Situated between Bucegi and Piatra Craiului mountain areas Bran Castle was built on the top of a limestone cliff, in a perfectly strategic location.
The first document mentioning the place was a letter written in 1377 by the Hungarian king Ludovic D’Anjou, giving the inhabitants of Brasov town some privileges, including the right to built a fortress, in order to protect the southern border of Transylvania against the Ottomans and Mongols invaders and the main trade route going into Walachia.
The first enclosure was built between 1377 and 1382. During centuries the place was enlarged, new towers were added, its ownership changed from the locals to the Hungarian kings, to the Walachia ruler, and back to the Hungarian kings. In 17th century, after the Turks were defeated by the Austrians, its importance as a defending fortress decreased and it returned to the original owners, the inhabitants of Brasov.
In 1920 they donated the castle to Queen Maria of Romanian. She transformed the entire place into a cozy summer residence, having very little in common with the original fortress. The royal family owned the place until the end of WWII, when the communists nationalized it. Later, in 1948, the castle was open as a museum and now it’s still open to visitors, even after it was given back to the royal family, in the last years.