Bran Castle is famous for Dracula probably one of the most famous fairy tales to
come out of Romania. Dracula never actually existed but probably Vlad Tepes a famous
warrior, who never lived at the castle, was the character behind the fairy tale.
In 1212 the Teutonic Knights built the wooden castle of Dietrichstein as a fortified
position in the Burzenland at the entrance to a mountain valley through which traders
had travelled for more than a millennium, although it was destroyed in 1242 by the
Mongols. The first documented mentioning of Bran Castle is the act issued by Louis
I of Hungary on November 19, 1377, giving the Saxons of Kronstadt (Brasov) the privilege
to build the stone citadel; the settlement of Bran began to develop nearby. The castle
was first used in 1378 in defence against the Ottoman Empire, and later became a
customs post on the mountain pass between Transylvania and Wallachia. The castle
briefly belonged to Mircea the Elder of Wallachia. While Vlad Ţepeş (known as Dracula)
did not actually live in the Bran Castle, it is believed he spent two days locked
in the dungeon while the Ottomans controlled Transylvania.
From 1920 the castle became a royal residence within the Kingdom of Romania. It was
the principal home of Queen Marie, and is decorated largely with artefacts from her
time, including traditional furniture and tapestries that she collected to highlight
Romanian crafts and skills.- It was inherited by her daughter, Princess Ileana, and
was later seized by the communist regime after the expulsion of the royal family
In 2005, the Romanian government passed a special law allowing restitution claims
on properties such as Bran, which was seized by the Communist government of Romania
in 1948. In 2006, the Romanian government awarded ownership to Archduke Dominic of
Austria, Prince of Tuscany, known as Dominic von Habsburg,.
In 2007, von Habsburg put the castle up for sale for a price of £40 million ($78
On January 26 2009 it was revealed that the family had decided not to sell the castle,
but instead turn it into a museum dedicated to the legend and history of Dracula.