Monday, March 2, 2015

Halloween in Transylvania

"I read that every known superstition in the world is gathered into the horseshoe of the Carpathians, as if it were the centre of some sort of imaginative whirlpool; if so my stay may be very interesting." - Bram Stoker, Dracula

If you happen to encounter yourself in Romania in plain autumn, especially for Halloween, then a visit to Count Dracula’s Castle is a must! That is what our lovely Erasmus students together with our ESN staff did. In November 2014, ESN organised a trip through mysterious Transylvania, including a tour of Râșnov Fortress, Brașov city tour, and the very famous Bran Castle. The 3-day trip represented the best way in which our Erasmus students could experience the true face of Romania. They were charmed by the breathtaking landscapes and by the medieval castles and fortresses. However, what seems to have been the most enjoyable moment, is – of course – Halloween night.

“Built in the 13th century, Bran is a town 30 km from the city of Brașov. The medieval Bran Castle is a popular tourist destination, because it’s known as home of Dracula in Bram Stoker's famous novel. The Romanian legend tells us that Vlad the Impaler (in Romanian Vlad Țepeș) used to punish people by impaling them. The name of Dracula comes from the coat of arms used by his father, Vlad Dracul, which was in the shape of a dragon. The common people couldn’t correctly pronounce dragon, so it became ‘dracul’. As his son, he received the name, and because of his cruelty Bram Stoker chose him as a character in his novel. Bran Castle was built in 1377 and later it belonged to the royal family of Romania, Queen Marie and king Ferdinand of Hohenzollern. Nowadays you can see here the following: the Music Room, the Royal Bedroom, the Royal Crown, the Scepter, a cinema room, the Royal Chapel and many other royal objects.”

ESN staff and volunteers among the 500 Erasmus students, enjoyed themselves until the dawn in the very house of terror, Dracula's Castle. Dressed up in quirky costumes, ESN Timisoara’s volunteers were present as well. The international students were amazed by the authentic Halloween night they have not experienced before. The following day, our volunteers and students had returned to Timisoara with a lot of memories and stories to tell.

“Once again...welcome to my house. Come freely. Go safely; and leave something of the happiness you bring.” Bram Stoker 

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