Dracula’s Castle History


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Dracula’s Castle History

  1. 1. Bran’s Castle History of Romania Music : Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  2. 3. Bran is a town nestled in a mountain pass between the Bucegi and Piatra Craiului ranges and during the 15th and 16th centuries was an important frontier town on the main road leading from Transylvania into Wallachia. Today Bran with its luxury villas and private cottages, surrounded by wooded hills, open pastures, rivers, and high mountains,  would live up to anyone's expectation. _______________________________________________________
  3. 4. Situated only 28km southwest of Brasov, the Bran Castle is one of the most popular tourist site in Romania. The castle is perched atop a 60m peak in the centre of Bran village. The Bran mountain pass was the main route into Wallachia from Transylvania. ____________________________________________________
  4. 5. Commonly known as Dracula's Castle, the Bran Castle was originally a stronghold built by the Knights of Teutonic Order in 1212. The first documentary attestation of the Bran Castle is the act issued on November 19, 1377, giving the Saxons of Kronstadt (Brasov) the privilage to build the Citadel. The building started in 1378 as a defense against Turks and later became a customs post on the pass between Transylvania and Wallachia. *********************************** _____________________________
  5. 6. Fifteenth century Wallachian prince Vlad Tepes is credited with being Dracula, the vampire-count featured in the classic horror story Dracula (1897) written by novelist Bram Stroker. Romanians make no association between the vampire and the historical figure of prince Vlad III, known in his homeland as Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler), prince of Wallachia three times, in 1448, 1456-1462 and 1475. ***************************** _________________________
  6. 7. Vlad achieved renown beyond Wallachia's borders as a successful fighter against the Turks and a ruthless ruler. Notorious for his brutal punishment methods, he gained the name Tepes (impaler) after his favourite form of punishing his enemies - impaling on a wooden stake. His method of law enforcement was simple: all crimes and individuals offending him were punished by death.The offenders would have to die in agony. Impaling was not unique in Europe. Tepes first cousin, Stephen the Great, is said to have impaled over 2300 Turkish prisoners in 1473. *******************************__________________________ 
  7. 8. Vlad Tepes was born in this three-storey house at Piata Muzeului 6, in the city of Sighisoara (Schassburg) in 1431. Abroad, he's better known as Dracula, which can be translated as "Son of the Devil", or more accurately as "Son of the Dragon" - referring to his father Vlad Dracul, whom the Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund of Hungary made a knight of the Order of the Dragon in 1431 for his support in the struggle against Turks. Nowadays, Vlad's birthplace, complete with its original river stone floor, contains a beer bar and restaurant. *****************************_________________________
  8. 9. Bran Castle is famous for its association with the Dracula legend. The 15th century Wallachian prince upon whom the novelist Bram Stroker is (incorrectly) supposed to have his bloodthirsty vampire connected to the Bran Castle. In truth, Dracula may have attacked and briefly captured the castle in 1460, during one of his raids on Burzen Land. ************************ _____________________
  9. 10. Is also believed that Vlad Tepes sought refuge for a few days in Bran on his “flight” from the Turks in 1462 following their attack on the Poienari fortress in Arges Valley. Legend has it that his wife flung herself out of the window of the Poenari castle to avoid being cuptured by the Turks and Vlad himself escaped over the mountains on horseback, fooling his pursuers by affixing horseshoes that left the impression of cow prints. ************************ ____________________
  10. 11. His first major act of revenge was aimed at the boyars of Targoviste for the killings of his father and brother Mircea, and for their disloyalty to the Wallachian throne. On Easter Day in 1459, Dracula invited the boyars and their families to dine at his palace; guards then entered and seized them, impaling many forthwith while the remainder were marched off to work on his castle at Poeinari. This is the real Dracula castle. Situated on an abruptly rising rock north of the village, Poienari can be reached by climbing 1400 steps from the hydroelectric power station  4km north on the road from the village Arefu. The castle is small, one third having collapsed down the montainside in 1888. The prism shaped tower remains was Dracula's residencial quarters. ______________________________________________________________
  11. 12. Bran Castle's inneryard
  12. 14. The Entrance to Bran Castle The original gate tower was round. In 1625 the gate tower was rebuild in the rectangular form. The ancient gate was blocked with beams. The only way of reaching the entrance was by climbing up a ladder. ________________________________
  13. 15. From 1920 the castle became a royal residence until the expulsion of the royal family in 1948. ____________________________________________________
  14. 16. On December 1st, 1920, the Brasov Town Council donated the Bran Castle to Queen Marie of Romania. Being restored  according to the plans of the Royal Court's architect, Carel Liman, the castle lost the appearance of stronghold, being turned into a beautiful royal summer residence. _______________________________________________________________
  15. 17. Queen Marie held the castle as her second favourite residence after the one in Balcic. Stella Maris Chapel in Bran is a replica of the royal chapel in Balcic. The chapel was painted in 1927 by Arthur Verona. As requested in Queen Marie's will, after her death, her heart was placed in a gold casket and buried in Balcic, later moved to a grotto by the Bran castle; is now safeguarded in Bucharest's National History Museum. Queen Marie is buried in Curtea de Arges. **************************** ________________________
  16. 19. The fountain in the inneryard conceals a labyrinth of secret underground passages. The tunnel opened onto the park grounds where the famous gardner Patula planted bushes brought from Balcic, dahlias and roses being the Queen Marie's favorites flowers ____________________________________________________
  17. 20. Queen Marie's bedroom
  18. 21. Queen Marie's bedroom
  19. 22. The Council Hall Queen Marie (1875-1938) had a tremendous influence on the development of Romanian art in the 45 years she spent in the country. She was the biggest patron of Art Nouveau in Romania and encouraged national art movements and peasant crafts. Her writing, include novels and collections of fairy tales, as well a her autobiographies (1934 and 1935). ____________________________________________________
  20. 23. The Dining Room Queen Marie was born on October 29, 1875 in Kent, England. Her mother, Grand Duchess Marie Alexandrovna of Russia, was the only surviving daughter of Czar Alexander II of Russia, and her father, Alfred, Duke of Edingburg, was the second son of Queen Victoria. ____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________
  21. 24. Queen Marie's Library In 1893, Marie married the heir to the Romanian throne Ferdinand. In 1914, Marie became Queen of the Romanians. She and Ferdinand had 6 children, 3 boys and 3 girls (Carol, Elisabeth, Marie, Nicolas, Ileana and Mircea). The youngest one, Mircea would die at age 4, but the rest of her children did live on. _____________________________________________________
  22. 25. Queen Marie's Music Room
  23. 26. Queen Marie's Music Room
  24. 27. The Hunting Trophies Hall
  25. 28. Biedermeir living room (19th century)
  26. 29. Passage at the first floor From the Bran Castle, walk south along Str. Principala past the center of the village to the Ancient Customs House Museum, the former vama, displays archaeological treasures as well as many photographs of the castle. Across from the Customs House are the remains of the old defensive wall which devided Transylvania from Wallachia. *************************************************************
  27. 30. Bran Castle's courtyard
  28. 31. Bran Castle's courtyard
  29. 32. On 1st October 1950, the Bran Castle was declared a historical monument. Today it functions as a very attractive museum of medieval arts. *****************************************************************
  30. 33. Arrangement by: Ileana Godeanu