The 60 m-tall Bran Castle, sometimes mistakenly called ‘Dracula’s Castle’, is spectacular and one of the country’s leading attractions. It was built by Saxons from Braşov in 1382 to defend Bran pass against the Turks. It may have housed Vlad Ţepeş (aka Dracula) for a few nights on his flight from the Turks in 1462. Castle ticket include entry to the open-air village museum, with a dozen traditional buildings at the foot of the castle.
From 1920, Queen Marie lived in the castle, and it served as a summer royal residence until the forced abdication of King Michael in 1947. It became a museum in 1957. Much of the original furniture imported from Western Europe by Queen Marie is still inside.
On the southern side of the castle wall is a small chapel built in 1940 in memory of the queen. The church is a copy of another church in the queen’s palace grounds in Balchik, Bulgaria (formerly part of Romania). A memorial tomb where the queen’s heart lies has been carved in the mountain, on the north side of the wall.