After leaving Peleș Castle, we drove about an hour to Bran to see Dracula's Castle. Along the drive we spied another hilltop castle. It's fun being here :)
The Transylvanian countryside was super pretty.
Then we spotted the famous Bran Castle! On a rocky bluff rising from wolf-prowled forests perches a gaunt, sinister castle. Sort of. Bran Castle has a tenuous link to the infamous Vlad Tepes, better known as Vlad the Impaler, but because it inspired the description of Dracula's castle in Bram Stoker's classic Victorian Gothic thriller it is often called "Dracula's Castle."
We parked and hiked up the hill to explore the castle.
The castle is almost 200 feet tall and was built by Saxons from nearby Brasov in 1382 to defend Bran Pass against Turk invaders. It housed Vlad the Impaler for a few months on his flight from the Turks in 1462 after their attack in the Arges Valley.
From 1920 Queen Marie lived in the castle and it served as a summer royal residence until the forced abdication of King Michael in 1947. Most of the furniture on display is from Queen Marie's time.
Super spooky staircase. Most of the castle is very bright and sunny, but there are hints of Dracula...
Tile on a heater.
The castle became a museum in 1957 and in 2006, after 60 years in communist/government hands, Bran Castle was turned over to Dominic Habsburg, a New York-based architect and grandson of Queen Marie. The family has kept it open as a museum.
The interior courtyard looking out to the Transylvanian countryside beyond.
The kids exploring Dracula's digs. They weren't scared. How could they be on such a beautiful day?
Looking out to Bran.
Farmer painted stuff is my jam.
Our family at Bran Castle.
I love the interior courtyard. So many layers and angles!
Love the texture of this tree on the fancy door.
Another floor shot. I can't help it.
Open windows, letting the air flow through the castle. It was lovely.
Bye bye Dracula's Castle!
We drove down below and a little past the castle to get some good shots of the whole enchilada.
Then we drove three hours back to the heart of Bucharest. From vast greens and wide open spaces...
...to urban life and skyscrapers.
We had a fun adventure! Can't wait 'til the next one - a big road trip through Tuscany, Italy in May!