Tihuţa Pass is a high mountain pass in the Romanian Bârgău Mountains (Eastern Carpathian Mountains) connecting Bistriţa (Transylvania) with Vatra Dornei (Bukovina, Moldavia).The pass was made famous by Bram Stoker's novel Dracula, where, termed as "the Borgo Pass", it was the gateway to the realm of Count Dracula. Stoker most likely found the name on a contemporary map, like Baedeker's Guide to Austria (1896) or the map from Charles Boner's book on Transylvania, Its Products and Its People. He never actually visited the area.
Today the pass is home to Hotel "Castel Dracula". The hotel was built in 1974 and is located at an altitude of 1,116 m (3,661 ft). The hotel has become quite an attraction due to its eccentric architectural style of a medieval castle with a large courtyard, as well as the sheer beauty of the location. From the terrace of the Hotel, one can view the Women's Monastry of Piâtra Fântânele.The Hotel claims to be located exactly where Bram Stoker imagined the Castle Dracula from his famous Dracula novel to be situated, but this claim is not accurate.
The Dutch author Hans Corneel de Roos recently discovered that the place of the Hotel roughly coincedes with the pick-up point in the Borgo Pass, between the former village of Tihuţa and Piâtra Fântânele, from where Count Dracula took the young lawyer Jonathan Harker with him in his calèche to Castle Dracula. Since the carriage, pulled by four "splendid" black horses, drives very swiftly for more than four hours, sometimes interrupted by the driver paying attention to the buried gold treasures indicated by the blue flames during St. George's Night, the Castle must be in considerable distance from the Pass itself.
This obvious fact is ignored by almost all annotated Dracula editions.From the novel's travel descriptions and Stoker's own handwritten research notes, De Roos managed to reconstruct the site Stoker actually had in mind for the Castle, ca. 20 miles south-east of the Hotel. It is an empty mountain top in the Transylvanian Kelemen Alps near the former border with Moldavia.
Despite its distance from the imaginary Castle Dracula, the Hotel "Castel Dracula" remains the correct starting point for trying to walk of in the footsteps of Count Dracula, Jonathan Harker, Professor van Helsing and Mina on their way to the Vampire's sinister stronghold.In the 2004 film Hellboy, the pass was mentioned, but it was said to be in Moldova instead of Romania.Not necessarily a goof, as Moldavia/Moldova is also a region of today's Romania — whilst Moldova, formerly part of the Principality of Moldavia, is not anymore. The region of Moldova in Romania includes the district of Suceava, where Vatra Dornei is located.