The Nadezh Church | Mures County | Transylvania18 October 2023
Tara Hategului (land) with unique volcanoes and dinosaurs!23 October 2023
Count Dracula and the Legacy of Transylvania | The Story of Vlad III Tepes
Almost everyone knows the story of Count Dracula and his castle in Transylvania. That Dracula was not a vampire is also clear to everyone. However, not everyone knows that the person called “Dracula” never existed and that his true representative never entered the alleged vampire’s castle.
“Dracula” was actually called “Vlad III.” His family name was “Draculea”, meaning “The Son of the Dragon”. From the inspiration of this name thereupon arose the name of the legend known all over the world. “Dracula” is an invention of the Irish writer Bram Stoker.
Vlad III was a voivode, a Slavic army commander, of Wallachia and was supposedly born in Sighisoara (Schässburg). However, this is not verifiable. He became famous for his resistance against the Ottomans and his Balkan expansion. Posthumously, he received another epithet in Christian areas, “Tepes” which means “impaler”, as he allegedly had a penchant for carrying out executions by impalement.
The Dracula Castle mentioned in the novel is located near the town of Bistritz, northeast of Cluj-Napoca. It is in this town that the journey of the visitor in Bram Stoker’s novel ends. He is picked up from his inn in a carriage by Count Dracula. However, the further journey cannot be traced.
Nowadays Bran Castle is marketed to the world as Dracula Castle. It is one of the most famous castles in the country. From 1920-1947 it was the royal residence of King Ferdinand I and his wife Queen Maria and their daughter Princess Ileana, who inherited the castle from her mother in 1938. Today the castle is owned by the Habsburg family, which received it back as legal property from the Romanian state in the course of the succession in 2006.
The fact that Vlad III. , or Dracula, ever set foot in this castle, however, cannot be proven. Historically, only one source lists him as having spent the night in the fortress one night. Likewise, he is not mentioned in any list as a former owner.
Regardless of whether Dracula (or his namesake “Vlad III Drăculea”) actually lived here or elsewhere, the castle is definitely a sight to see and, with its accompanying museum, well worth a visit.
Although an official resting place has not been found, there are many monasteries that claim the title for Vlad’s final resting place. However, Vlad still walks the streets of Transylvania today 😄 Many artists have taken it upon themselves to roam the landscape of Transylvania as Vlad Tepes and keep his story alive.
Pictures partly from Castelul Bran und Nomadic Julien, Fermoar.ro, Elena Alexandra Vatavu