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Bran Castle – Myths, legendsAdd to favourite
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Located 30 km from Brasov, between the Bucegi and Piatra Craiului Mountains, Bran Castle is an important national monument and landmark of tourism in Romania due to its beauty, landscape, and the legend of Count Dracula whose spirit still haunts these ancient places.
Wrapped in legend, Bran Castle is known as the castle of Count Dracula due to the fact that Vlad the Impeller – known as Dracul use to live there.
A document issued by Louis I of Hungary (1342-1382) on November 19, 1377 in Zvolen confirmed to the Saxons of Brasov (totaque communitas Saxonum Sedis Brassouiensis) the right to raise, as promised, on their expense and with their masters, a new stone fortress "Bran" (promiserunt novum castrum in Lapide Tydrici building).
On this occasion the king had promised to the people of Brasov that if the "Romanian Country" (only one part of todays Romania) reached the "in our hands", the customs would be moved from Rucar (Ruff Arbor) to Bran. The reference in the text document in 1377 to a "new stone fortress" allows the inference that the fortification of stone, which was to be built on the site, had been preceded by a border stronghold older. This fortress, probably wooden, was raised by the Teutonic Knights from 1211 till 1225. It was attributed to master Theodorikus. In the thirteenth century Bran Castle territory was under the county jurisdiction of royal "Alba" county.
Myth and Legend:
One of the most famous legends and most representative of Romania is the legend of Dracula and everything about this myth:
- Dracula's Castle, Castle Poienari, vampire legends, incarnations...
When speaking of Bran Castle it is said that it was Prince Vlad Dracul's home, but no evidence of this was found.
Instead, Poienari fortress was known as Vlad Tepes' secondary residence built as a fortress against the Ottomans.
The city and inspired Vlad Dracul to create a castle masterpiece in the Carpathians with Romanian told legends about the mysterious castle of Vlad Tepes and so the most representative Transylvanian legend of Dracula or Vlad the Impaler binds Bran Castle.
In Bram Stoker's descriptions Vlad Dracula is portrayed to us as a cruel ruler, a kind of vampire that feeds on blood and flesh of his enemies. These details were the delight of many movies, fiction and documentaries, and not least as the material which is used to promote tourism in Romania.
Due to these movies and books if you ask any foreigner about Romania, the first thing he or she thinks of is Dracula!
In fact, all descriptions of Vlad Tepes-Dracula are a little exaggerated ... but still truth can be found here because Vlad Dracul was ruthless with his enemies, for whom the extreme punishment was impalement.
In the late fifteenth century Bran Castle was subordinated to the authority Szeklers Committee responsible for defense of southern Transylvania, and the time of John Hunyadi passed under the Principality of Transylvania. Over time, Bran Fortress was to fulfill abundantly the role of defender against the Turkish invasion.
On December 1, 1920 the City Council of Brasov donated Bran Castle to Queen Marie of Great Romania as a sign of gratitude for her contribution to the Greater Union of December 1, 1918.
Between 1920-1927 Bran Castle was restored by the Royal Court architect, Carol Liman, who turned it into a beautiful summer residence surrounded by the park with promenade alleys, lake, fountains, and halt terraces and built the tea house. In 1938 Queen Marie left with the will that Bran Castle would belong to her daughter, Princess Ileana, the mastery of which she held until 1948.
After expulsion of the royal family from the country in 1948, Bran Castle became the property of the Romanian state, remaining abandoned and devastated in this period. Since 1956 the Castle was opened as a museum of history and feudal art. Being in an advanced state of decay, in 1987 the Castle entered restoration and the work was finished approximately in 1993.
When visiting Dracula's Castle you start to think that you go back in time and begin to live in that period …. Thick walls, painted doors, furniture, small windows like in a fortress – all of these will guide you to thoughts about rural world. Inside you can see many pieces of solid wood furniture, impressed bed, and many feudal art objects which unfortunately only a few remember the reign of Vlad Tepes.
Estimated at 140 million USD, Bran Castle was built in 1212 on an area of 20 acres, in Step-Rucar Bran, 30 km from Brasov.
Although it entered the circuit and tourist folklore as Dracula’s castle, and here also the movie “Interview with the Vampire” was shot, it seems that Vlad the Impaler had never lived here as the legend says. Bran Castle was returned in kind by the Romanian State’s Dominic von Habsburg and his two sisters as heirs of Princess Ileana.
Compared to other castles in the World :
Just as info, in the first place in Forbes list is situated a property valued at 165 million dollars and located in Beverly Hills, on an area of 6 acres of land half. 29 bedrooms, 40 bathrooms, 3 pools and a theater are inside the sumptuous villas built in 1926. In 1972 the famous movie “The Godfather” was shot there.
