Support Hyperallergic’s independent arts journalism. Become a Member »

Bran Castle, alternatively known as Dracula's Castle, in Romania's Carpathian mountains (all images courtesy of Bran Castle)

Support Hyperallergic’s independent arts journalism.

The Bran Castle in Romania, believed to have been the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s 1897 vampire classic Dracula, has been transformed into a walk-in COVID-19 vaccination center.

A sign indicating a vaccination center at Bran Castle

These days, any mortal visiting the 14th-century castle can get a free Pfizer shot from medics with fang stickers on their scrubs. Visitors who agree to take the jab also get free entry to the castle’s permanent exhibition of 52 medieval torture instruments.

The move is part of Romania’s effort to boost vaccinations in the country, which has so far lost almost 29,000 people to the pandemic. The Romanian government pledged to vaccinate 10 million people by September, though almost half of the country’s citizens expressed skepticism of COVID vaccines, according to a recent survey.

A photograph on view at Bran Castle
Visitors to Bran Castle holding COVID vaccine certificates praising their “boldness and responsibility”

The castle in Romania’s Carpathian mountains, which is associated with Prince Vlad “the Impaler,” on whom Dracula was based, also hopes to increase tourist visits, which have fallen during the pandemic.

Visitors who receive the vaccine are handed a certificate commending their “boldness and responsibility” and promising they will be welcome at the castle “for the coming 100 years.”

A look inside Bran Castle

The Latest

The Wisdom of The Sopranos 14 Years Later

“The impossibility of reforming Tony [Soprano] bears some resemblance to the crisis plaguing museums and toxic philanthropy today, where a culture of bullying and exploitation belies programming of socially- and politically-engaged art.”


Hakim Bishara

Hakim Bishara is a staff writer for Hyperallergic. He is also a co-director at Soloway Gallery, an artist-run space in Brooklyn. Bishara is a recipient of the 2019 Andy Warhol Foundation and Creative Capital Arts Writers Grant and he holds an...