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Bran Castle, Bran, Romania

Built in the 13th-14th centuries, the Bran castle is situated in contemporary Romania, in the vicinity of Brasov town. Villagers built the castle at their own expense to protect the town from Ottoman invasions. After the war between Romania and Ottoman Empire the castle became a customs service connecting Transylvania and Wallachia. In 1920 it became the official residence for the royal Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen dynasty. During the rule of soviet regime the royal family was exiled and the castle was nationalized. Only in 2006 it was assigned to the descendants of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen dynasty again. Nowadays the castle serves as a museum and is open for visitors.

According to the legend, count Dracula used to live in the Bran castle. However the count is just a character created by Bram Stoker in his book "Dracula". Definitely the prototype of the count's character is the general of Wallachia, Vlad Dracul that had the nickname Cepesh. He used to stay in the castle during Ottoman campaigns. Vlad Dracul was extremely cruel and he got his nickname Cepesh (rom. teapa - stake) as he staked all his enemies and captives. This very reputation of a savage despot gave birth to the legend of count Dracula.

By Sona Gasparian,


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