Transylvania - Dracula's Castle, Peles Palace, Rasnov, & Sighisoara, Romania

Main Square Sighisorara Romania
Main Square - Sighisorara,
Transylvania, Romania
Vlad Tepes Dracula Transylvania Romania
Vlad Tepes (Dracula)
- Transylvania, Romania
Bran Dracula's Castle Transylvania Romania Draculas
Bran (Dracula's) Castle
- Bran, Transylvania, Romania

Dracula Pat Dunlap Casa Vlad Dracula Sighisoara Romania
'Dracula' Looking at Pat at Casa Vlad Dracula
- Sighisoara, Transylvania, Romania
Farmers Going to Market Bran Romania
Farmers Going to Market
- Bran, Transylvania, Romania
Transylvania - Bran (Dracula’s) Castle, Peles Palace, Rasnov, & Sighisoara, Romania (5/17-20/2011) - We know you want to hear about Dracula’s Castle. If you want to continue to hold onto any mystical (or creepy) myths about Dracula and vampires, please do not read any further.

Here goes the truth… Vlad Tepes, the person the vampire myth of Count Dracula of Transylvania is based on, never lived at what is now named Dracula’s Castle and is it not sure he ever visited this castle. The true name of Dracula's Castle is Bran Castle and it was a defensive castle perched on a hill with whitewashed turrets. See below more about the vampire legend of Transylvania's Dracula.

Bran Castle Transylvania Romania
Bran Castle - Transylvania, Romania
Dracula's (Bran) Castle is more like a castle in a fairy tale than the spine-chilling image conjured up by its fabled reputation. See the photo to see for yourself. Inside are several well-preserved floors of small rooms connected by windy dark wooden stairways. Sorry, no vampires - more about the legend of Transylvania's Dracula later in this blog post. A little known fact is that Bran (Dracula’s) Castle is now owned by an American architect being the last descendent of the monarchy.

Peles Castle Transylvania Romania
Peles Castle - Transylvania, Romania
Much more impressive is Peles Castle, located in the neighboring town of Sinaia. Peles Castle is actually a palace and one of the most beautiful places in Romania. Built as the summer residence of Romania’s first king (Carol I) in 1883, Peles Castle is a modern neo-Renaissance palace being the first palace in Europe to have electricity, central heating, and even a central vacuum-cleaning system. The 170 rooms are decorated with over 2,000 pieces of art.
Rasnov Fortress Romania
Rasnov Fortress - Romania

We also visited the Rasnov Fortress that has huge historical significance but was not exciting to us. 

On the way to Budapest, we stopped at the small but pretty medieval fortified city of Sighişoara (see photo on top) located on the Tarnava River that has more to identify itself to Dracula because Vlad Tepes was born here. 
Gypsy Horse Cart and Village Transylvania Romania
Gypsy Horse Cart and Village 
- Transylvania, Romania

Saxons (German craftsmen and merchants) were invited to Sighişoara by the King of Hungary during the 12th century to settle and defend the frontier from Turkish invasion. Sighisoara’s landmark is the Clock Tower build in 1360 in Sighisoara Citadel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, dating back to the 12th century. We did have lunch at Casa Vlad Dracul (see photo above) where Vlad Tepes was born.

OK, here is what you were waiting for... THE VAMPIRE LEGEND OF TRANSYLVANIA'S DRACULA was started in 1897 with Bram Stoker's novel Dracula and has led to many horror films based on Count Dracula and blood-sucking vampires. Sorry, it’s all a MYTH. Vlad Tepes did have a reputation of cruelty using impalement killing hundreds of thousands of people during his reign. 

Impalement Transylvania Romania
Impalement - Transylvania, Romania
Impalement was one method that was particularly gruesome. A long pole was stuck through a victim’s body from bottom to top and they died a horrible painful death by impalement taking hours, sometimes days to die (see photo). Vlad Tepes and his father did belong to the Order of the Dragon and his father was nicknamed Dracul meaning Devil.

See our other post on Romania:

Brasov, Romania

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