Technically, Dracula is a fictitious character associated with a real bloodthirsty ruler from the 1400’s, Vlad Tepes, more commonly known as Vlad the Impaler or Vlad Dracula. Bran Castle, in what many know as Transylvania, is near the ruins of Vlad Tepes’ former dwelling in Wallachia. It became famous because Bram Stoker used the towering medieval structure as a supposed inspiration for the original concept of the blood-guzzling, morphing, mysterious vampire. Bran Castle stands tall today, overlooking the village of Bran, of course, and visitors are encouraged to come to see the centuries-old castle while learning the real history and indulging playfully in the famous myths.
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Setting on a massive 200-foot rock, it’s obvious why Bran inspired the intimidating dwelling of Dracula. However, Romania’s Queen Marie turned the once cold fortress into a warm dwelling in the early 1900’s, today many of her furniture collections sit on display in the beautifully staged rooms with lavish linens, classic accents and décor traditional to the era.
Like any amazing castle, secret passageways tunnel through the property, and it feels as if Dracula could be right around the corner. You can choose to venture the rooms, hallways and creepy nooks alone, or via guided tour. Regular events take place on the property as well, from simple musical performances to one heck of a Halloween bash. Come on, who wouldn’t want to dress up and party at Dracula’s castle around Halloween? That would be the ultimate way to celebrate.
After traversing the gorgeous and quite extensive grounds, you can actually dine in what used to be an out building. Casa de Ceai has been stunningly converted into a breathtaking tea room serving robust soups and village inspired dishes like spiced meats and cheeses with herbs and veggies. Tea became quite significant in Romania during the time of Queen Marie, and to pair with tea comes an assortment of desserts that contain unusual but delicious flavors of rose petal and milk jam.
The Transylvania area takes guests back in time with an extremely simplistic, yet lovely, environment where horses and carriages still rumble down the rough roads, and dwellers partake in practical occupations. While things slow way down here in comparison to modernized cities, it’s a refreshing escape even offering local mineral hot springs. Who knew visiting Dracula’s Castle could be so majestic?
Address: Str. Traian mosolu 24, Bran, Romania
Phone: 0268 237-700