Looming ominously in the shadow of Mt. Bucegi, Castle Bran is a dark and gloomy edifice towering over a bed of stone - a gruesome though beautifully preserved fortress, straight from an Edgar Allan Poe story. Bran was a trading point during the middle ages; now it's claimed this was the castle of Vlad Tepes, but in fact his castle lies in ruins farther west in Transylvania in the Arges Valley. Tours are availabe through the castle. In the parking area there is a market where local peasants sell handwoven sweaters and other crafts.

BRAN CASTLE, Situated at 30 Km from Brasov, between the Bucegi and Piatra Craiului Mountains, Bran Castle is an important national monument and landmark of the Romanian tourism, due not only to the beauty of the Castle and the landscape but also to the legend of Count Dracula.

The first documentary attestation of the Bran Castle is the act issued on November 19, 1377, by Ludovic I D'Anjou giving the inhabitants of Brasov the privilege to build the Citadel "on their own work and expense"... In exchange for this, the king confirmed the subordination of 13 localities to Brasov town and conferred the leadership of Bran Fortress to a lord of a castel who had also jurisdictional attributions. The permanent garrison was numerically restrained to 12-24 soldiers: archers and ballisters. Between the years 1419-1424 the Fortress returned in Sigismund's possession.

At the end of the XV-th century, the Bran Fortress was subordinated to the authority of the Szeklers Committee, responsile for the defene of the Sout-East of Transylvania, and since the reign of Iancu of Hunedoara, the Fortress passed under the rule of the Voivode of Transylvania.

On December lst, 1920, the Brasov Town council donated the Bran Castle to Queen Marie of Great Romania, as a symbol of gratitude for her contribution to the achievement of the "Great Union" of 1 December 1918.

Between 1920-1927, the Bran Castle was restored under the guidance of the Royal Court architect, Carol liman. He transformed it into a beautiful summer residence, surrounded with a park, fountains, a lake, walking alleys and halt terraces and built the "Tea House" Of Queen Marie. In 1938 Queen Marie left with will the Bran Castle to her daughter, Princess Ileana.

After the expulsion of the royal family from the country in 1948, the Bran Castle became the property of the Romanian State, being abandoned and ravaged for a period. Since 1956 the Castle was opened as a museum of history and feudal art. Being in a serious degradtion, a new restoration process of the Castle starded in 1987. The repair, by and large was finished in 1993. The conclusive museistic organization will be done taking into account new criteria, result of the researchers from the last years.

Last update: 1999, August 20
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