On January 26 2009 it was revealed that the von Habsburg family (who originally wanted to sell the Bran Castle in 2007) had decided not to sell the castle, but instead turn it into a museum dedicated to the legend and history of Dracula.
However, while Vlad Tepes ("Dracula") did not actually live in the Bran Castle, it is believed he spent two days locked in the dungeon while the Ottomans controlled Transylvania.
It is nice to walk around the castle and see the rooms which display art and furniture collected by Queen Marie. At the bottom of the hill is a small open air museum park exhibiting traditional Romanian peasant structures (cottages, barns, etc.) from across the country.
Bran castle has always been marketed as "Dracula's Castle" (it is one among several locations linked to the Dracula legend, including Poienari Castle and Hunyad Castle), but there is no evidence that Dracula "author" Stoker knew anything about this castle. And it was never the home of Vlad Þepeº, ruler of Wallachia who was said to have inspired the Dracula character - maybe he visited only?
So, sorry to say, but you will be disappointed if you are a Dracula Fan like me. I even looked for a picture of Vlad inside, but there was not a single one! Iasked the castle guides why there was no picture of Vlad or Dracula, and they just moved their head side to side, hehehe....
Rather than a Dracula hideaway, the castle is now a museum open to tourists, displaying art and furniture collected by Queen Marie.
This is what you see when you climb up to the castle plateau. Bran is extremely beautiful in early morning, and no tourists inside. We had that luck. And our share of spooky feelings!!!
This is where everything begins!
This is the entrance to the castle. There are lots of stairs to climb before you enter, and the main gate is a bit "hidden", you can't see it clearly when you're aproaching the castle!
Just clamb the stairs, take a deep breath, and... may heavens help you!!!
Imagine how beautiful Bran is at dusk. With the setting sun, and discrete lights, it gives the picture of serenity that it is hard to imagine it as a bloodthirsty spooky place!
There are many terraces and balconies at Bran, the castle is full of strange pathways, and from many places you can bump to the same place...
My smile actually tries to camufly the fear, see how fake it is! :) And the dawn at Bran, looking from the balcony to the golden hills around, seems so blissful...
Dare to snoop around Dracula's hidden yards? Who knows who (or rather, what!) is lurking around, and what is inside the well... It certainly isn't one of the places to make wishes and throw the coin!
There are many secret corridors to enter to the yard, and go to different parts of the castle.
This mystical haze appeared ONLY on the photo, I swear it was not there when I took the picture!!!
A dawn in front of Dracula's castle, on a cold winter day. Dare to climb up?!
It is recommendable to be there among the first visitors early in the morning, for two reasons: to avoid crowds, and to stay safe. :)
However, staying safe might be difficult if you go there on a winter day, the path is slippery and icy, hold on to the bars at the side!