Bran is home to one of the most haunted places in Romania, Bran (Dracula's) Castle. Come Explore its mystery with Haunted Journeys.
Commonly known outside Transylvania as Dracula's Castle, it is often referred to as the home of the title character in Bram Stoker's Dracula. There is no evidence that Stoker knew anything about this castle, which has only tangential associations with Vlad the Impaler, voivode of Wallachia, the putative inspiration for Dracula.
Originally, it was a wooden castle built by the German Order in 1242, called Dietrichsten. It was later destroyed by the Mongols in 1242. Later a stone castle was built in its place in 1377. It was one of the strategies to accentuate the strength of the City of Bran, built almost exclusively for the fortification and protection of German Colonists in Transylvania.
Most famously, it became the favorite home and retreat of Marie of Romania, who ordered its extensive renovation conducted by the Czech architect Karel Zdeněk Líman.. The castle was inherited by her daughter Princess Ileana who ran a hospital there in World War II. It was later seized by the communist regime with the expulsion of the royal family in 1948.
Though many myths have been connected to Vlad III in connection with the Dracula myth, most historians agree that Vlad III Dracula never set foot in Castle Bran. Castle Bran was neither a friendly place for Vlad III to visit nor was it under his rule.
The castle was linked to Vlad III for various reasons. The castle had long been one linked to his imprisonment after he was captured by the Hungarians in 1462. It was believed that he was imprisoned in Castle Bran, but historians now conclude that Vlad III was actually imprisoned in a fortress in Budapest. It is said by historians that Castle Bran was chosen to be the colloquial location of Vlad III's imprisonment as it is a more haunting and dramatic-looking structure than other castles of the region. Historians and scholars alike have concluded that Vlad III likely never set foot in the castle
The castle is now a museum dedicated to displaying art and furniture collected by Queen Marie. Tourists can see the interior on their own or on a guided tour. At the bottom of the hill is a small open-air museum exhibiting traditional Romanian peasant structures (cottages, barns, water-driven machinery, etc.) from the Bran region. Most famously, it is known as "Dracula's Castle", thus driving many fans of the Vampire character to it.
Due to its geographic location, and key role in defending the local area, this majestic property certainly has a very disturbing and bloody past. Bran Castle is said to be home to 100’s of ghosts but its most famous resident spook is said to be Queen Marie of Romania who is said to have fallen in love with the castle. Those that have investigated the castle can say, without a doubt, it is haunted. Objects have been witnessed moving on their own. Stirringly many have left the castle feeling unwell and unrested.
Others say, while the castle may not be as frightening as some sources suggest, both the folklore of the countryside, in which undead souls haunt villagers at night, and the brutal medieval past that the castle witnessed are enough evidence for it to be considered haunted.
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