The Bran Castle

The legend says that old man Bran, having many sons, gave each of them one of the today's 14th villages and hamlets: Simon, Poarta, Sohodol, Predelut, Moieciu de Jos, Cheia, Moieciu de Sus, Zbarcioara, Pestera, Magura, Drumul Craiului, Sirnea, Fundata and Fundatica.
Later, on 19th of November 1377, Ludovic I de Anjou ordered the inhabitants to build a new stone fortress at Bran "with their own efforts and expenses". This seems to be the first historic documentation of Bran. But the history of the village goes together with the castle's.

The fortress had military and jurisdictional tasks. It was defended by a permanent garrison that was composed of English and Brigands, under the leadership of an castle keeper.
If in 1406 the fortress was owned by Mircea the Old, at the end of the XV-Th century the fortress is subordinated by the authorities of the szekler Committee, that was responsible with the defense of the southeast of Transilvania. In the time of Iancu of Hunedoara, the fortress is under the leadership of Transilvania's principality.
Through the history, a lot of great people passed through Bran: in April 1460 Vlad Tepes goes to Tara Barsei through Bran, "attacking villages, fortresses and towns", where he set the grains on fire and as about the princes he impaled them. Near the St. Jacob Chapel in Brasov. In 1476, he traversed Bran again in his way to Tara Romaneasca, where he occupied the throne for the third time.
On the 7th of July 1600, the Lady of Mihai the Great called a halt in Bran from her journey to Transilvania. Here, the inhabitants gave her trouts from the castle's reservoir.
Pierre Lescalopir, a student of Padova University visited the Bran Castle in his way to Alba Iulia.

The King of Sweden also called a halt in Bran on the 8th of November 1714. Then, he made for his country, after he had been defeated in Poltava by the Turks.
On 1st of December 1920, The Town Council of Brasov donates the castle to Queen Mary as gratitude for her help to the Great Union.
Between 11920-1927, The Bran Castle had been restored under leadership of the Royal Court's architect, Carol Liman. He turns the castle into a beautiful summer residence, surrounded by a wonderful park, with alleys, fountains, terraces and a teahouse.

After 1948, the Romanian State took it and transformed it into museum in 1956.

Bran's elder inhabitants

Open gate between Transilvania and Tara Romaneasca, meeting place for people all over Romania, Bran always had a privileged situation.
The inhabitants of this zone were always occupied with shepherding. The Bran's people grew large flocks that they were crossing over in winter the Carpathians in Muntenia, in Ialomita and Braila Pools. In the summer, they climbed their sheeps up in the Bucegi Mountains. This occupation influenced the folk port: sheep wool and hide were used to make clothes.
The precursors of the today's inhabitants lived in wooden houses with two or three rooms. These houses can still be seen in the valleys. The most usual house type was "the house with closed yard". A special king of houses were the "hodai", that even today can be seen sheltering the animals.
All the buildings had a stone foundation and were made of firtree wood.
The interiors of these houses used to be adorned with texture, pieces of folk port and icons painted on glass.
The Bran's folk port, related to the one from Muscel and Dambovita, has some special features generated by the inhabitants' occupation.

Page from Simon's history

Ioan Bartolomeu was the son off schoolmaster Nicolae from Simon village. Then he became schoolteacher in the village, setting up the first Romanian school from Bran's villages. He also painted the walls of the Simon Church. For his activity during the 1848 Revolution, he had been chased by the officials, and he had run in The Romanian County.

Bran's outlaws

Bran had always been traversed by outlaws. They plundered the wares conveys, or they were smuggling in these boundary regions.
The old men remember Bucur Campaign, the man who made the oppressed peasants attack the Ban Castle in 1703-1709. They also remember Fulga and Budac, the last outlaws in the region. They had been killed at the end of the IXI-Th century because they didn't want to surrender.

Thee are a lot of legends that tell the story of these great men.

Above all, the legend of Dracula is the most interesting. His mysteries had never been solved.

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Cazare Bran
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Cazare Bran