Bran Castle is situated near Bran and in the immediate vicinity of Brașov, is a national monument and landmark in Romania. The fortress is situated on the Transylvanian side of the historical border with Wallachia, on DN73.
Commonly known outside Romania as Dracula's Castleit is referred to as the home of the title character in Bram Stoker's Dracula. There is no evidence that Stoker knew anything about this castle, which has only tangential associations with Vlad the Impaler, voivode of Wallachia.
The castle is now a museum dedicated to displaying art and furniture collected by Queen Marie. Tourists can see the interior on their own or by a guided tour. At the bottom of the hill is a small open-air museum exhibiting traditional Romanian peasant structures (cottages, barns, water-driven machinery, etc.) from the Bran region.
Although Vlad III may not have ever been to Castle Bran, there is still today a strong connection between the castle and the novel Dracula, by Bram Stoker. During Stoker's research on the region of Transylvania, he came across the brutal accounts of the atrocities committed by Vlad III. It is said he directly used the name Dracula after reading on the subject, but that his inspiration for Dracula was not solely based upon the historical figure. It is said instead that it was largely due to American cinema that Vlad III is considered the primary source of inspiration for the character Count Dracula. Despite there being a connection between Stoker and Vlad III, there is still no known direct connection between Stoker's fictional castle and Bran Castle. The description of the castle in the novel Dracula does not directly match the description of Bran Castle. It is now known that the reason there is such a widely known and believed connection between Castle Bran and the Dracula legend (in both the sense of Vlad III Dracula and Bram Stoker's novel) is tourism.
In the 1970s, the Communist Party of Romania began developing a closer relationship to the West. It was through their relationship with the western world that Romania decided to put a wider focus on marketing for tourism to their country. Because of the location of Bran Castle, its dramatic architecture, and its connection to Vlad III Dracula and his connection to Bram Stoker's Dracula, the Romanian government decided to market the castle as the "real Dracula Castle". As such, it would serve to draw in tourists and increase Romania's economy, while giving exposure to the country to make it a more well known name. The castle, now a museum, has been widely visited and respected both for aiding the economy of Romania and bringing more light to the legend of Vlad III Dracula..