Photographer's Note

Hello everyone,

I'd like to dedicate this picture to all participants (and their companions) of the TE meeting in Romania from November 24-25th hold in beautiful SE Transylvania. I would also like to express my regrets for not being able to spend more than an hour with them. However, I honor my promise to Teo (Teutza), Isabela (Isabela_sor) and Anellise (Anes) to post one blue hour picture of the Bran Castle and dedicate it to all the participants of the above mentioned TE meeting. Before presenting some informations about the photographed subject and with the risk of omitting some members, I would like to mention some of the participant members I met there:

Veronica (veve)
Claudiu (meagain)
Anellise (anes_lc)
Isabela (isabela_sor)
Teodora (teutza)
Raluca (aralda)
Iulian (nemesiss)
Filip (philip78ro)
Andreea (Anducina)
Johannes (johannes68)

I apologize for not remembering all the names. It was impossible for me to get to know each one of them in one short hour that I spent with them. I hope you like the picture!

Here's some information about the Bran Castle:

Bran Castle (German: Törzburg; Hungarian: Törcsvár), situated near Bran and in the immediate vicinity of Braşov, Romania, is a national monument and landmark. The fortress is situated on the border between Transylvania and Wallachia, on Highway 73. Commonly known as "Dracula's Castle" it is famous as the home of Bram Stoker's Dracula, which has led to persistent myths that it was once the home of Vlad Ţepeş, ruler of Wallachia. While Vlad Ţepeş did not actually live in the Bran Castle, it is believed he spent two days locked in the dungeon while the Ottomans controlled Transylvania. The castle is now a museum open to tourists, displaying art and furniture collected by Queen Marie. Tourists can see the interior individually or by a guided tour. At the bottom of the hill is a small open air museum park exhibiting traditional Romanian peasant structures (cottages, barns, etc.) from across the country.

Bran Castle was originally built as a stronghold by the Teutonic Knights in 1212. The first documentary attestation of Bran Castle is the act issued by Louis I of Hungary on November 19, 1377, giving the Saxons of Kronstadt (Braşov) the privilege to build the Citadel. The castle was first used in 1378 in defense against the Turks, and later became a customs post on the mountain pass between Transylvania and Wallachia. The castle briefly belonged to Mircea the Elder of Wallachia. From 1920, the castle became a royal residence. It was the principal home of Queen Marie, and is decorated largely with artifacts from her time, including traditional furniture and tapestries that she collected to highlight Romanian crafts and skills. It was inherited by her daughter, Princess Ileana, and was later seized by the communist regime after the expulsion of the royal family in 1948.

In 2006, the Romanian government returned the castle to Archduke Dominic of Austria, Prince of Tuscany (known as Dominic von Habsburg, an architect in New York State), son and heir of Princess Ileana. In 2007, Habsburg put the castle up for sale for a price of £40 million ($78 million). On July 2, 2007, Michael Gardner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Baytree Capital, the New York investment firm which has been retained to create a plan for the castle and to sell it, predicted it would sell for more than $135 million, but added that Habsburgs will only sell it to a buyer "who will treat the property and its history with appropriate respect."

In September 2007, an investigation committee of the Romanian parliament stated that the retrocession of the castle to Dominic of Habsburg was illegal, as it broke the Romanian law on property and succession.




ISOSpeedRatings - 100
ShutterSpeedValue - 30 seconds
ApertureValue - F 8.00
ExposureBiasValue - 0.00
MeteringMode - Multi-segment
Flash - Not fired, compulsory flash mode
FocalLength - 40 mm
ExposureMode - Manual
WhiteBalance - Auto

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Additional Photos by Eduard Baak (snowfalken) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 164 W: 4 N: 219] (1116)
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