Bran Castle, Bran, Romania
Commonly referred to as Dracula’s Castle for its striking similarity to the vampire’s castle described in Bram Stoker’s Dracula
, Bran Castle is situated in the mountains of central Romania, about three hours from Bucharest. The original structure, built in the early 13th century, was a stone fortress used to protect the southern border of Transylvania. The castle changed hands over the next four centuries, as many groups vied for control of the region; it was eventually abandoned for nearly 40 years. When Transylvania was absorbed by Romania in the early 1900s, this castle in Europe was converted into a royal residence by Queen Maria.
Photo Credit: iStock