Bran

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Name: Bran Castle
Location: Bran - Brasov  
Country: Romania
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Despite popular myth, Bran castle, commonly known as "Dracula's Castle, was not built by Vlad Tepes, the Wallachian prince upon whom the 19th century novelist Bram Stoker is supposed to have based his bloodthirsty vampire count. The 14 century castle, perched atop a 60m peak in the center of Bran Village, was in fact built by people of Brasov in 1382 to defend the Bran mountain pass against Turks. In 1413, the Wallachian ruler allowed the people to set up custom posts on the Brasov road and Bran pass. The customs house just south of the castle levied a 3% tax on all commercial goods carried along the Bran pass.

From 1920 the castle was inhabited by Queen Marie. Bran Castle remained a summer royal residence until forced abdication of King Michael in 1947.

Bran Castle, with fairytale turrets and Mediterranean whitewashed walls, is far from menacing. Much of the original furniture imported from Europe by Queen Marie is still inside the castle's thick stone walls. A fountain in the courtyard conceals a labyrinth of secret underground passages. 

 

Claudiu Badea, 27, from Florida, wrote:
 You are absolutely right, Grant if you say that the Castle Bran (his original name is Toerzburg) has absolutely nothing to do with Dracula or Vlad Tepes. And more than that! The Castle was not in the same country as Vlad the Empaler. Vlad Tepes was the Principe of Valachia and not of Transylvania, Transylvania was a completely other state. The difference between this both countries were at this time so big, as the differences are today for example, between Albania and Italy. And therefore Mr. Walsh, Vlad Tepes or Vlad Dracula hasn't absolutely nothing to do, with any else Castle in Transylvania. Vlad Tepes sometimes fought against Transylvania and even he was an enemy for Transylvania. The Castle Toerzburg/Bran was for centuries a fortress in ownership of the citizenship of the City of Kronstadt/Brasov till 1918. It was build as a fortress for protecting the Transylvanian border against outside and sure the area which approximate two centuries later, the principat of Valachia.
Grant Anderson, 21, from Nebraska, wrote:
 All the tourism does reduce the fun of the visit, but the Bran castle is worth seeing if you're in the area.  After doing a little research, I would like to state, for the record, that Bran castle has absolutely nothing to do with Dracula or the historic figure Vlad Tepes.  It was in the same country as Dracula, at about the same time.  The similarity ends there.  This castle is about as intimidating and scary as the Disney Castle.  It doesn't even have a dungeon.  Not to say that Bran Castle isn't worth seeing, it's just a shame that the fictitious legends of Dracula are used to promote it.  This castle shouldn't need any promotion.  It has plenty of charm of it's own.
Victor Savi, 24, from Romania, wrote:
Bran is a beautiful castle to visit. Restoration made it relive its past life and everything inside it vibrates history, even modern day history because Bran was also one of the residences of Romanian kings after reunion with Transylvania in 1918.It's a "must see" location, and you really have to ignore all the "Disney Land" fuzz around it. You will discover, if you look closely, beautiful things in the little plaza in front of the castle. I really invite you to visit Romania and ignore the funny tales of "Dracula", because Vlad the Impaler was not Dracula, he was a Valachian King, and a really "cool" one. It is also true that he nailed turbans to the heads of the Turks...
Tudor Stiharu, 14, from Canada, wrote:
This castle belonged to Dracula, better known to the Romanians as Vlad Tepes
Marius Bruyn, 19, from the Netherlands, wrote:
Yes, Bran really really is a beautiful and very romantic castle. Placed on a hill peak surrounded by forests. But... Much of the romantic atmosphere has gone because of the large tourist industry. The castle is No1 attraction and visited by thousands of people every summer. The fake Dracula stories, the touristy 'theme park' of souvenir stalls and hotels around it and the modernizing of the castle have made Bran castle into a Disneyland like mess.
Jack Walsh, 45, from New Jersey,USA. wrote:
There are two famous Castles in Romania. I visited the one in Hunderdoara and wad told the the Bran Castle was larger. It suppose to be the Castle or fortress of Vlad the impaler.

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