Bran Castle (German: Törzburg; Hungarian: Törcsvár), situated near Bran and in the immediate vicinity of Braşov, is a national monument and landmark in Romania. The fortress is situated on the border between Transylvania and Wallachia, on DN73. Commonly known as "Dracula's Castle" (although it is one among several locations linked to the Dracula legend, including Poenari Castle and Hunyad Castle), it is marketed as the home of the titular character in Bram Stoker's Dracula. There is, however, no evidence that Stoker knew anything about this castle, which has only tangential associations with Vlad III, voivode of Wallachia, the putative inspiration for Dracula.
The castle is now a museum open to tourists, displaying art and furniture collected by Queen Marie. Tourists can see the interior individually or by a guided tour. At the bottom of the hill is a small open air museum park exhibiting traditional Romanian peasant structures (cottages, barns, etc.) from across the country.
The Teutonic Order began construction of a wooden fort known as Dietrichstein in the early 13th century. After the fort's destruction in 1242 by Mongols, King Sigismund of Hungary ordered the construction of a stone castle in 1377, while the settlement of Bran began to develop nearby. Positioned high atop a steep cliff, the castle guarded a strategic trade route between Transylvania and Wallachia. In 1498, Bran fell under the jurisdiction of Braşov.
After the Kingdom of Hungary was defeated by the Ottoman Empire, Bran became part of the Principality of Transylvania during the 16th century, and eventually passed to the Habsburg Monarchy of Austria. The commune became part of the Austrian Empire in 1804 and the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1866. It was added to the Kingdom of Romania following World War I.
Bran Castle is one of Romania's most popular visitor sites, made famous in modern times when Queen Marie restored it after receiving it from the residents of Braşov County in the 1920s. The castle is open to tourists, who can view the inside alone or as part of a guided tour. Outside the castle are examples of traditional Romanian farm houses and peasant homes.