No sign of Dracula at Bran Castle, Translyvania

Over 100 miles from Bucharest up in Translyvania, nestled in the Carpathian mountains lies Bran Castle.

You might not have heard of this place before but there is no doubt you will have heard the legend of Dracula. A mythical being created by the Irish novelist Bram Stoker in 1897. Loosely based on the real 15th century prince Vlad Tepes (the impaler). He was known for the many people he punished severely – Stakes were involved, need I say more?

In the novel, Dracula lives in a castle located in the Carpathian Mountains somewhere in Transylvania. Of course this story is fictional and the castle doesn’t actually exist. However, just like Hogwarts was inspired by Edinburgh castle and people love a good story, Bran Castle has been very cleverly marketed as Dracula’s Castle. Bram Stoker never actually visited Translyvania, infact he spent more of his time in Whitby, UK! But the castle fits the description and so the legend was born.

As a major fan of the horror genre for both novels and movies since a young age, visiting Translyvania has been on my bucket list since I was a child.

It was great to be able to visit a historical castle where so many legends were born. Translyvania isn’t just home to the vampires but also the Grim Reaper, ghosts and werewolves to name a few. Bran Castle offers a foray into the history of local myths and dreads – The alarming kingdom of Romanian mythology.

Not to mention, it’s pretty creepy to look at.

As we walked the path leading up to the castle the streets were lined with souvenirs and advertising for various events that take place here. It was like a mini town had been created surrounding the castle to serve the tourists. It really reminded me of the German markets we see just about anywhere these days especially at Christmas.

The castle sat perched on its rock at the top of the town of Bran.

When we got to the top we were greeted with a clever display of red flowers decorating the exterior. I assume the colour was chosen for an obvious reason. Either way, I loved the effect!

Once inside, we had a tour guide but I chose to read the signage instead at my own pace and explore the grounds.

The rooms weren’t spectacular, I’m not going to lie. It’s an old historical castle at the end of the day and I’ve visited plenty of these in my time travelling! Peles Castle that we visited earlier and I wrote about here was far more spectacular for it’s interior.

Luckily, I didn’t come here expecting to be blown away by extravogent interior. However, one thing I will admit -Dracula sure has peculiar taste when it comes to decorating! πŸ˜‰

The courtyard was similar to that I’ve seen in smaller castles I’ve visited previously. Again, I’ve no idea what they were thinking with the flowers but it’s certainly unique – I’ll give them that!

A few of the rooms featured details about the mythical creatures and legends of Romanian folklore which was a nice touch. Sadly, as much as I love the idea of these spooky things – I don’t actually believe any of it so I’m more of a fan of the accurate historical stories which there were also plenty of here too.

We walked around the castle rooms for a short while before exploring the grounds. Here I got to admire the creative signage Dracula has featured to get some important messages across!

Overall, Bran Castle is a little underwhelming as a tourist attraction I must admit. However, as a piece of history and a stunning piece of architecture I wouldn’t discourage anyone from visiting.

I’m really glad I made the trip and the area surrounding the castle looked to have something to offer tourists too with the little stalls and restaurants.

I am pleased I got to visit yet another iconic destination and I’m sure next time I return to Whitby I will feel a closer connection to the spooky legend that is Dracula!

~ Visited Bran Castle, Transylvania in March 2023

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