Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dracula Legend started in Romania

Is Halloween season  and Dracula's Legend continues to fascinate people from all over the world, remaining one of the best entertainment attractions of this period.

Bran Castle aka Dracula's Castle/ Castelul Bran, Romania
Bran Castle aka Dracula's Castle/ Castelul Bran, Romania

Dracula brand was created by the Irish writer Bram Stoker in his 1897 horror novel of the same name and represented a fictional character, perhaps the most famous vampire in fiction. Radu Florescu and Raymond McNally in 1972 wrote "In Search of Dracula" where discussed about the connection between Vlad Tepes and Dracula. Following them, Stoker did find the name Dracula in his reading on Romanian history and has based his story on the historic Wallachian ruler Vlad III, also known as Vlad Tepes , "Vlad the Impaler". Tales of the supernatural had been circulating in Romanian folklore for centuries, and many of them were inspired by real-life characters of national heroes.

Vlad Dracula: The Dragon Prince "Dracula" name is derived from a secret fraternal order of knights called the Order of the Dragon . "Dragon" in Romanian is "drac", derived from Latin "draco".   Vlad II Dracul, "son of  the Dragon" Mircea the Old, was admitted to this Order around 1431 because of his bravery. His son inherited his name and was named Vlad III Dracul (Vlad Tepes).  Vlad "The Impaler" (1456– 1462) is a folk hero by Romanians history, brave and military strategist when fighting against invading Turks. Was famous also because was fair and have killed thousands of people for any acts of dishonesty in his attempts to maintain order, mainly  by using the method of impaling them on a sharp pole.

"When a man or lord is strong and powerful he can make peace whichever way he wishes yet, when he is weak, someone stronger will come onto him and submit him to his mercy." Vlad The Impaler's letter to the people of Brasov, on the 10th of September 1456 according to Nicolae Stoicescu in  "Vlad Tepes" book from 1976. 
Poenari Citadel / Cetatea Poienari, Romania
Poenari Citadel / Cetatea Poenari, Romania

The character of Count Dracula has remained popular over the years, the total number of films that include a reference to Dracula may reach few hundreds movies, according to the Internet Movie Database, the most popular being Tod Browning's film "Dracula" from 1931 and Francis Ford Coppola's  film "Dracula" from 1992 featured by 'Lovesong for a Vampire' by Annie Lennox and starring Gary Oldman and Winona Ryder.
Bram Stoker's DraculaLike Frankenstein, Dracula has inspired many literary tributes or parodies and  has been adapted for children's literature and entertainment, serving as the basis for several vampire cartoon characters over the years and few series of video games.

Dracula became the most popular Romanian symbol abroad, and Romanians have accepted with difficulty the connection between Vlad Tepes and the most popular vampire monster, but nowadays there are few touristic sites in Romania that are  associated with his name. In the Sighisoara Town tourists can visit the house in which Vlad was born, now hosting a restaurant and a small museum of medieval weapons.

Castle Dracula: Romania's Vampire Home (Castles, Palaces & Tombs)Bran Castle,  an important Romanian monument, is said that was owned by the Dracula and is promoted as "Dracula's Castle", even Vlad Tepes had only a tangential connection with it.
Bran Castle was built by Braşov Saxons in 1382 and made a role of defender against the Turkish invasion when Vlad Ţepeş was beating a retreat through the Transylvanian countryside but this was not his home, he only may lived for a very short time and only as a guest. Is situated 30 km from Brasov, between the Bucegi Mountains and Piatra Craiului, and this region inspired  "The Carpatian Castle" written by Jules Verne.

The real place where Vlad Tepes has lived is Poenari Citadel (Cetatea Poenari in Romanian) on the Arges River valley, close to the Fagaras Mountains.

Poenari Citadel / Cetatea Poenari, Romania
Poenari Citadel / Cetatea Poenari, Romania
This ruined castle stands on a cliff, on the right side of the Transfagarasan Road which climbs into the Fagaras Mountains. Initial the main citadel of the Basarab rulers from Wallachia,  Poenari Castle was repaired and consolidated by Vlad The Impaler who making it one of his main fortresses. Abandoned and left in ruins, the walls and its towers still stand today and to reach it visitors need to climb 1,500 steps.
Other sites where he lived for a while are The Old Princely Court (Palatul Curtea veche) in Bucharest and Snagov Monastery where, according to legend, his remains were buried.

These beautiful and ancient places where Dracula's Legend was born represent a benchmark of Romanian tourism for visitors from everywhere who intend to take part in it. The mixture between legend and true history are being kept alive by tourist destinations like the Snagov Monastery near Bucharest,  Bran Castle near Brasov, Poenari Citadel on the Arges River Valley or Sighisoara Medieval Town (view next map for details)

View Dracula's Legend started in Romania in a larger map


Xenia said...

Forget Dracula, those castles are gorgeous!

Colie's Kitchen said...

Hi this is Nicole from ColiesKitchen.com I am just dropping by to say hi for Follow Friday blog hop!! Have a super weekend!! I would love to have you stop by Colie’s Kitchen if you get a chance. www.colieskitchen.com

Doreen McGettigan said...

I really like the castles too! The information was great too...I will have to share with my husband who is a vampire nut...don't tell anyone but he has seen the Twilight movies like a dozen times :)

Ron Cooper said...

Fascinating site!

Following you from Friendly Friday, pls. follow back!

Anonymous said...

Follow you from Friendly Friday.
Hope you have a nice day.

please follow back

Eat To Live said...

Beautiul Castles. Thanks for the tour.

I am a new follower from Boost My Blog Friday. I would appreciate it if you could stop over and follow back.

I am giving a Halloween Apron away to one of my followers. 10/5/

The Homespun Loft said...

Hi- Love the castles--I found you on a friday Blog hop- Please come by and check out my blog and hope you follow too.

Joanna Jenkins said...

I had no idea. That is too cool. Thanks for sharing. I'd love to see that castle in person someday.
happy weekend, jj

Claudya Martinez said...

Fascinating. I love the melding of legend and history.

Scented Leaf said...

Thank you for your lovely words - I hope you will enjoy my other topics exploring my blog, too.

Anonymous said...

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Posted by. miss Sandra Chali


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