This morning was very chilly with only 9 degrees.
Conveniently, the campground where we had spent the night was in distance walking distance to Bran Castle. Not so ideal was that the narrow side walk went right along a busy road. But our trolley taxi loaded with three girls arrived safely at the gate.
In Bran, more buildings than the castle looked like a vampire‘s home:
For breakfast, we had super special bread that we had gotten at a bakery in Brasov yesterday: hand-made pretzel with sesame, poppy, or sunflower seeds; a ring with melted cheese, one filled with raisins, sticks filled with green olives (Alan‘s favourite), one with ham and garlic yoghurt *delicious*
We were half an hour early before today’s opening, but not the first people waiting. Behind us the waiting line quickly grew longer. Good that we had gotten online tickets.
Bran Castle was built between 1377 and 1382. After 1918, Transylvania became part of Greater Romania. In 1920, the city council of Brasov offered Bran castle to Queen Marie, the influential wife of King Ferdinand.
From 1920 to 1937 the castle was renovated and extended under the same Czech architect who renovated Peles Castle in Siraia, Karel Liman. A telephone and an elevator (to facilitate access from the royal park to the castle) were installed.
To illuminate the castle, Queen Marie ordered the construction of an electric turbine that provided free electricity to the surrounding villages.
Queen Marie left Bran Castle to her favourite out of six children, her daughter Ileana. The princess and her family lived in the castle from 1944 to 1948.
In 1897, the Irish writer Bram Stoker based his story of the Transylvanian Count Dracula, the vampire, on the image of the 15th century Wallachian prince Vlad Tepes.
Tepes had some “bloody” reputation because of his severe punishment of law breakers. He believed in supernatural things and died under mysterious circumstances.
Back on the campground: