Castle Dracula

With Harker taking a day off today to rest after arriving at his destination, I’ll write a little about the castle itself. 📚

Stoker describes it as a “vast ruined castle from whose tall black windows came no ray of light, and whose broken battlements showed a jagged line against the moonlit sky” in chapter one. In chapter three:

The castle was built on the corner of a great rock, so that on three sides it was quite impregnable, and great windows were placed here where sling, or bow, or culverin could not reach, and consequently light and comfort, impossible to a position which had to be guarded, were secured. To the west was a great valley, and then, rising far away, great jagged mountain fastnesses, rising peak on peak, the sheer rock studded with mountain ash and thorn, whose roots clung in cracks and crevices and crannies of the stone.

In A Dracula Handbook, Elizabeth Miller has a section titled, “Is there a Dracula’s Castle in Transylvania?” She writes:

In spite of Jonathan Harker’s declaration that he “was not able to light on any map or work giving the exact locality of the Castle Dracula” (1:10), many have insisted on identifying it, with unconvincing and at times ludicrous results.

Most widely accepted (and promoted) as Stoker’s model is Bran Castle, located in Southern Transylvania near the city of Brasov. […] This fourteenth-century structure certainly looks the part, for it has all of the features tourists want to see in a Gothic castle: battlements, towers, a chapel, a winding staircase and a secret underground passage. In spite of all this, Bran Castle is not Castle Dracula. There is no way it could have been Bram Stoker’s model; it is virtually impossible for him to have known anything about it.

[…]

Bram Stoker clearly locates Castle Dracula in the Borgo Pass, east of the northern Transylvanian town of Bistrita, in the Carpathian range that separates Transylvania from Moldavia. Again, Stoker never visited the region, nor would he have been familiar with any castles that may ever have been there. Stoker’s decision to place his castle here is much more the result of his having stumbled across a map which noted the Borgo Pass. […]

There is, of course, only one “real” Castle Dracula – the one in Stoker’s novel.