Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Romania Part 2 - Bran Castle

Welcome to part two of my series of traveling in Romania. The first entry can be found here and talks about Peles Castle.

Peles was our first stop and Bran was the second. The two buildings are a bit like night and day. While we were at Peles, we were required to stick to a guided tour and it was extra to tour anything above the first floor. At Bran, we were allowed to walk throughout the whole castle at our own leisure which I enjoyed very much. Also, there was no extra charge for photographs, so I took a ton.

Another difference between the two is that Bran feels more homey. The furniture left behind as exhibits tells a story of family life.  Smaller, cozier rooms.  Dining room tables.  Pianos.  Personal effects that make a place a home.  With Peles, it felt like the royal administrative building that it was. More removed. More stately. Now some of that may be that our tour only included the first floor which would have been where all the state business was done.  I have no idea if the other floors at Peles include rooms that would be of a more personal nature and give you a glimpse of the occupants lives while they lived there.  I definitely enjoyed Bran more. You can read more about the castle and the royal family here.

Bran is also known as Dracula's Castle, but that is not technically correct. The actual castle of Vlad the Impaler is in ruins on a hillside. We did not go see it unfortunately. We were told the reason Bran has been picked to represent Dracula or Vlad is because the castle at Bran serves a similar purpose to his castle that was burned to the ground. Bran, like Vlad's orginal castle, overlooks the valley below, giving it an excellent strategic advantage. So while, we were not able to make it to original, we were able to get a feel for what purpose that castle had served.

If you have enjoyed these posts, check out my Kickstarter project, Romania: Timeless Beauty 2015 Calendar.

Bran Castle Exterior

Bran Castle Exterior
Bran Castle - Armour Exhibit

Bran Castle - Royal Clothing Exhibit

Bran Castle - Engraving