Bran – Accommodating Royalty

Everyone associates the Bran castle with Count Dracula though in fact it was the second summer residence of Queen Marie of Romania at the beginning of 20th century. This is enough reason for the castle to be a memorable site since the queen has left her mark all over it. As such, Bran is not only a legendary Gothic-like castle but as this article Bran – Accommodating royalty is about to show, it is a place suitable for Romania’s finest queens.

Queen Marie of Romania

For those of you for whom Queen Mary’s name does not ring any bell, maybe the fact that she was Queen Victoria’s niece will change things. She was born in Kent and her mother was the daughter of Alexander II of Russia, therefore she was the cousin of Tsar Nicholas II. These are only the most notable aspects of her family connections but her life as queen of Romania was just as memorable. She married King Ferdinand in 1892 so she reigned during World War I when her heroic and compassionate personality was truly displayed. She volunteered as a nurse and worked together with her ladies directly at the army’s hospitals; she also coordinated a charity foundation during the war.

A people’s donation

Bran Castle was donated by the people of Brasov to Queen Marie in 1920. This is why this castle still stands today because the queen had it restored completely. The works were coordinated by the same architect that erected the Peles Castle in Sinaia. Bringing to life that desolated medieval castle was a dream come true for the queen as she herself confessed later on in her diaries. The castle was modernized with current water and electricity, the nearby park was transformed according to the queen’s tastes, in short, the old feudal castle became a modern home under the guise of a cold, black fortress. More than accommodating royalty, Bran also meant an improvement of the life of all the villages surrounding it. Besides electricity (that was free for the local craftsmanship school), this royal presence also led to well paid jobs in the castle’s maintenance. Queen Mary was loved by everyone: she was beautiful, nice and kind to its ‘subjects’.

Maybe this short description will change your opinion on Bran Castle since it is not only the legacy of a dark, bloody period in Romania’s history; it is also the living memory of one of Romania’s most admirable representatives.

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