15 March 2019 | Romania
A handsome pale man with a tunic cape, living in a castle in Transylvania, thirst of blood. We all heard about this guy. Yes, it is Dracula. A famous vampire story written by Bram Stoker that lead the tourists to a charming city in Transylvania, Brasov. But this city offers so much more than the story of that blood sucking creature.
Bran Castle is a main destination that most people visited when in Brasov. Thanks to the Dracula legend. It is located between Transylvania and Wallachia, Romania. This castle is branded as Dracula's Castle for the sake of tourism. Its characteristics are almost similar to what Bram Stoker describe in his novel.
Dracula character is inspired by Vlad Tepes or Vlad III Dracula, a very mean warlord famous for impaling his enemies. Dracula is from the Romanian language “Dracul", which means “Evil". There is a rumor that he was imprisoned in this castle. But there is no evidence to this day about his relation with this castle.
The eerie yet majestic Bran Castle
The Bran Castle is easy to access. We ride a bus from the Brasov bus terminal for about fourty minutes. After getting our entrance ticket, we climb the path to the castle. It is quite slippery due to the snow. The wind is blowing strong. The line is pretty long.
In the gloomy winter mood, The Bran Castle sparks an eerie vibe. This Gothic medieval castle is bulit from 1377-1382. It serves as a fort and custom. Bran Castle materials consists of the combination of stones and woods. The stairs inside is narrow and steep. On the top floor there is an open terrace to enjoy the town view. Meanwhile on the lower level, there is an old well. Some visitors will throw coins followed by making wishes.
Now Bran Castle is a museum dedicated to Queen Mary of Romania. We can see the heritage, historical story, and the family tree of the Queen. Plus, a bunch of armors and weapons from the wars. An informative description is available for each display.
Inside the Bran Castle
A beautiful view from an open terrace in Bran Castle
I feel a strong medieval spirit when we walked at Brasov Old Town. A pastel-colored old buildings with red roofs accompany us along the way. I can't hold the urge to visit some nicely designed souvenir stores, boutiques, and cafes.
The center of Brasov Old Town is called Piata Sfatului ( Council Square ) . This place was used as an public execution place for the criminals in the past. Now, it is used for a lot of public events, like the famous annual Christmas Market from December until January.
The Christmas Market in Piata Sfatului, Brasov Old Town
A lovely sweet stand in Piata Sfatului
Cute wooden huts with Christmas decoration fill this place. It is always crowded with the visitors. They sell a lot of stuffs like souvenirs, natural products, Christmas decoration, winter accessories , sweets and cookies. For lunch, we stop to have the warm mulled wine and delicious mixed grills. We choose grilled porks and Mici, the traditional Romanian sausage. We eat in hurry because it is getting cold really fast.
There are many interesting buildings to visit around the Council Square, such as The Council House, The History Museum of Brasov, The Sfanta Ardomire Orthodox Church, and The Black Church. Stroll around and see those enchanting architectures.
A mixed grills hut in Christmas Market
The Interior of Sfanta Adormire Orthodox Church in Brasov Old Town
The Sfanta Adormire Orthodox Church seen from the Council Square
The impressive Black Church in Brasov Old Town
When we roam around the Old Town, we notice a Hollywood style sign of Brasov. It is up on the Tampa Mountain which is very close to the town. We walk to the direction of the sign. There are two ways to go up the mountain. You can hike following the signs. This will be great for summer. The other option is using a cable car.
From the cable car station, we do a short trekking to the viewpoint beside the Brasov sign. The blanket of snow covering the trees and the path. It is my first time to walk inside the forest during winter, and it feels so magical! When we arrive at the viewpoint, we are fascinated by the amazing view of Brasov. It is like how a town described in a fairy tale. The wind blow strongly, so we can't stay for too long. Nevertheless, it is such a wonderful experience for us!
The Brasov sign on the Tampa Mountain
The Amazing View of Brasov Old Town from Tampa Mountain
In the middle of short trekking to Brasov view point on Tampa Mountain
Our sweet memory in the Tampa Mountain
A selfie in the winter wonderland