CASTLES OF THE WORLD - BRAN CASTLEID92930052
€14.00 (Taxes not incl.)
The Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre presents a new series of collector coins dedicated to the "Castles of the World". It has been difficult to make the selection, taking into account that in Spain alone there are more than 10,000 castles registered, so we have had the collaboration of the Spanish Association of Friends of the Castles for an appropriate choice of castles to represent.
The collection is made up of sixteen coins, which can be purchased individually, as a complete collection and in sets of four coins each.
The obverse shows a colourful image of Bran Castle in Romania. Built between 1377 and 1388, the castle is an important Romanian national monument. It is a major tourist attraction due to the popular belief that it was the former residence of Vlad Țepeș the Impaler.
On the reverse (common to all the coins), within a central circular area, the value of the coin 1.5 EURO appears; to its right, the mint mark; at the bottom, the legend CASTLES OF THE WORLD. An allegory of the structure of the castles surrounds the legends in the central area.
|Series||Castles Of The World|
|Face Value (Euro)||1.5|
|Maximum Mintage (units)||5,000|
In 1816, a group of famous writers spent a few days of leisure in that “year without a summer” on the shores of a Swiss lake: Lord Byron, John Polidori, Percy Shelley and his future wife Mary Shelley. Faced with unusually inclement weather, caused by the tremendous eruption the previous year of a volcano in faraway Indonesia, they decided that they would each write a scary story, the scarier the better.
Out of that meeting were came two of the great horror classics of all time: Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (Mary Shelley) and The Vampyre (John Polidori). The latter was the inspiration for the Irish writer Bram Stoker’s famous and illustrious novel Dracula (1897), inspired by the Romanian prince Vlad Țepeș, known to us as Vlad the Impaler, who lived in the 15th century.
The most visited and most famous castle in Romania is Bran Castle (Castelul Bran in Romanian), located south of the city of Brașov, in the region of Transylvania. The – dare we say, erroneous – belief that this castle was the abode of Count Dracula, or Vlad Țepeș, has brought it worldwide fame. During the communist regime, the leader of Romania, the dictator Ceaucescu, decided that this castle met all the requirements to be classed as the residence of the Prince of Darkness, thereby allowing money to be made from the legendary character created many years before by Bram Stoker.
But Vlad Țepeș never lived in Bran Castle. His real residence was the nearby Poenari Castle, in ruins, which was of little interest apart from the magnificent natural setting and the breathtaking Transfagarasan Road you have to take to reach it.
Regardless, Bran Castle deserves a visit on its own merits. It was erected on a high crag – known as “Dietrich’s Stone” – by the Teutonic Knights on their return from the Holy Land in about 1212, after they had been defeated by the Saracens. The original fortress was destroyed by the Mongols in 1241, but it was rebuilt by King Louis I of Hungary in 1377. Bran Castle changed hands several times over the centuries, until after the First World War. Then, under the Treaty of Trianon, it definitively became a part of Romania and was given by the nation to its new queen, Marie, who made the castle her residence.
Marie of Romania made extensive alterations to Bran Castle, although it retained the essence of a medieval fortress. With a series of turrets and towers with conical roofs surrounding a central courtyard, more than fifty rooms on several different levels connected by the narrowest of twisting stairways and passages, beautifully furnished and decorated royal chambers, dungeons, galleries, halls, secret doors, library, terraces... the visitor perceives a strange beauty in the irregularity of its forms. This is why a visit to this beautiful and picturesque enclave of Romanian Transylvania-Valachia is a must.
After its expropriation by the communist regime, Bran Castle was returned to its owners, the Habsburgs, who tried unsuccessfully to sell it.