Bran Castle (German: Törzburg; Hungarian: Törcsvár) is located in the central part of Romania, on the border between Transylvania and Wallachia regions, about 30 km south from the city of Brasov, in the village of Bran. The medieval castle of Bran is one of the most popular castles not only in Romania but also in the Eastern European region.
Bran Castle is often called as Dracula Castle and is referred as the home of Vlad Tepes (Dracula), the former ruler of Wallachia region and the main character of Bram Stoker’s Dracula film. In fact, there is no evidence that Vlad Tepes lived here; it is supposed that he was kept in the dungeon of the castle for two days.
Bran Castle was built by the Saxons of Brasov in 1377 under King Louis I of Hungary. The fortress was built to overlook and guard the Bran pass; and it was part of the defensive system of Transylvania’s southern borderlands.
Between 1407 and 1419, the fortress was owned by Wallachian Voivodes. The castle and the domain of Bran were conferred in mortgage to the town of Brasov in 1498.
At the beginning of the 18th century, the castle looses its military purpose and it became the center of the local administration and the residence of the castle lord. The castle became a royal residence of Queen Marie of Romania in 1920.
At the end of 1947, the castle became property of the Romanian State after the expulsion of the royal family. The castle was turned into the Museum of Medieval History in 1956.