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Transylvania Bran Castle History

Bran Castle played an essential role in Transylvania’s history.

From 1438 to 1442, it played a significant role in defending against the Ottoman Empire.

Romanian Bran Castle served as a strategic military location until the middle of the 18th century.

The castle was given to Romanian Queen Marie in 1920, following Transylvania’s incorporation into Greater Romania.

From 1920 to 1932, the Queen made the castle her favorite royal residence.

In 1938, after Queen Marie passed away on July 18, Bran Castle was left to Princess Ileana, who was wed to Archduke Anton of Austria.

1940: Queen Marie’s heart was preserved after her passing in a silver box that was then placed in an ornate box.

This casket was placed in a mobile sarcophagus at Balchik’s Palace on the Black Sea after being covered in the flags of England and Romania.

Romania lost the South Danube lands in 1940 during the Vienna Awards.

Her heart was buried across the valley from the castle in a crypt chapel.

Then, across the valley from the castle, Queen Marie’s heart was taken back to Bran and interred in a crypt chapel.

1944: After an American plane bombed the Red Cross hospital, Princess Ileana opened a hospital at Bran Castle to treat the injured Brasov soldiers.

After 1945, the Hospital of the Queen’s Heart continued to treat both civilian patients and military veterans who had been injured or disabled.

Up until 1948, Princess Ileana served as the hospital’s administrator and nurse.

In 1956, the communists turned Bran Castle into a museum, dividing it into three parts: the castle, Medieval Customs, and Ethnography.

Queen Marie’s descendants now own the castle.

Count Dracula 

The princely line of Wallachia received estate gifts from several Hungarian kings, enabling them to defend the ruler and his family in case of need.

Thus, in 1431, Sigismund de Luxembourg crowned Vlad II., also known as Vlad Dracul, as ruler of Vojvodina in Wallachia.

In addition to the nomination, Sigismund made the prince a Knight of the Order of the Dragon, giving rise to the name Dracul.

According to another story, the prince was given the name Dracul by his Wallachian subjects because of his ruthless nature, as the word Dracul means both dragon and devil in Romanian.

Later, the evil prince is portrayed in the books as Count Dracula. 

Bran Castle and  Dracula Story

It is no secret that the Castle of Dracula from Bram Stoker’s novel is mainly responsible for Bran Castle’s reputation. 

Dracula, as he is known today, is a fictional figure whose name is derived from Vlad Tepes, who ruled Wallachia between 1456 and 1476.

Count Dracula appears in Irish writer Bram Stoker’s novel “Dracula,” published in England in 1897.

However, it is a fact that the author has never been to Romania, though.

The author’s description of Dracula’s castle matches what Bran Castle looks like. 

He wrote, “on the very edge of a terrific precipice…with occasionally a deep rift where there is a chasm [with] silver threads where the rivers wind in deep gorges through the forests.”

Another reason that contributed to the popularity of Dracula’s Castle is the usual confusion of Count Dracula with Vlad the Impaler, also known as Vlad Tepeş.

One of Wallachia’s most brutal kings, Vlad Tepes, was the son of Vlad II Dracul, popularly known as Vlad the Dragon.

The rest of the Dracula narrative is based on Transylvanian mythology and common beliefs about ghosts and vampires.

Featured Image: Bran-castle.com

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