th century by former knights who of which were of the Teutonic Order.
However, it finally got permission built between 1377-1388 by the Saxons of Transylvania. The individual who gave consent for the structure was the Hungarian King Louis the Great.
It was here this phenomenal fortress became the battle point where armies were defeated. In fact, during 1441 a historic moment was created as the governor of Transylvania conquered one Ottoman army here.
Such Saxons who fought at this battleground ended up later purchasing the castle from the king of Hungary and Bohemia.
It wasn’t until 1620 a dashing and ambitious Transylvanian prince Gabriel Bethlen took it upon himself to make renovations to the medieval beauty.
Since his modifications, Transylvanians took back the ownership and was passed down through generations. Throughout the late 1600s to the 1800’s it went to many restorations to serve as a mighty fortress.
Queen Marie’s reign
Just like Bethlen, Marie took it upon herself too to add her flare to Bran Castle.
During her reign, she constructed a teahouse known as the modern part of the building.
Unfortunately, after Marie’s demise in 1938 her princess daughter, Ileana got exiled from the country from the communist regime.
It was here where the communists opened up the castle to become the museum.
Following the fall of the communist government, the ownership was passed down to Ileana’s son, who kept it open as a museum, where the restorations were completed by 1993. According to Romania Insider, around 500,000 tourists visited this castle in 2016.
Structure of the Castle of Dracula
If you are like us, we love to view different types of architecture unique to a countries destination. This ravishing castle has been built with a combination of wood and brick.
This building has cleverly, been positioned high upon a hill, to allow kings or queens to watch out for any oncoming attackers.
How is it referred to as the castle of Dracula?
Bram Stoker published the best selling fictitious novel in 1897. Before the release date, rumours have it; Stoker got his inspiration from the famous Vlad the Impaler.
He was a ruler of Romania’s southern province in the 15th century. Vlad was renowned for his attacks on the Sultan and Ottoman empires.
It has been rumoured that Stoker read a book about this historical figure and drew inspiration from him. The truth be told, according to a Romanian friend, he drew inspiration and changed his character’s name to Dracula.
Likewise, written about Dracula’s gothic residence, which identically matched Bran castle. Stoker had never even visited it!
How to get to the Castle of Dracula?
The best way to reach the castle of Dracula is by coming from the city of Brasov. If you’re in Romania’s capital Bucharest, you can do this by getting a 2.5-hour direct train to Brasov.
Then from Brasov, you can get bus number 5 from Brasov’s central station to Bran. It’s very cheap, and returning tickets could well cost you less than $5.
If you want a more private form of transport, you can get a taxi for around $20, which works out even cheaper if you share with others.
When to visit the castle of Dracula?
You can Bran castle or the castle of Dracula any time around. The most popular season tourists visit this place is the summer. Even Bran castle states their high season is between April-September.
Check online for opening times as they differ, but clothes in the summer season at 6 pm in the evening.
To avoid contributing to over-tourism, visit during an offseason. Bran Castle states this is between October-March.
Depending on the day it opens at different times and the last admission in the low season is 4 pm.
However, to avoid the queues and wait to get there for early doors.
Events held at the castle of Dracula
The time you visit the castle can be influenced by the events that are on. One major event held every year where guests can stay over is Halloween!
Bran castle hosts day tours, night tours, brunches, gourmet dinners and much more! There is often a medieval torture exhibit.
It’s great if you have children as they meet the count, you can have red wine and have spooky music add to the ambience.
How to book tickets to the castle of Dracula?
You can easily book tickets from many online outlets. However, one easy way is to book through their website directly.
To save time, you can also purchase through other outlets online, or purchase directly from the castle on the day.
The price covers your mobile cameras and videos. You can walk around on your own or get a guided tour once at the castle.
If you don’t speak English, there are also audio guides available in other languages!
Why should you go to the castle of Dracula?
The castle of Dracula has stunning gothic architecture, and it’s perched very finely that you have beautiful views of the Carpathian mountains.
Walk on to the balcony of the castle and be mesmerised by the views of the Piatra Craiului around you.
Stand overlooking the vistas, imagining and thinking about how the first Teutonic knights felt back in the 12th century.
It’s gorgeous orange topped tiled turrets, and the white stone is a destination for the ‘gram’.
Wander around the inside and see the heirlooms of Queen Marie! There are four floors where you can view ceramic, amour, furniture and weapon exhibits.
Likewise, tick off one of Romania’s most well-known landmarks off your bucket list, while you can. As back in 2014, it was up for sale but never got sold.
We dare you to visit today.
You shouldn’t visit just for Dracula, but for the vistas and the rich heritage, this area holds. Bran Castle or the castle of Dracula is a destination you MUST explore when in Transylvania.
Visited the castle of Dracula before? Comment down below suggesting your favourite part.
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