Liberty Bear Sanctuary is a national park founded in Judetul Brasov – Zarnesti. the purpose of the park is to rescue the bears from the closed zoos across the country. Today the sanctuary is counting tens of bears from different parts of Romania from the zoos, from the monasteries ( as bad as it sounds there were people that were using the poor animals to take pictures with the tourists). There are all brown bears, the biggest bear in Europe, and one black Asian bear.
Romania still has the biggest population of brown bears in Europe, more than 6000 of them all around the Carpathian Mountains, more than the rest of the countries together. There are countries like Spain and France where together they count less than 40 brown bears which makes them one of the endangered species. If you count them all across Europe will get just about as many as you have in Romania today, not excluding Russia where in the Siberian forest they had one of the largest population of this animals. Unfortunately, with the savage and ruthless hunting, the number of bears went down exponentially year after year.
With this phenomenon happening lots of hunters focused their attention towards our country and they organize every year hunting parties for trophies not quite legal.
According to the Irish author Bram Stoker, it was the house of the most famous vampire in the world. Bran Castle by the end of the 14th century it has been, for hundreds of years, the most important military fortress on the southern border of the Austrian – Hungarian empire. Originally built to stop the invasion of the Ottoman empire it served for protection of the southern border of the empire for centuries, in the time of war, and in the time of peace here we had the customs.
Back then the medieval town of Brasov was the most important market place from this part of the empire, reason why once a year they were organizing a ten days fair. The most respectable merchants from across Europe and middle east were gathering here for the event. Now, in order to be able to attend the important event you had to pass through Bran stray and pay 3% tax from the value of your merchandise. Travelers on foot they have to pay one gold coin, one fiorino – which it was that times currency, travelers on horse two gold coins and so on and so forth. Money that was collected from taxes often went to the noble families which were fighting each other for the position as Castellan and a percentage went to the Hungarian king.
The truth is, as you already know, Vlad III Dracula never really lived here. When he conquered Brasov in 1458 the fortress Bran, which was the property of the Saxon nobility from Brasov at the time, the fortress was “part of the deal”. The Vallahian king kept it for almost a year only and exclusively for the tax money.