Bran castle, also known as Dracula’s castle in Romania, is a magnificent piece of architecture. The castle is pure magic and a favorite destination for tourists mainly because of the legend of Dracula (who doesn’t know that?). It is located on a cliff that is elevated at an altitude of 762 meters. The castle’s construction began in the year 1377 on the orders of King Louis the first of Anjou.
The castle is famous due to the celebrated novel named Dracula because it was the setting for the story. A little-known fact is that the author of the book, Bram Stoker, actually visited the castle at some point. It was this visit that inspired and got him to start penning the classic tale everyone enjoys until today. Here are a few interesting facts about the castle.
1. The Old Entrance
Back in the 14th century when Bran Castle was built, bows and arrows were the deadliest weapons used by men. In those days, there was no advanced siege weaponry, like canons, which became available centuries in the future. The current entrance to the castle is steep staircase that leads you straight to the guardroom. This entrance is quite complicated because it was built around the 17th century as a defensive measure. Back in the 14th century, to enter the castle, you only needed to go through a very small door that was 14 feet above the ground. There wasn’t any siege weaponry then, so it was feasible to do this as a protective measure.
2. The Queen’s Heart
Bran Castle, before housing the royal family, acted as a border fortress that separated Transylvania from Wallachia. It was considered a fortress from the time it was built until 1920 when Transylvania was united with the rest of Romania. This unification came just after the end of the First World War. However, by the time the two countries united, the castle had been ruined. The municipality of Breslov who were the owners of the castle handed it over to Queen Marie, who had it renovated. She soon fell deeply in love with it. By the time she passed away, she had written in her will that her heart should be extracted from her body and buried right next to the castle. For this reason, the gate to the west side of the castle has the engravement of a heart.
3. The Secret Passage
All medieval castles contain a secret passage that is little known to the outside world. And the same is true for Dracula’s castle. If you are a tourist, this is definitely something you should check out. Although no longer a secret, the passage used to connect the first and third floors of the castle. The passage was an escape tunnel that was only to be used during cases of emergency, such as sieges and infiltrations. The area was finally revealed during Queen Marie’s renovation of the castle.
4. The Water Well
Besides secret passages, all medieval castles were synonymous with water wells and Dracula’s castle was no exception. One little-known fact about the water well at Dracula’s castles is that it wasn’t there solely to provide the castle inhabitants with a source of fresh water during sieges. Just above the water table in the well is a room that acted as a last resort hideout whenever the castle got invaded. This is where the castle’s gold was stored during sieges.
If you want to have a magical experience, one of the best places you can visit in Romania is Dracula’s castle. You will have the historical and mystical time of your life. Simply contact a chauffeur service to whisk you to its doors like royalty. Consider booking
your own private tour of this magnificent area.
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