The Valley with the ostriches is located in the Rucar-Bran passage, on the side of the Sirnea village, the Fundata commune, to 40 km of Brasov and 12 km of the Bran Castle. There is indeed small a élèvage ostriches at this place, as well as a hotel complex with a restaurant proposing with the menu (inter alia products) specialities based on eggs or of the meat of ostriches. But the interest of this valley consists especially of its splendid landscapes, of a still authentic nature, not damaged by "civilization".
You can visit: Cetatea Râsnov, Bran Castle, Peles Castle.
Bran Castle - "Dracula's Castle"
Dracula was the Wallachia (Medieval Romania) king. His hystorical name was Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler). Vlad was born in Sighisoara, Transylvania province. He was very cruel, especially with thiefs and country enemies (at that time the Turks). The only radical low applied was dead trough splinter. The condamned was introduced in the tip of a tall sliver (3 meters), vertically fixed on the ground. The death was produced by the loose of the blood.
Son of Vlad Dracul (Knight of the Order of the Dragon in 1431) and Grandson of Mircea the Great, King of Wallachia (1386-1418)
Vlad Tepes introduced a very strict order in Wallachia, strengthened the army, helped the trade with the neighboring countries and was merciless towards those who went against him. He adopted a totalitarian leadership and fought against The Ottoman Empire scoring many victories.
Dracula Vampire Legend is very controversial these days. Numerous historical facts prove Dracula was the first well-known vampire in Transylvania.
The first documentary attestation of Bran Castle is the letter written in 1377 by the Hungarian Ludovic I D'Anjou, giving the inhabitants of Brasov some privileges.
At the end of the 14th century, king Sigismund gave up the leadership of Bran Fortress in favor of Mircea cel Batran. The royal domain had been given to the Hungarian aristocracy, while the Fortress passed under the rule of Mircea's faithful boyards. Few years later, the Hungarian king got back the Fortress. Bran Fortress was subordinated to the authority of Szeklers Committee.
The Fortress had an essential part in protecting the Hungarian king from the Ottomans and Tartars' invasion, coming from Tara Romaneasca through Rucar Pass. That's the reason why the inhabitants of Brasov built the Castle on their own work and expenses.
Iancu de Hunedoara fortified Transylvania's borders and also the towers of the Bran Castle. He made sure the rights of the paysans were respected by the boyards who ruled the Fortress. However, there were frequent fights between merchants and boyards.
In 1498 the Fortress passed under the merchant's possession and it was used mainly for treading. You should also know that it was a time when in charge of the leadership was a judge called "Judele Brasovului". Responsible for the defense of the Castle was the permanent garrison: 2 guards and 10 - 20 archers and ballisters.
The boyards had the right to collect fees from visitors and paysans. The Fortress had an extra income from: selling cheese, milk and muttons and manufacturing wood. The paysans fought against the aristocracy for several times. In 1514 they refused to take action against Gheorghe Doja.
Bran Castle is now the property of the Romanian State and belongs to Brasov. Hungary does no longer rule Transylvania. The history changed, but we should remember that in the 18th century the Fortress was the house of the Austrians frontier guards. In 1836 Bran became the official border and the defense role of the fortress was no longer a priority. In 1920, the Brasov Town council donated Bran Castle to Queen Maria of Great Romania, who lived there with the royal family till 1947. Since 1947 the Castle is opened as museum.
In 1897 Bram Stoker wrote a terrifying story about Count Dracula. A century after, there are still people who believe in it. Even researchers are trying to find out the truth about Dracula. All are trying to clear the mystery: was there or wasn't there a vampire in Transylvania?
How many of these fabulous stories are legends and how many say the truth?
Here is the legend about Dracula.
Stoker's story is based on the life of Vlad Tepes/Vlad the Impaler (1431-1476), a ruler revered by Romanians for standing up to the Ottoman Empire. Known as one of the most dreadful enemies of the Turks, Vlad started organizing the state and enforcing the law by applying death penalty and impaling all those he considered enemies: robbers, cunning priests, treacherous noblemen, beggars, usurper Saxons. In fact he fought against everybody who tried to replace him either by his step brother Vlad the Monk or by his cousin Dan the Young. The historians nicknamed him Vlad Tepes while people say he was Count Dracula because he used to sign with his father's name, Dracul "The Devil". Dracula is derived from the Romanian word for devil or dragon. This word alone carries with it magic and mystery.
His castle is supposed to be Bran's Castle since its narrow corridors constitute a mysterious labyrinth of ghostly nooks and secret chambers easy to hide a "vampire".
The Dracula's Castle was built on the edge of the Bran Pass and nowadays lures guests worldwide who wish to partake in the legend of the Count Dracula.