Historical Castles

By | October 19, 2018

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Bran Castle - Bran, the Nineties (Photo by Adriano Alecchi/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)

Castles are intriguing besides being huge with numerous rooms, twists and turns, secret passageways, and hidden rooms. Enchanting castles are not built like ordinary houses and their history can be fascinating as you read about the owners throughout their history.

Dracula’s castle?

This fortress is located between Transylvania and Wallachia and is commonly known as Dracula’s Castle. This is just one of the locations connected to the legend of Dracula. There is a secret passage that connects the first and third floors.  It is interesting that there are crosses in the garden area. It must be to keep Dracula away? There are two other castles, Poenari and Hunyadi Castles are also connected to the legend. 

There is some question as to whether or not this was the actual castle that inspired Bram Stoker’s novel of Dracula. In May of 2009, the refurbished castle was opened as a private museum and displays art and furniture acquired by Queen Marie. 

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Bran Castle, Romania in winter

Dracula’s Castle in the wintertime. 

In 1212, it was a wooden castle built by knights, that had an entrance to a mountain pass where traders traveled for a millennium, but this was destroyed by the Mongols in 1242. In 1377, a stone castle was built by the Saxons of Kronstadt, and later in 1438, the castle was used as a defense against the Ottoman Empire. It passed through several hands down through history, and by 1920, it became a royal residence within the Kingdom of Romania.

A favorite home and retreat of Queen Marie, she ordered extensive renovation, and later, it was passed down to her daughter, Princess Ileana. She then operated a hospital there during World War II, and in 1948, was seized by the communist regime and the family was forced to leave. But 2005 brought the castle back into the family’s hands, to Princess Ileana’s son, by a law passed by the Romanian government that allowed restitution on properties illegally seized. It is now considered a national monument and landmark in Romania.