A Day At Bran Castle


I enjoy travelling alone. You can go anywhere you like at your own pace, and if you want to stop and stare at some detail for ten minutes, nobody’s going to tug at your arm and try to drag you in the opposite direction. Interacting with the people you meet along the way is easier, too.

Last week I put on my boots and winter hat and headed to Bran Castle near Brasov. It was the Christmas gift I thought I should give myself – a solo trip to the castle that of all castles seems to have inspired Dracula’s myth the most.


Bran Castle is linked to Bram Stoker’s famous novel Dracula, though the author never visited it, nor did he specifically refer to it. The Castle’s strategic position between mountains, at the border of the old regions of Wallachia and Transylvania, made it a valuable customs point, and a solid defense against the Ottoman Turks.


Vlad the Impaler, who inspired the legend of Dracula, never actually lived in the castle, but he seems to have been locked in it for two months as a prisoner of King Matthias Corvinus of Hungary.

Small alcoves by the windows invite you to look out into the courtyard.
This “secret” passage takes you from the first floor to the third. It’s narrower than it looks.

dsc_0209dsc_0203Bran today feels more like Queen Maria’s Castle than Dracula’s Castle. The Queen settled in the castle in the early 20th century with her family.dsc_0201dsc_0212

The beautifully decorated stoves are quite a sight, but how much better would it be if someone would take the trouble to light them – the upper floors of the stone castle can be icy in winter.


dsc_0193The Queen suffered from arthritis and had the well equipped with an elevator, which could carry her from the inner courtyard straight to the gardens below, which she had arranged in the English-style, adding to them a Tea House.dsc_0200

View from atop the castle.

Should you ever visit Romania, Bran is one of those places worth a day of your trip.

21 thoughts on “A Day At Bran Castle

  1. Beautiful pictures, Vincent, and the comments are very interesting too! I most definately will put it on my list if I visit Romania someday 🙂

  2. I have been fascinated by this castle since reading about in a book about the legends of Vlad the Impaler. Thank you for visiting the castle and posting picture.

  3. Thanks for taking me, along with your many other friends, there. I enjoyed the tour, pics, and conversation/history. I love old places and history. It is one of my most favorite things to do.


  4. i wrote about the bran castle recently and it almost scares me that you took very similar shots to mine (or vice versa as i don’t know when you went)…thanks for posting…like also your poems

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