Friday, April 26th 2019

The truth about Dracula

When we think of Transylvania the name of Dracula often arises in our minds. Transylvania – the mysterious dangerous far-away land. A great number of stereotypes and misconceptions are connected to Transylvania and Romania. Dracula is one of them. People think that Transylvania is full of vampire bats and that Dracula really (really?) existed and could not walk in the sun, and all that kind of rubbish.

sighisoara transylvania romania

Sighosoara – the birthplace of Vlad Tepes

Today many tourists come to Romania especially to visit Dracula places. And it is hilarious because they are taken to all sorts of places, castles, ruins, etc. which have nothing to do with Dracula. Take for example, Bran castle, probably one of the most famous Dracula places. It is a myth that he lived there, fully exploited by people providing tourist services. All this is taking place just because Brem Stoker chose Transylvania as a mysterious stage for his story about a vampire. Of course, there were vampire folk legend around this area.

sighisoara transylvania romania draculaAnd of course, there were stories full of blood about Vlad Dracul or Tepes. Well, in reality he was just a man, probably very cruel. But who knows whether there were other ways to keep order but severely punish people. Oh, yes, he cut people’s heads and put them on spears all over the place….well I think some people really deserve that. You can read a great research on Dracula compiled by Elizabeth Miller on her web-site.

 

sighisoara transylvania romania dracula

For me it was interesting to learn that Sighosoara is claimed to be the birthplace of Dracula, or Vlad Dracul, or as his real name is Vad Tepes.

There is a house right on the central square opposite the cathedral with a memorial board saying “In this house Vald Tepes was born and lived in ”.

I have taken only one picture of the house as I really thought it was as real as stories told by tour guides. I am quite suspisious about the stories told by tour guides.

 

 

So here we are in Sighisoara, birth place of Dracula having dinner with a man who owns the house. I mean THE DRACULA HOUSE. The legends are legends and the myths are myths.

sighisoara transylvania romania

The house where Vlad Tepes II was born

People tell stories to their kids, kids tell them to their kids, with some modifications, and on it goes. Till the moment when you can really say what is the truth, what happened in reality and what was created by people’s imagination.But the reality, at least approximate reality of the past looks like this (according to Wikipedia): Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia (1431–1476), also known (suprprise) as Dracula (son of the Dragon, after his father Vlad II Dracul), also dubbed Vlad the Impaler was a three-time Voivode of Wallachia, ruling mainly from 1456 to 1462, the period of the incipient Ottoman conquest of the Balkans. His father was a member of the Order of the Dragon (Dracul) which was founded to protect Christianity in Eastern Europe.

Vlad III spent much of his rule campaigning against the Ottoman Empire and its expansion. As the cognomen ‘The Impaler’ suggests, his practice of impaling his enemies is central to his historical reputation. During his lifetime, his reputation for excessive cruelty spread abroad, to Germany and elsewhere in Europe. The total number of his victims is estimated in the tens of thousands.

sighisoara transylvania romania

Sighisoara

Vlad was born in Sighișoara, Transylvania, Romania, in the winter of 1431 to Vlad II Dracul, future voivode of Wallachia. In the year of his birth, Vlad’s father, known under the nickname Dracul, had traveled to Nuremberg where he had been vested into the Order of the Dragon. At the age of five, young Vlad was also initiated into the Order.

Everyone knows that history is being rewritten many times, and historical events or their outcomes may change in the course of centuries. Though it is interesting to see that people still believe in Vampire Dracula, and all the vampires-of-Transylvania stories.

If you ask a person who has a vague idea about Romania what they know about it, the answer most probably will be: Dracula, gypsies and the tyrant Ceausescu. It is a pity because the country is very beautiful, full of nice people, great food, and tasty wine.

Vampire Dracula has never existed, gypsies can be clean, polite and speaking English and Ceausescu is dead long ago. The only way to see the real Romania is to visit it.

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2 Comments on “The truth about Dracula”

  1. […] Walachia from 1456 to 1462.The name of Sighisoara was first noted in a written document issued by Vlad Dracul, Vlad the Impaler’s father, in 1431. […]

  2. Interesting post. Would love to visit Romania.

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