Latest posts by Lorena Boandă (see all)
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When you hear the word ‘Romania’, the first thing that you probably think about is of a miraculous, mysterious, grandiose castle? I’m sure you are. I won’t be wrong saying that you’re thinking of the Bran Castle – or the Dracula’s Castle, as it’s most commonly known to anyone outside of Romania.
This castle is located on top of a huge rock near the Carpathian mountains and has a very impressive architectural design. Since we’ve heard so many legends about it – it is practically impossible to pass through its doors and not feel any thrills. Some have even reported that when they visited the castle, they had a sensation that someone was watching them. Now – that’s creepy!
A Brief History of ‘Dracula’s Castle’
According to the official version – the Bran Castle was built by the Saxons from Brașov in the 14th century. They received an approval from Ludwig I of Hungary to erect a stone fortress in Bran. However, the actual origin of the Castle dates to a much earlier time. In 1225, Teutonic knights have constructed a wooden fortress in its current place – which was the original “castle”.
In 1395, the Castle was used by Sigismund of Luxembourg (who at that time was the king of Hungary) as a strategic base. That was the time when he removed the prince Vlad the Usurper (“Uzurpatorul”), the enemy of Mircea the Elder. Since that time the Castle continued to serve as a defensive fort for several centuries.
In the more recent history, the City Council of Brasov donated the Bran Castle to the Queen Maria in 1920. Some 18 years later the Bran finally became the property of Romania. It was restored and then converted into a museum.
The Legend of Dracula
The legend of this Castle starts with one notorious resident. Although we often hear that the Bran Castle was once home to Vlad the Impaler (“Țepeș”), the ruler of Wallachia in the 15th century – that is not exactly true. The castle became famous thanks to the novel “Dracula” written by none other than Abraham “Bram” Stoker, an Irish writer.
And that’s how the myth of Dracula first started – a flagrant vampire Count who lived in a mysterious, eerie castle, surrounded by woods in Transylvania. Because of this story, the character had quickly become world-famous, and gained an incredible popularity which spread to the movies, cartoons as well as people’s imaginations.
So what does this story has to do with Vlad the Impaler? Well, the writer had actually referred to him as the ‘Prince Dracula’ in his book: “… it was really that prince Dracula, who opposed the Turks over the great river, even from the border with Turkey.”
Of course, as I’ve already mentioned – Stoker’s story and the actual history are two completely different things. However, life would be boring without such intriguing legends… Do you agree?
Halloween and the Dracula’s Castle
Considering that the Bran Castle is part of our Romanian heritage, while Halloween is an international event – there aren’t that many connections between the two. Though of course there is always one – both are frightening. Just imagine for a moment – how would it feel walking alone through Dracula’s Castle, on Halloween. Creepy, huh?
Although there aren’t any precise legends about Dracula on the night of October 31st – I have some good news. We do have events and some exciting offers during this holiday!
If you are visiting Romania during this time of the year, you have an opportunity to stay for 2 days at the Count Dracula’s house! Yes, for only 319 RON ($81,19 USD) you can check-in at the Bran Castle for a night.
The price is per person, per double room, but it doesn’t include the Halloween Party. Though this price includes coach transportation, a guided tour – Dracula circuit, in addition to a one night accommodation. You can find more details about the booking and the payment here.
But that’s not all – I also have some good news for the party people. There is an exciting event that takes place on the weekend before the Halloween. Count Dracula, fairies, strange characters, bats and spooky music, plus some special effects – are awaiting you! You just have to dress up and you are almost guaranteed to have loads of fun.
The prices for the horror tour of the castle are 70 RON ($18 USD) for adults and 35 RON ($9 USD) for children and it starts at 7.00 p.m. The grand party will be held at 9.00 p.m. and it will take place in a terrifying tent! The price for this awesome party is 180 RON ($46 USD) and it also includes a tour of the castle. Have fun!
The Surroundings of the Castle
Once the castle tours and the fun parties are over, what do we do? We explore the castle’s surroundings! In this area you will find numerous shops with all kinds of souvenirs, as well as a ton of restaurants with delicious food.
If you want to get a little more frightened, near the castle you can find the Haunted Castle. You can walk through a house with countless scary characters and some spooky decorations!
Finally, it doesn’t really matter what day you choose to visit it, since it will always be an amazing touristic attraction. P.S. Don’t miss the view from up there, as it’s also breathtaking!
Adults: 35 RON/$9 USD
Seniors (65+): 25 RON/$6,4 USD
Students: 20 RON/$5 USD
Pupils: 7 RON/$1,7 USD
High Season (April 1 – September 30)
Monday: 12.00 p.m. – 6.00 p.m.
Tue–Sun: 9.00 a.m. – 6.00 p.m.
Last Admission: 6.00 p.m.
Low Season (October 1 – March 31)
Monday: 12.00 p.m. – 4.00 p.m.
Tue–Sun: 9.00 a.m. – 4.00 p.m.
Last Admission: 4.00 p.m.
* Please note: all prices are valid for 2017 only.