Saturday, April 13, 2019

Bran Castle in Transylvania, Romania

Bran Castle in Transylvania, Romania





Surrounded by an aura of mystery and legend and perched high atop a 200-foot-high rock, Bran Castle owes its fame to its imposing towers and turrets as well as to the myth created around Bram Stocker's Dracula.
Built on the site of a Teutonic Knights stronghold dating from 1212, the castle was first documented in an act issued by Louis I of Hungary on November 19, 1377, giving the Saxons of Kronstadt (Brasov) the privilege to build the Citadel.
Narrow winding stairways lead through some 60 timbered rooms, many connected by underground passages, which house collections of furniture, weapons and armor dating from the 14th to the 19th centuries.
Although the famous Wallachian ruler might have passed several times near Bran, there is no historical document attesting that he ever visited it. His visits to Transylvania were usually related to the boyars of Brașov. After his first reign, when he was sent into exile, he wanted to settle in Brașov, but John Hunyadi forbade them to provide him with shelter.
The castle is owned by the descendants of Queen Marie, to whom it was given 1920 as a token of appreciation for her efforts to unify Romania. After her death, Bran Castle was inherited by her daughter, Princess Ileana, who ran it as a hospital during World War II. In 1948 the castle was seized by the Communist regime, but it was returned to Dominic von Habsburg, Princess Ileana’s son, in 2006.
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