Dracula

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Was Vlad Tepes a vampire?

We have to underline, for those who enjoy the horror movies that Vlad Tepes (the Impaler) - because this is his real name in Romanian history - was not a vampire. Even more, Vlad Tepes was the nephiew of Mircea cel Batran (the Elder), another great prince of Wallahia and cousin with Stefan cel Mare (the Great), the legendary prince of Moldavia. Vlad Tepes, alias Dracula, was himself for three times ruler of Wallahia, in the middle of the XVth century.

How did Tepes (the Impaler) ended as Dracula?

Vlad Tepes was born in 1430 in Sighisoara. His house is just couple of meters away from the fortress main tower and it is marked with a small memorial plate. His father was known as Vlad Dracul (the Devil). And this because the Emperror of the Holy Roman Empire made him a member of the Dragon Order. It was easy then to transform the Dragon into Evil, especially when one simbolise another. Consequently, Vlad Tepes became "Draculea" or "Dracula", which means the son of Vlad Dracul (the devil). This nickname of his was more popular in the west, where terifying stories about him were spread by Saxon (german) monks. They also added some "spices"to the story, presenting Tepes as being a human moster who enjoy to drink the blood and eat the internal organs of his opponents, while watching how they are slaughtered or impaled. These stories were mixed later by a "great"novelist - Bram Stocker, who published in 1897 a horror novel called "Dracula". From this point starts the confusion between the vampire from Stocker's book and the cruel Romanian prince. Along with another "national hero" - Nicolae Ceausescu, Dracula is the one who makes Romania look "exotic"and rebel - to say the least, out of the frame of western civilisation.

What Tepes ment for the Romanians?

The Romanians know Vlad as being a cruel but just ruler, who succesfully managed to keep out of the country the Turkish invaders. But how was this possible, taking into account that we was ruling a small country, but determined to keep its freedom? Simple! By conducting a psichological guerilla war. That comprised burning out the harvest and the land, poisoning the wells and so on. The "innovation" that put Vlad in the history as being "the Impaler" was the usage in a "wholesale" scale of the impaling for the Turks captured. With a dark sense of art, he put every Turk captured in a stick different in length, according to his rank in the army. All these made the Turks to postpone "indefinetely" their plan to "clean up" Wallahia.

Bran Castle = Dracula's castle?

Another thing that is closer to legend than to reality is related to Bran castle, "Dracula's castle" - as it is presented in tourism leaflets. That is completely false! The main city of that time in Wallahia was Targoviste, and the fortress built as rescue place in case of invasion was close, at Poenari, near river Arges. The Bran castle was in fact a military fortress used as a defence point for the custom point between Wallahia and Transylvania. It is very reasonable to assume that Tepes visited or stayed for a couple of days there, but that's all… Don't tell this to tourists, you will disapoint them!

For more details click here!         To see images with Bran and Poenari castles click here!

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