In September I wrote a blog post about my trip to Brașov, one of Romania’s most beautiful cities. Back then, after visiting a big part of the city, I decided it’s time for a side trip to Bran Castle. The castle is commonly known outside Romania as Dracula’s Castle, often being referred to as the home of the title character in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Stoker’s character is often confused with a Walachian Prince, Vlad Țepeș(Vlad the Impaler) who was often described as a blood-thirsty ruler. The Irish writer never visited Romania and Bran Castle is the only castle in Transylvania that fits his description of Dracula’s home, which is why it is known as Dracula’s Castle.
Getting to the castle was easy, I took a bus from Brașov and in an hour I was in the village of Bran where the castle is located in. A walkway leads up to its gates and, although the castle is not very large, it instantly gives you a unique feeling as it has the typical medieval look. Although for some it could seem only another medieval castle in Europe, it actually has a beautiful story involving, amongst other historical figures, Queen Marie of the Greater Romania.
During Carol II’s reign, as his popularity plummeted, there were rumours that at the annual independence parade an attempt on his life would be mad and, in order to avoid it, he had Marie attend it. Soon after the parade he set out to destroy his mother’s popularity and decided to push her out of the country. However, Marie did not comply and retreated to Bran Castle, which was gifted to her by local officials. It became one of her favourite places and it went under a series of architectural transformations becoming a modern summer residence. Today, Queen Marie’s dearest residence stands tall and beautiful, many of her and King Ferdinand’s prized possessions being displayed for the public.
A movie was made in 2019 about Queen Mary’s mission to Paris to lobby for international recognition of Romania’s great unification at the 1919 peace talks. You can see the trailer below.