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Wordtravels

Bran Castle

The fortified medieval Bran Castle is often referred to as Dracula's Castle, looking as a vampire count's abode should look with a forbidding façade, towers and ramparts rising out of the forest, and perched high on a steep cliff face against a dramatic mountain background; however there is little evidence to suggest Vlad Tepes ever stayed there.

Bran Castle was built in 1377 to protect nearby Brasov from invaders, and it later became the favourite summer residence of Queen Marie, offered to her by the people of Brasov who owned it. The rooms and towers surround an inner courtyard with a sculpted stone fountain. A warren of narrow, winding stairs, secret chambers and underground passageways lead between vaulted halls, a prison, watchtowers with sweeping views, and the living area.

The rooms are decorated with a collection of Baroque furniture, elaborately carved four-poster beds, weapons and armour dating from the 14th to 19th centuries. On the grounds below is an open-air ethnographic Village Museum consisting of old local-style architecture with household objects, costumes and furniture on display. At the entrance to the castle grounds is a large handicraft market that aims to distract the bus loads of tourists.

Address: 498 Traian Mosoiu Street, Bran

Website: www.bran-castle.com

Telephone: +40 (0)268 238 332

Transport: Buses leave from Brasov’s bus station, Autogara 2 and are marked ‘Moieciu-Bran’. The journey takes 40 minutes.

Opening times: Monday 12pm-6pm, Tuesday to Sunday 9am-6pm. Closes 4pm October to March.

Admission: RON25 adults, RON10 students. Other concessions available.