This is not an official Lego site.
know, I know...the name of the castle drenched in
dripping blood is way too melodramatic, particularly
since this is not really Count Dracula's main castle in
Romania...but I just couldn't resist! The nonagenerian
owner of Auchans Castle [which see in Scotland] is
reputed to have trained rats to dine with her in her
senescent state - and Martin Coventry in the 3rd Edition
of "The Castles of Scotland"
identifes fully 222 of more than 2,700 castles as
having ghosts or bogles - and there were certainly a few
famous beheadings in the Tower of London [which see in
England], but occupancy by the
villainous Vlad the Impaler is very difficult to ignore!
Bran Castle is built into and atop a huge 200 foot rocky
crag at the narrowest spot in the Turcu River valley to
guard Bran Pass from Transylvania into Wallachia. The
first known castle on the site was a wooden structure
built by the Teutonic knights about 1212. It became the
property of the Saxons later in the century, as part of
the protection for the nearby city of Brasov. It was
destroyed during a Turkish invasion of 1370.
I d'Anjou, King of Hungary, soon gave the citizens of
Brasov permission to rebuild the castle (at their own
expense, of course) and in 1377 construction began on the
stone castle. Bran became the possession of Prince Mircea
cel Batran, King of Wallachia, in 1395. The castle passed
back to the King of Hungary, JŠnos Hunyadi [Iancu de
Hunedoara], early in the 15th century, but he was the
patron and benefactor of Prince Mircea's son, Vlad Dracul,
Knight of the Order of the Dragon, and his grandson, also
named Vlad, born in 1431. Young Vlad Dracul is presumed
to have spent time at Bran off and on during his life.
Vlad was commissioned to control the local Saxon peoples
and later to be an enthusiastic protector against further
Ottoman Turkish invasions. His vigor against the Turks is
remembered fondly, but his viciousness towards his foes
earned him the name Vlad Tepes [Vlad the Impaler]. His
notoriety was such that he became the main character in
Irish author Bram Stoker's "Dracula" in 1897.
Dracula's vigorous rebuffs of the Turks, in his role as
Prince of Wallachia, proved to be for naught. From the
mid-sixteenth century until early in the nineteenth the
Ottoman Empire ruled much of southeastern Europe,
including Transylvania and Wallachia in Romania. While I
can find nothing about the castle during that 250 plus
years, the castle was in good enough shape when
recaptured by the Austro-Hungarian Empire with the fall
of the Ottoman Turks that it is listed as an important
Austrian border castle in 1836! In 1920 the Brasov Town
Council donated Bran Castle to Queen Maria of Romania,
grand-daughter of Queen Victoria. Sadly she despised her
husband by state-arranged marriage, King Ferdinand, but
loved Bran's beauty...and isolation. Maria and her court
architect Carl Liman made many of the subtle Italian and
German Baroque changes to the castle that are so
impressive today. The castle has been a very popular
museum and monument since 1947.
south toward the
courtyard looking north
with the well.
Tepes may have been
Dracul himself [AKA
of the Lego Model
Begun July 11, 2005
from the southeast
on July 14 features the path
leading to the entrance steps.
northeast view shows the base of
the massive rock into which Bran was
built more than 625 years ago.
staircase to the
entrance is now complete
on July 20...
|And the "rock" begins to take shape.|
|By July 29
the entrance stair
looks all the more forbidding.
mountainous rock continues to
rise higher and higher...
can begin to recognize
the massive western tower.
courtyard of the castle is
also beginning to take shape.
of the Lego Model
Built July-August, 2005
the entrance to the
elevation should take your
breath away. What an
northwest view of the
model accentuates the large
oval tower and the huge rock
upon which the castle rests.
displays the rock to its
fullest. plus the unique
keep & residential range.
southeast view of
the castle highlights
the unusual stait tower
as well as the entrance.
viewed from the north
highlights the security of
this unique castle.
southwest courtyard view
continues the line of the
circumferencal walkway around
view just to emphasize
the wonderful chimneys
that enhance this castle.
Board of Directors of the Millikin-Decatur Symphony
Orchestra Guild was kind enough to ask
me to show a castle at the "Symphony of Trees" fundraiser. Bran Castle was carefully driven
to the Decatur Civic Center for the event. Here is the newspaper coverage:
Other Bran Castle pages:
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Page designed & maintained by Robert Carney