The history of Bran Castle begins in 1377 when, on November 19, the chancellery of the Hungarian king Ludovic the Great (Ludovic I of Anjou) issued an act granting the inhabitants of Brasov the privilege of building a castle. This document urges the Saxons (a German-speaking population that came to Transylvania in the 12th century) to participate in the construction of Bran Castle.
In 1388 the castle was completed. It is raised on a steep cliff that dominates the passage on the commercial road crossing the Carpathian Mountains. The castle had the role of customs and retained 3% of the value of goods entering and leaving Transylvania, as well as the role of a fortress meant to protect the border against the expansion of the Ottoman Empire.
In 1407, Sigismund of Luxembourg offered the castle as a feud, in exchange for loyalties, to his ally, ruler of Walachia, Mircea the Elder, in order to be able to withdraw here in the event of an attack by the Turks. In 1419, after the voivode’s death, the political instability in Wallachia led Sigismund to take over the castle and entrust it to the Transylvanian princes.
Iancu de Hunedoara, prince of Transylvania, defeated the Turks intending to enter the principality at Bran, in 1441. As a reward for the support given by the Saxons in the battle, Iancu de Hunedoara, reasserts the privileges granted to the inhabitants of Brasov by Mircea the Elder and by Sigismund.
Vlad Ţepeş was a close ally of Bran and Braşov during his first reign in Wallachia (1448) and up until this second reign. However, at the beginning of 1459, during Vlad’s second reign (1456-1462), his army went right through Bran and attacked Brasov, to resolve the conflict with the Saxons who were asking for higher customs duties than agreed and also supported Vlad’s opponent to the throne. Vlad Ţepeş burned down the suburbs of Brasov and killed hundreds of Saxons, causing the Saxon community to hate him and to portray him in later chronicles as an extremely bloody tyrant.
In 1918 Transylvania became part of Great Romania. On December 1, 1920, the citizens of Brasov , as a result of a unanimous decision of the city council, offered the castle to Queen Maria of Romania, described in the document as a “great queen who (…) spreads blessing everywhere she goes, thus irresistibly conquering the hearts of the population of the whole country. ” The castle becomes the favorite residence of Queen Maria, which will be then restored and arranged.
But the main reason why tourists now choose to visit Bran Castle is the legend that was created around it. The most representative legend of Transylvania, that of Dracula or Vlad Ţepeş, is unquestionably tied to Bran Castle. The Prince of Wallachia, Vlad Ţepeş, is associated with Dracula, although historical data does not confirm his long presence at Bran Castle.
However, the area is promoted through the images of a vampire feeding on the blood of his enemies.
Although tourists come to search for the legend of Count Dracula, and everything around it emphasizes his mythical side, the history of Bran Castle itself fascinates them alike.
Romania Color invites you to a unique holiday in the land of Count Vlad.