Lifestyle, Parenting

Bran + Bran Castle + Vlad The Impaler + Dracula legend + Transylvania


Years ago, it was only a story I kept requesting from my dad. Then, all those Dracula books. And of course, those days we were watching horrors. My brother and I were the one choosing what to watch next. This was the procedure: dad had to hide paper in one of his hands, and the one that choose the right hand wins. My brother was always for war movies, and I was for horrors. I guess that’s the reason mom never watched movies with us. I think she is much more into romance and comedy, and a little bit in thriller. She could watch war movies, but horrors she despite! So that was the tradition for the three of us.


I have this thing for horrors even now. Although in childhood I had my moments of scary nights, I couldn’t help it because I fell in love with the fear that young. I think this is really bad, children shouldn’t watch horrors. But I guess those were years of horror expansion, and it made a lot of influence on people. My favorite horror movie ever was Vampires: Los Muertos from 2002.


The land beyond the forest

Since I explained all the cool things about Romania in my last post (here’s the link), I will now focus only about that popular and mystic land – Transylvania.

Transylvania is a word taken from Latin, and it means “the land beyond the forest”. But that is so true! All those trees and landscapes we passed by were really alive, even though they were covered in snow at that time. There is barely something other than nature on those roads beside Carpathian Mountains. It looks like the nature has its own story to tell.


Also, we captured some very strange scenes. An old lady selling water in some very old Pepsi bottles, and a man sitting beside dead animal (a pig probably). And I also think he was trying to sell it. There was blood too.

One part of the road is all about bends. That is the part of the road that is very high and it feels scary. After that, there is a village whit lots of houses that aren’t connected to the road. How do they ever get to the city?!

At one moment, my husband mentioned how they didn’t put anything about Dracula there. We think it would be nice to have some introduction to the story while still traveling. It could make the butterflies work!

Bran, Transylvania


Bran, Transylvania

As we were getting closer to Bran, we were really traveling downhill. The first moment of us stepping into that particularly sweet and dark town was astonishing. Those small streets, small buildings, dark and gentle colors at the same time… Everything nicely gathered up, and only one thing high on the hill: THE DRACULA’S CASTLE. The building we fell in love with. And the only one we could dig into more (we were traveling with a toddler).

Bran Castle – history

Bran castle was built in 14th century. The place that is called Bran now didn’t exist before that castle was built by the people of Brasov. In 15th century it belonged to Mircea the Elder (grandfather of Vlad Tepes), and from the second part of the 15th century it was Hungarian property. The last owner was king Vladislav II, who couldn’t repay loans (and the city of Brasov regained possession of the fortress). In 1920, it became residence of Romanian royal family. Queen Marie loved spending time in there, and her daughter (Princess Ileana) was using it as a hospital during World War II. After war, it belonged to communists.

Queen Marie dress

Finally, from 2005, it is a property of American Dominic von Habsburg (son of Princess Ileana). He and his sisters opened the castle for tourists.

Dominic von Habsburg

Bran Castle through our eyes

Even though we knew it had nothing to do with the legendary Dracula, Bran castle and it’s backyard are an awesome place to visit. When we got into the castle’s backyard, we were amazed by the frozen water and a beautiful dark cafe.

Frozen water

Also, the road that leads to the entrance is very inspiring (but very long as well). I am so lucky my little one managed to walk by himself all the way to the castle!

The road

The wall begins with rocks. How awesome is that?! It really leaves you thinking about that huge thing built in 14th century! And it is more artistic and easy on the eye than any modern building I have seen so far! Look at that breathe-taking architecture!

Bran Castle architecture

The stairs in front are so big. I bet that if people kept on building those kinds of stairs – every person alive would be handsome! I had to carry the little one, but I felt amazing because I was doing my daily exercise. There are secret stairs too. It’s so dark where they are, and it gets narrowly while getting closer to the top. Here is the only picture I get to took of my guys going upstairs!

Secret stairs

There are so many terraces with beautiful views. We stopped by every single terrace!

Terrace 1

We were amazed mostly because of this particular picture: on one side modern road, and on the other side only a forest. Transylvania really is a land beyond the forest. And it is settled in a beautiful small hole made by human hands.

Forest and the road

I bet their days were very good. That strange architecture. Fireplaces beside beds, desks besides windows… Very complex furniture. It all looks very cozy and I must say again – very inspiring.

My son thought that pendulum on that antique clock was yoyo, and while we were watching weapons he ran away. We found him in that “yoyo” room acting amazed and playing with it his favorite game. “Yoyo” was chasing him!


Vlad The Impaler and the vampire story


Vlad III was Prince of Wallachia. He was the second son of Vlad Dracul (who got Dracul name from the Crusader Order of The Dragon and then passed it onto his son), ruler of Wallachia. But as “(dragon) dracul” is “devil” in Romanian language, later Vlad was consider devil.

But did you know that Vlad Tepes never was inside that castle?!

