So where is the actual Castle Dracula located? This is a question the Romanian Tourism Department has tried to answer for us. They want us to believe that it’s Castle Bran, which is a nice spiffy castle in good condition, thus a good, comfy location for tourists to visit, but it has only a tangential connection to the historical Dracula, and the claim that it served as the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s fictitious Castle Dracula is simply false. Simply put, Bran is a castle in Romania that they have decided to CALL Dracula’s castle. Where’s the real one, then? It’s at Poenari, where stand the ruins of Prince Vlad’s stronghold. But Poenari didn’t serve as the inspiration for Stoker’s castle, either; it’s a pretty good bet Stoker didn’t even know the fortress at Poenari existed. Where, then, is Stoker’s Castle Dracula? Nowhere. It never existed, outside of Stoker’s imagination.
Ah, but where WOULD the Castle Dracula of Literature be located, if it were an actual brick and mortar site? That question finally has an answer, thanks to scholar Hans de Roos, with help from Stoker’s distant relative, Dacre Stoker. De Roos has been able to fix the location on Mount Izvorul Calimanului, a dormant volcano in the Transylvanian Alps, on the border with Romania. I wonder how long it’ll be before the tourism department puts up a gift shop there?