Vlad Tepes (Dracula) Castle, Romania

Sighisoara 8 (Photo credit: Luke Addison)

The Vlad Tepes Castle is one of the residences used by Vlad Tepes, also known as Dracula. It majestically stands in the Carpathian Mountains. This castle is full of dark mysteries of an age long past.

Sighisoara 3 (Photo credit: Luke Addison)

Prince Vlad Tepes was also known as "The Impaler." This came from his ruthless punishments of those who opposed him. He adopted a totalitarian form of government in Wallachia. In doing so he brought strength to the army, increased trade, and put forth a very strict order. He also fought many legendary battles with the Ottoman Empire.

Tower at Draculas Castle - Bran Castle Transylvania Romania (Photo credit: Scott Ellis)

The castle was built in the year 1212. It was originally used as a fortress for the Knights of the Teutonic Order. When Vlad Tepes reigned, he used it as the headquarters for the invasions into Transylvania.

From the outside the castle looks formidable. The tall towers stand majestically against the harsh landscape. Inside, the castle is ominous. The narrow passageways are constructed with thick stone, allowing little light to penetrate. One cannot help but think of the betrayal, vengeance, and blood that the castle has been witness to.

There is said to be a labyrinth hidden in the courtyard and outskirts of the castle. This would have been used as an escape tunnel should the castle have been invaded. However, the tunnels and labyrinth have been blocked off.

World War 1 cemetery in Sighisoara, Romania (Photo credit: Ray_from_LA)

Many legends about the cruelty of Vlad Tepes exist. While he was an honest ruler, he used torture and fear to keep his subordinates under his control. It is said that he would host dinner parties among the rotting and impaled corpses of those who opposed him. When one nobleman held his nose to keep out the stench, Vlad Tepes had him impaled high above the other bodies.

Dracula's backyard (Photo credit: Nicu Buculei)

Vlad Tepes Castle depicts a brutal and bloodthirsty time in human history. There are countless legends of Dracula and the suffering of his victims. This legendary castle still stands today.

Dracula's backyard (Photo credit: Nicu Buculei)

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