Located on the 3rd place in Forbes list is Updown Court in Windlesham, Surrey. It has 103 rooms, ballrooms, an entry somptoasa, a squash room, a track bowling, a cinema for 50 people, parking for 8 limos, a forest and a garden of 58 acres. The house is valued at 138 million U.S. dollars.
135 million cost property is situated on a plot of 95 acres and owned by Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, former Saudi ambassador to the U.S.. The house has 15 bedrooms and 16 bathrooms, a tennis court and an indoor swimming pool.
In 125 million USD is assessed by Forbes Maison de L’Amitie in Palm Beach, purchased in 2004 by Donald Trump for the amount of 41.25 million U.S. dollars.
The most expensive house in Nevada costs 100 million U.S. dollars and belongs to Joel Horowitz, his business partner Tommy Hilfiger, who built it from scratch. The owner spoils his guests with goodies from his cellar where more than 3500 bottles of wine are stored. An indoor pool and a theater hall for 19 seats are also always in mood celebrities who enter Harowitz's threshold.
Also at 100 million U.S. dollars is evaluated this splendid property in the capital of Turkey. Residence stands out by an opulent living and other 64 rooms with generous windows, offers a unique view of the Bosphorus.
In Moscow, the Forbes research reveals that the most expensive house costs 100 million U.S. dollars. Facilities – separate houses for guests, a recreation center, a swimming pool, Turkish baths, a gym and a sauna.
With less than one million, that is 99 million U.S. Dollars, is the cost of a house in Hampstead, London. It was built by Turkish entrepreneur Halisa Toprak and has benefit from a glass elevator, an indoor swimming pool and a Turkish bath.
In New York, the most expensive property in Forbes list is worth 75 million U.S. dollars. The main building is surrounded by the gardens, a pool, a tennis court and a guest room.
In fact, the fame of this castle is related with Count Vlad Tepes, but the fortress built directly according to the order of Vlad Dracul is the Poenari Fortress Arges made of high walls, surrounded by mountains, on a rocky spur to spot the ruins of tradition attributed to Prince Vlad Tepes. Known as the Fortress of Poenari – after the ancient name of the village Poenari – it was probably built in the XIV century as a refuge. The popular tradition links it with the name of the legendary ruler of the one who put the base of the city, Negru Voda, the two signs of whom are left near the peak of rock – like the traces left by some huge shoes. Although still unidentified, the place could be, according to some researchers, Posada region where the famous 1330 battle took place between the ruler of Wallachian army led by Basarab the first and and Charles I Robert of Hungary.
The citadel had an elongated, 2-3 meters thick walls and 5 defensive towers: four round and one prismatic. Although in the “Chronicle Cantacuzin” it is said that the city was built on the order of Vlad Tepes who wanted to punish the boyars: “… all took them to Poenari and have all worked in the city until they broke Dupri clothes …”, it seems that this story is only related to rebuilding or expanding it further.
The fortress became a place of punishment and exile for “hicleni” in the second half of the XVI century, which was not to be mentioned in the documents. Probably abandoned or destroyed, it slowly fell into ruins. It is currently being restored.
A concrete staircase rising from the foot of the mountain, the road up to the ruins from the height which is one of the most attractive sights: sparks of sunshine on the lake Vidraru green as a stone of emerald, with its hydroelectric dam, and in fog remote Fagaras peaks and foreseeable lands Iezer Papusa Peaks.
It is located on a mountain top and it takes about 1400 steps to climb to reach it. One legend says that by the year 1453 the boyars had foully murdered father and brother of Vlad Tepes, and this token of revenge, rape take to lift the city. It also says it was finished in 3 months and Vlad Tepes jumped out of the fortress stepping back from boyars.
Poenari Castle, or actually what’s left of it, does not have much to tell for the time did not let it share with us the new story. Either way, the miracle of its construction will remain a mystery.
How to get there :
There are 3 ways to go to Dracula’s Castle and also to Peles Castles from Bucharest
1. Bucharest – highway to Pitesti – DN 73 to Campulung, continue on DN 73 to Bran (Dracula’s Castle)
2. Bucharest – DN 1 to Ploiesti, continue till Predeal, but BEFORE entering Predeal turn left on DN 73 A (indicators will show to Rasnov, or Zarnesti), follow the DN 73 A Road till the crossroad with DN 73 and on the crossroad turn left and continue till Bran
From Transylvania you take DN 1 Road till Brasov and then continue on DN 73 to Bran
3. With the train - from Bucharest "Gara de Nord" train station take any train to Brasov (recommendation is to take high speed train with less stops on the way). Estimated time: 2- 2 1/2 hours till Brasov city. From here either try to rent a car and follow the road route: Brasov to Pitesti City (Bran Castle is located 30 km away from Brasov) or take a local bus towards same destination - Bran village or Pitesti City (in this case it is more complicated because not everyone can speak English
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