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Bran Castle

Step Inside Bran Castle Home of Count Dracula Legend

We are very happy to present a special article from friends of the Fairytale Traveler, Cheryl and Lisa of What Boundaries travel blog. When we discovered they were on location at Bran Castle in Transylvania, we couldn’t help but invite them to share their great story with us!

Bran Castle

Cheryl and Lisa at Bran Castle, Transylvania

Deep within Transylvania lies the forbidding old fortress of Bran Castle, notably the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula. Bran Castle – also called Dracula’s Castle – overlooks the surrounding countryside with a sinister sneer. Come with us as we go inside the castle and look deep into the dark places. Let’s explore the secret stairways and the hidden passages where you’ll feel the cold breath of those who came before…if you dare!

Bran Castle

Bran Castle has a history going back to 1211 when the Teutons erected a fort on the present location. The Turkish name for Bran is “gate” and this gateway has served as a protection to the people against invading armies since that time. The castle sits high on a steep, rocky cliff and closely resembles the description from Stoker’s Dracula. 

On the very edge of a terrific precipice . . . with occasionally a deep rift where there is a chasm [with] silver threads where the rivers wind in deep gorges through the forests.” -Bram Stoker, Dracula

Die hard Bram Stoker fan? Check out this year’s Bram Stoker Festival in Dublin Ireland, home of Bram Stoker!

Bran Castle

Bran Castle and Dracula are historically connected, but not quite as closely as we would hope. Bram Stoker used a combination of folk sources, historical facts, and personal friends to design a complex character we know of as Count Dracula. The evil, bloodthirsty vampire of lore came from stories in the small Romanian villages near Bran, where there is a belief in the existence of ghostlike evil spirit the people call “strigoi”. These troubled souls of the dead roam the earth as vampires. However, the real Dracula – Vlad the Impaler – never lived in the castle, but actually came through Bran and Brasov in 1459 to ruthlessly burn the suburbs and kill hundreds of Saxons from the Transylvania area.

Bran Castle

Bram Stoker had access to the book History of Moldavia and Wallachia by Johann Christian Engel. This is likely where he saw Vlad the Impaler first described as an evil and bloody tyrant. Stoker also may have seen famous Saxon engravings of Vlad the Impaler at the Royal Library in London. In the British Museum collections, these engravings show Vlad as a monster, a vampire who drinks man’s blood, and an astoundingly cruel conqueror. It’s no wonder Count Dracula has the ability to raise goosebumps even over 100 years after his creation!

Bran Castle

Bran Castle

Bran Castle

A step back in time at Bran Castle is a must for all Stoker fans and those who love the secret shadowy places found in ancient castles. It can be crowded at times, so be sure to make the effort to find those special places in the dark recesses of Dracula’s Castle…because you never know what you may find!

Bran Castle Dracula Castle


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What Boundaries

Cheryl and Lisa have been providing Travel Inspiration and Health Advice to their readers since 2007 through "What Boundaries Travel" and "The Travel Pharmacist". Currently house-sitting their way around the world, Cheryl and Lisa enjoy sharing stories from the road!

16 thoughts on “Step Inside Bran Castle Home of Count Dracula Legend

  1. Bran is a very impressive castle indeed. Dracula’s (aka Vlad the Impaler) castle was actually at Poenari. But Poenari Castle is today just a humble ruin perched high on a steep rock, very hard to reach and as such not on the tourist route.

  2. That looks EXACTLY like the kind of place you would expect to find a vampire. It’s hard to picture living there and not somehow winding up in the middle of a horror story.

    Europe really has the US beat for these kinds of foreboding old places, doesn’t it? I mean, we can have crumbling victorian houses that just look like they have to be haunted, but they’re never quite as impressive.

  3. Oooh, spooky — especially that staircase. I loved reading Dracula when I was in high school and it’d be so cool to visit the castle that helped inspire the setting. I think I’d be slightly creeped out walking around if I happened to get separated from the crowd.

  4. I’ve visited Memento Park, and it’s hard to believe these were all around the city. It certainly sounds something like George Orwell’s 1984, doesn’t it? It’s hard to believe what it must’ve been like in those times?

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