BRAN CASTLE

Bram Stoker’s character, Dracula, is a Transylvanian Count with a castle located high above a valley perched on a rock with a flowing river below in the Principality of Transylvania. Bran Castle was built between 1377 and 1388 atop a strategic site overlooking a heavily trafficked mountain pass between Transylvania and Wallachia, the land over which Vlad the Impaler ruled in the 15th century. Also known as Vlad III Dracula, the ruler is widely believed to be the inspiration for Count Dracula due to his historic bloodlust. He liked to torture people and would impale his enemies on the battlefield to deter his other enemies. During invasions, he was also known to use the scorched-earth policy, a military strategy that consists of destroying any possible resource that the enemy could use by poisoning water supplies and burning crops.