Dracula (Bran) Castle , situated near Bran and in the immediate vicinity of Braşov, is a national monument and landmark in Romania. The fortress is situated on the border between Transylvania and Wallachia, onDN73. Commonly known as "Dracula's Castle", it is marketed as the home of the titular character in Bram Stoker's Dracula. There is, however, no evidence that Stoker knew anything about this castle, which has only tangential associations with Vlad III, voivode of Wallachia, the putative inspiration for Dracula.
The castle is now a museum open to tourists, displaying art and furniture collected by Queen Marie. Tourists can see the interior individually or by a guided tour. At the bottom of the hill is a small open air museum park exhibiting traditional Romanian peasantstructures from across the country.
Bran Castle was built in 1382 by the inhabitants and merchants of Brasov on top of a rocky peak in order to get the best surveillance point of the whole region, especially the pass between Transylvania and Wallachia, where important commercial routes met.
Bran Castle has always been associated with Dracula, because according to the legend, he used to go there very often. However, the association with Bram Stoker's Victorian novel vampire, is purely imaginary, although the Castle's towering strength, its narrow stone stairways, the quaint character of the rooms, and the cleverly authentic way it is furnished, do give an overwhelming impression that the legend may be real.
The real Dracula Vlad Tepes (the Impaler), son of Vlad Dracul was born at Sighisoara in 1430 and received fine education in Nurnberg, where he studied Philosophy, Mathematics, the art of war and the skill of handling the sword. He learnt how to speak Greek and German, Hebrew, Latin, and Turkish. He spent his boyhood at the Court of Sultan Murat II, where he was being held hostage as surety for the Sultan not to attack Wallachia.
It is known that for his monetary emissions in Sighisoara, Vlad’s father used his emblem, the dragon. Because the word ‘’dragon’’ was assimilated by the Romanians with the more common Latin word Dracon, ‘’dracul’’, given the fact that Romanian is a Latin-based language, they surnamed him Vlad Dracul, which means Devil.
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