In the Middle Ages, notoriously known for its brutal violence – Vlad managed to stand out from the rest. Yet he was praised by many for being a just ruler in Transylvania and keeping invaders at bay. An 1820 book by the British consul to Wallachia, William Wilkinson, mentioned the sadistic ruler bringing him to the attention of more modern audiences.
Bram Stoker would have been aware of this book and the tales of the bloodthirsty Vlad III – even though the Irish author never visited either Transylvania or Bran Castle when he wrote his iconic 1897 novel. The dark stories of the Carpathian Mountains, rich with European folklore and vampires were well-known around Europe then. And Bram Stoker was likely aware of the castle itself. At roughly 200 feet tall, located atop a cliff in central Romania, with secret tunnels and mysterious rooms, it was the perfect setting for Bram Stoker’s bloodthirsty villain, Dracula.
Now it’s the perfect setting for travel. Over 560,000 people visit the national monument annually and it is Romania’s most popular destination. Along with being the rumored inspiration for Dracula’s castle, the fortified castle was the residence of Kings and Queens. Art and furniture from these previous owners are on display.
Plan your journey into the Lower Danube with our Gems of Southeast Europe river cruise and uncover the legendary tales of Dracula's castle in Romania.
Our Transylvania land package is complimentary with your purchase of a 2021 or 2022 Gems of Southeast Europe river cruise by January 15, 2021.