Tuesday, 25 June 2013

The Bran Castle

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Bran Castle is an important national monument and landmark in Romania's tourism, both because of its beauty, landscape, and the legend of Count Dracula, whose spirit still haunts these ancient places.Bran Castle is built on a rock, in a key point from the strategic point of view. It currently hosts Bran Museum, the museum is located in four floors of the castle. The exhibited in the museum are collections of ceramics, furniture, weapons and armor, and in the castle courtyard is a small village museum with traditional houses from Rucar-Bran region. 


 The first documentary attestation of Bran Castle is the letter written in 1377 by the Hungarian Ludovic I D'Anjou, giving the inhabitants of Brasov some privileges. At the end of the 14th century, king Sigismund gave up the leadership of Bran Fortress in favor of Mircea cel Batran. The royal domain had been given to the Hungarian aristocracy, while the fortress passed under the rule of Mircea's faithful boyars. Few years later, the Hungarian king got back the fortress. 

Bran Fortress was subordinated to the authority of Szeklers Committee. The Fortress had an essential role in protecting the Hungarian king from the Ottomans and Tartars' invasion, coming from Wallachia through Rucar Pass. That's the reason why the inhabitants of Brasov built the Castle on their own work and expenses. Iancu de Hunedoara fortified Transylvania's borders and also the towers of the Bran Castle. He made sure the rights of the peasants were respected by the boyars who ruled the fortress. However, there were frequent fights between merchants and boyars. In 1498 the fortress passed under the merchant's possession and it was used mainly for treading. You should also know that it was a time when in charge of the leadership was a judge called "Judele Brasovului". Responsible for the defense of the castle was the permanent garrison: 2 guards and 10 - 20 archers and ballisters. 

The boyars. had the right to collect fees from visitors and peasants. The fortress had an extra income from: selling cheese, milk and muttons and from manufacturing wood. The peasants fought against the aristocracy for several times. In 1514 they refused to take action against Gheorghe Doja. 
 In the 18th century the fortress was the house of the Austrians frontier guards. In 1836 Bran became the official border and the defense role of the fortress was no longer a priority. In 1920, the Brasov Town council donated Bran Castle to Queen Maria of Great Romania, who lived there with the royal family till 1947. Since 1947 the Castle is opened as a museum.

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