Commonly known as Dracula 's Castle, the Bran Castle
was originally a stronghold built by the Knights of Teutonic Order in 1212. The
first documentary attestation of the Bran
Castle is the act issued on November
19, 1377, giving the Saxons of Kronstadt (Brasov)
the privilage to build the Citadel. The building started in 1378 as a defense
against Turks and later became a customs post on the pass between Transylvania
and Wallachia. From 1920 the castle became a
royal residence until the expulsion of the royal family in 1948. Today it
functions as a very attractive museum of medieval arts.
Situated only 28km
southwest of Brasov, the Bran
Castle is one of the most popular
tourist site in Romania. The castle is perched atop
a 60m peak in the centre of Bran village. The Bran mountain pass was the main
route into Wallachia from Transylvania.
Bran Castle is famous for its
association with the Dracula legend. The 15th-century Wallachian prince upon
whom the novelist Bram Stroker is (incorrectly) supposed to have his blood thirsty vampire connected to the Bran Castle.
In truth, Dracula may have attacked and briefly captured the castle in 1460,
during one of his raids on the Burzen