With all the speculation around whether the stories are true or not, researches made and arguments brought in favor of both sides, nowadays the question still remains unanswered.
An old Romanian legend says that back in the 13th Century, Vlad Tepes was an emperor so despotic and with such a thirst for blood that locals believed him to be a vampire, and called him Dracula.
The coincidence is that in 1898, Bram Stoker (who had never visited Romania) published a novel by the name of Dracula, which describes a vampire living in a castle very similar to the old tale circulated around by the natives. The novel later became a movie.
According to the book, Count Dracula lived in a castle in the mountains that was on the edge of a cliff, with very dark rooms and open spaces. And there is a place that perfectly matches the description of the book - The Bran Castle, located 30 km from the city of Brasov, Romania, and it was the residence of the same Vlad Tepes.
The Bran Castle is a beautiful 12th century edifice that gives you thrills from the moment you enter it. Packed with history, even the smell transports you into a different dimension. It contains a room dedicated to Bram Stoker, and lots of antique documents and objects that describe a very important historical time. But what attracts tourists the most is the alleged “grave” of Dracula, which has been stabbed with 7 knives. According to the legend, if someone touches or removes one of those knives, he will come back to life with an even bigger thirst for blood.
While all of this sounds like a story for children, if you happen to be in the area it is a must-visit destination. It is impressive (not only for the vampire lovers) from the minute you enter the gates, to the moment you climb to the top floor to see the beautiful view of forests and mountains, in all their natural glory.