September journaling Challenge -Hidden and 50 plus words Bran Castle in Transylvania Romania is famous for spawning the original vampire legend of Count Dracula. Bram Stoker was intrigued by the legend of Vlad the Impaler and based his novel on Vlad and his castle. Vlad the Impaler never lived there but may have been imprisoned there at one time. The castle is often called Draculas Castle by the tourist industry. The castle sits in the Carpathian Mountains about 27 km from Brasov. In 1377 King Louis I of Hungary commissioned the castle to be built on top of an old fortress. It was completed in 1388. In 1500 King Vladislav II Jagello of Hungary borrowed a large sum of money from the town of Brasov, mortgaging the castle. When the King was unable to repay his debt Bran Castle became the property of the town of Brasov who transformed it into a customhouse for merchants crossing the Bran Pass. In 1920 the city of Braov turned Bran Castle over to Queen Marie of Greater Romania, who restored the castle as a royal summer residence and lived there both before and after the death, in 1927, of her husband,King Ferdinand I. The castle is currently owned by the descendants of Queen Marie. After her death, Bran Castle was inherited by her daughter, Princess Ileana, who ran it as a hospital during World War II. In 1948 the castle was seized by the Communist regime, but was returned to Dominic von Habsburg, Princess Ileanas son, in 2006. It was opened as a museum in 1956.