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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Bran (Dracula's) Castle, Romania

Dracula's Castle
Was Dracula a historicaly missunderstood hero? Or was he a bloodtursty tyrant? Or a vampire? Well, he was a little bit of everything, no wait, he was a little bit of the first two, but he certainly wasn't a vampire.
Commonly known as Dracula's Castle, Bran Castle was originally built as a stronghold by the Teutonic Knights in 1212. The building started in 1378 as a defense against the Turks, and later became a customs post on the mountain pass between Transylvania and Wallachia. For a short period of time, the castle belonged to Mircea the Elder of Wallachia. From 1920, the castle became a royal residence until the expulsion of the royal family by the Communist regime in 1948. Today it functions as a museum of medieval arts.
The fortress is situated on the border between Transylvania and Wallachia, on Highway 73. In addition to its unique architecture, the castle is famous because of persistent myths that it was once the home of Vlad III Dracula; however, there is no evidence that he ever lived there. According to most accounts, Dracula spent two days in the Bran dungeon, as the area was occupied by the Ottoman Empire at the time.
Bram Stoker, who fashioned portions of his character Count Dracula based on aspects of Vlad the Impaler, allegedly used Bran Castle as his model for Dracula's Castle. Bran Castle was subsequently featured in multiple film adaptations of Dracula, and has informally become known as Dracula's Castle. The local economy has made use of the connection to boost tourism; a small market exists at the castle gates selling every imaginable article connected with, or depicting the portrait of, Dracula and vampires.... (more on

Oh, this is a BIG BTW, Bran Castle is currently on the market so if you are interested in becoming Count Dracula, this is your chance.

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