Dracula Castle In Transylvania
Dracula Castle in Transylvania is actually known as Bran Castle. It is located near Bran, and is extremely close to Brasov. The castle is a natural monument in the country, and is situated right at the borders of Transylvania and Walachia.
The castle is also known by other names like Poienari Castle and Hunyad Castle. However, it is mostly known as Bran Castle or Dracula Castle. In fact, this castle is marketed to the rest of the world as the residence of the famous Count Dracula in Bram Stoker's novel. However, there is no proof that Stoker was aware of the castle. In addition, legends floating around in Romania say that this was the residence of Vlad Tepes, the ruler of Walachia. In fact, this is false as Vlad did not live here.
Dracula Castle is a museum today showcasing art and furniture which were collected by Queen Marie. The castle has guided tours, but you can also see the castle on your own. The base of the hill, on top of which the castle is located, there is an open air museum that showcases traditional Romanian rural structures like cottages and barns.
According to historical evidence, Bran Castle was built initially as a stone citadel after Louis I of Hungary issued a decree allowing the Saxons of Kronstadt (Brasov) to built one in November 1377. The castle was first used as a stronghold in 1378 to repel the invading Ottoman Empire army, and thereafter, it was used as a Customs post for the mountain pass connecting Transylvania and Walachia.
Although Vlad Tepes did not actually live here, it is believed that he was locked up in the dungeons of the castle for two days when the Ottoman Empire controlled Transylvania.
In 1920, Dracula Castle became the royal residence of Queen Kestine Marie, who spent time decorating the castle with artifacts, furniture and tapestries. After the queen died, her daughter, Princess Ileana, inherited the castle. In 1948, when the communist came to power, they seized Dracula Castle and expelled the royal family out of Romania.
In 2005, the Romanian government returned the seized castle to Prince Dominic, the son of Princess Ileana. However, the prince put the castle up for sale in 2007 for an estimated price of $78 million. However, in January 2009, it was announced that the prince had decided to take the castle off the market and convert it into a museum devoted to the history and myth of Dracula.
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