Dracula’s Castle of Bran village in Transylvania and history of Bran Castle
During the six centuries of its life Bran Castle changed its destination several times: at the beginning it was a fortress, after that - a customs house and local administration office and later, in the first half of the 20-th century, a royal residence. This is why the castle's architecture and functionality changed in several points during the rehabilitation / improvement works.
Romania is located in the eastern side of Europe, bordered in the South by the the Danube river and in the East by the Black Sea. Dracula's Castle is placed in the middle of the Carpathians Mountains, on the border between Transylvania and Wallachia two of the three historical regions composing Romania. In fact, all the Dracula destinations presented on this website are distributed in these two Romanian regions.
The Castle's exact position is in the village of Bran, at 30 km from Brasov, the second big city of Romania after Bucharest - the capital.
The castle is built on a rock in the narrowest point of the Turcu river valley. The castle was connected to the side slope of the mountain by a bridge / viaduct, so obtaining a defence gallery. From this position the visibility was very good and even increased when the forest was cut down. The fortress has a trapezoidal perimeter and in the North Eastern side its outline is determined by the rock which it lies on. The castle was built very quickly, in about 4 years. The materials used were the stones from the river, bricks and in the upper / inside parts wood.
The castle has four towers and the oldest is the Powder house tower, the only one built from the beginning. It has a cylindric shape and it contains the cannons' gallery, the gunner's room and the powder storing place.
All the other towers were added later. During the restoration completed in the 15-th century the Observation tower (which is the tallest) and the Eastern side one were built. The latter one has balconies with holes in the floor, where the soldiers used to throw hot water and pich against the invaders.
In 1622 the Gate's tower was attached; in the meantime, the south wall was strengthened to a thickness of 3.5 m / 11 ft, so it can resist to a cannons attack.
A radical change in the functionality and the decoration took place in 1921 when queen Maria of Romania established her summer residence in Dracula's castle. The royal court architect Mr. Carel Liman changed the destination of a lot of spaces; for example: the gunner's room become the royal chapel, the defence gallery of the tower was transformed into apartments for the ladies of the queen's suite. It was also then that he created the fourth floor which was destined to the queen's secretary. But the most spectacular modification was to install an elevator in the fountain from the interior court; with the elevator and throw a tunnel queen Maria could reach the beautiful park down in the valley.