In The Footsteps of Vlad The Impaler – Bran Castle

This is without any doubt the most famous castle of Romania! Thanks to its location – on a high rock formation, overlooking valleys – and its interesting history, this is a fascinating venue indeed. Don’t like crowds? Then visit Bran castle on weekdays, before or after the touristic season. Nevertheless, everything in Bran focuses on its castle and Vlad, so it is as good as impossible to avoid the tacky souvenir shops or the vampire menus.

The castle was built in the 14th century and played an important role in the fights against the Ottoman empire.

Is there a link between Bran Castle and Vlad the Impaler? Although historians are certain that he fought in nearby Brasov and passed the Bran Gorge, they cannot actually prove that he visited this castle, let alone lived there. The official website claims otherwise – there is even a whole room in the castle dedicated to the man – and lots of Romanians tend to follow this belief as well.

What about this castle and our good friend Dracula? That’s an easier question to answer. In a former post, we already stated that writer Bram Stoker located his castle in a completely different region of Romania and moreover, he wasn’t even aware of the existence of Bran Castle. It is furthermore possible that the author had an English castle in his mind for the description of Dracula’s home.

In the 20th century, Bran Castle became a royal residence and the favourite retreat of Queen Marie (Wikipedia). It is her collection of furniture that you can see in this location.

Since there is no direct link between this castle and Vlad Tepes/Dracula, is it still interesting to visit it? That depends entirely on you. If you are interested in local history and architecture, Lars and I think it is indeed worth a stop. To be honest, we hadn’t actually planned to visit it and changed our plans at the last minute. And now we are happy we did!


  • GP Cox April 15, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    Those must be eerie steps to follow!

    • Ingrid D. April 15, 2016 at 9:06 pm

      Still a couple of interesting places coming up! 🙂


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