Room inside castle

Dracula is only a fictional character created by Irish writer, Abraham Bram Stoker, in his Gothic novel – Dracula. The writer never wanted the real Bran castle to be Vlad’s home. In fact, he never visited Romania and didn’t know about that castle.


Real castle of Vlad The Impaler was in ruins, so Stoker had to create his own vision of it. And people of Romania saw it like a great opportunity for tourism (because the castle in book was described exactly like Bran castle looks like).

The only truth about everything is that Abraham used real historic person, Vlad The Impaler, because some people named him “blood-thirsty”.

The impression after this castle was all about the architecture and how things built before are very complex. Not simple, but not complicated as well. We were tired and we were cold, but we wanted some more time inside. I think we didn’t even visited every room. Anyway, we had some quality family time in that old historic place.

The road

I fully encourage everyone with kids to visit it! Transylvania has fresh air. And the castle is very interesting for children. So many different things for them to see! Both inside and outside. If you decide to visit it with young children, you will have to be very careful and you will have to say a lot of nos. My kid didn’t get “no” very hard, because he always had something new to see.

Don’t be discouraged because Vlad Tepes isn’t a vampire. This is a must-see! I mean, is there such thing as vampires?!


  1. Amber Myers - February 9, 2018

    This would be such a neat castle to explore. I just love all your photos! I hope to go here one day. I’ve always been fascinated with castles.

  2. Amy-Lynn Vautour - February 9, 2018

    Crazy! What a place to go see. But my gosh the architecture!!! Looks like you had a fun and spooky time with some education thrown in.

  3. Emily Fata, - February 10, 2018

    Everything about the history of Vlad the Impaler has fascinated (and terrified!) me since I was a kid, and Bram Stoker’s Dracula only served to further this when I finally got around to reading it years ago in high school. Seeing your photos and reading about your time here has made me want to finally go and visit this spot.

  4. Rica Eslais - February 10, 2018

    This seems to be a go-to place to anyone who loves castle. Your pictures are really beautiful.

  5. Brittany - February 10, 2018

    Wow! Your pictures are breathtaking! I would love to visit this area of the world!

  6. emmanuel damian - February 10, 2018

    I want to discover the Bran castle. It seems like a nice place to visit.

  7. Czjai Reyes-Ocampo - February 10, 2018

    Wow! What a surreal experience! Love the photos of the place!

  8. Elizabeth O - February 10, 2018

    Wow this looks like such the adventure, I would really love to visit and see all the history of Bran Castle. It looks like you all had lots of fun, the pictures are gorgeous!

  9. Ann F. Snook-Moreau - February 10, 2018

    This looks like such an interesting place to visit! The architecture, the gorgeous natural landscape, the cute little village . . . I need to put Transylvania on my bucket list!

  10. Luci - February 10, 2018

    I didn’t know you can actually visit Dracula’s castle. Very beautiful photography.

  11. Jordan - February 11, 2018

    This was super fascinating. I had no idea that transylvania was somewhere to visit!

  12. Rachel - February 11, 2018

    This trip looks amazing. I love going to places that I can match up with things I’ve read about in books.

  13. rheese - February 11, 2018

    trips looks awesome and those pics so love it .

  14. Ashutosh Singh - February 12, 2018

    Wow! It seems so great, it can be a nice place to visit. All photos are very nice.

  15. - February 12, 2018

    Really very Nice and Wonderful love useful Blog Post. Thanks for sharing this interesting post about packers and moversOnline Electronics Shopping Store


  16. Cia Black - February 12, 2018

    Looks like such an amazing trip to be able to talk with all that history. Always amazes me, and lucky you looks like you had the place to yourself (well you and your little family).

  17. Holly Lasha - February 12, 2018

    Awesome pictures. This looks like a wonderful place to visit.

  18. Nicole Shillings - February 12, 2018

    Wow! This looks like sooooo much fun! I just love medieval places like that – and the history is just amazing!!!

  19. Wendie - February 12, 2018

    Wow this looks amazing, scary too! Great shots of the castle.

  20. Jen ~ The Tipsy Mama - February 12, 2018

    Wow! This looks like an amazing trip and your pictures are just awesome! I have traveling anywhere I want, when I want on my vision board. When I get to that point I am definitely going to have to check this place out!

  21. Kelly Edgar - February 13, 2018

    This is amazing! I have always wanted to visited Transylvania. I loved reading about your experience and your photos are beautiful.

  22. LavandaMichelle - February 13, 2018

    What an exciting adventure you enjoyed. I would love to visit because I like places like that. I love you pictures and you story telling ability.

  23. Jamie Koenig - February 13, 2018

    I love all your pictures. Breathtaking! I also enjoyed the history lesson on the castle and Dracula.

  24. Sarah - February 14, 2018

    What an awesome castle! I love these kinds of buildings. Great history lesson on Dracula, I did not know the story was written by an Irishman.

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *