Iconic Photos Of Bran Castle That Even Dracula Would Appreciate
Bran Castle, pictured here in this colorized picture from the early 1900s, has a long history that really begins prior to the construction of the castle when the German crusaders formed a religious order in Palestine, the Teutonic Knights. They were given Terra Borza to defend the Southeastern border of Transylvania from the Cumans and the Pechenegs, who were Turkish nomadic peoples. In 1211 the Teutons built a fortress in Bran, which is a Slavic name, meaning “gate,” and it is also the name of the gorge. The Teutons didn’t remain there long as they were driven from the area in 1226.
The construction of the castle began after the Hungarian king Louis the Great (Louis I of Anjou) granted the people of Brasov permission to build a castle in 1377, and the Saxons of Transylvania were encouraged to participate in the process. They chose a site on a steep cliff between Măgura and Dealul Cetăţii (“fortified town’s hill”) as it provided a phenomenal view of the nearby hills, Moeciu Valley and Valea Bârsei. It took 11 years to build, and once it was complete, the castle had two functions: as a fortress, and as a customs agency. Soldiers and mercenaries occupied it, as they worked to stop the expansion of the Ottoman Empire.