|photo by By Natasha von Geldern|
"The view was magnificent, and from where I stood there was every opportunity of seeing it. The castle is on the very edge of a terrific precipice. A stone falling from the window would fall a thousand feet without touching anything! As far as the eye can reach is a sea of green tree tops, with occasionally a deep rift where there is a chasm. Here and there are silver threads where the rivers wind in deep gorges through the forests.
But I am not in heart to describe beauty, for when I had seen the view I explored further. Doors, doors, doors everywhere, and all locked and bolted. In no place save from the windows in the castle walls is there an available exit. The castle is a veritable prison, and I am a prisoner!"
Dracula (Bram Stoker)
Deep in the Carpathian Mountains, in the heart of rural Romania, perched at the top of a rocky peak, there is a fortress for nearly 1000 years known as Dracula's Castle, the Bran Castle.
Bran Castle rises in a highly strategic position in a cleft between two thickly wooded hills overlooking the Transylvania –Wallachia border. For many hundreds of years this was an important revenue gathering point and a series of battles were fought to control the border.
Bran Castle was the next stop of our Vlad Tepes route.
We were told by many people that this castle is not really worth visiting, or at least not with the imaginary of Dracula's Castle in our minds. But, as a truth lovers of Dracula's story, we couldn't drive out this castle of our route. And we went!
Probably, the fact that everybody told us that we were going not to like it, made us like it☺.
Bran Castle is the only castle in all of Transylvania that actually fits Bram Stoker’s description of Dracula’s Castle. That's why people believes this is Dracula's castle. In fact, Bram Stoker never went to Romania. He depicted the imaginary Dracula’s castle based upon a description of Bran Castle. Indeed, Stoker is widely believed to have used the illustration of Bran Castle in Charles Boner’s book, "Transylvania: Its Product and Its People", (London: Longmans, 1865) to describe his imaginary Dracula's Castle.
The truth is that this castle is all but scary. As you can see in the pictures, is a pretty nice and friendly castle. There is only one secret corridor that leads you to another room... that was a little bit hair-rising.
Anyway, we really loved visiting the castle! In winter must be really beautiful.
- end of the Obsession -