The rugged Transylvanian Alps provide one of the most spectacular landscapes in Europe. Hawks soar around the craggy, snow-covered peaks, while bears and chamois take refuge in the dense forests below. Medieval villages and the ruins of once-proud castles can abruptly materialize through the mist, as if daring outsiders to uncover their secrets.
Transylvania also produced a leader known as a defender of the Christian faith, a Romanian hero, and a subhuman monster. His name was Prince Vlad, but the world knows him by his nickname: Dracula.
Vlad, or Dracula, was born in 1431 in Transylvania into a noble family. His father was called "Dracul," meaning "dragon" or "devil" in Romanian because he belonged to the Order of the Dragon, which fought the Muslim Ottoman Empire.
"Dracula" means "son of Dracul" in Romanian. Therefore young Vlad was "son of the dragon" or "son of the devil." Scholars believe this was the beginning of the legend that Dracula was a vampire.
Dracula lived in a time of constant war. Transylvania was at the frontier of two great empires: the Ottoman Turks and the Austrian Hapsburgs. Treachery, vindictiveness, and revenge ruled the day, as young Dracula soon discovered.
Dracula was imprisoned, first by the Turks, who hauled him away in chains, and later by the Hungarians. Dracula's father was murdered, while his older brother, Mircea, was blinded with red-hot iron stakes and buried alive.
From 1448 until his death in 1476, Dracula ruled Walachia and Transylvania, both part of Romania today. Twice he lost and reclaimed his throne, once by fighting his own brother, Radu. Although the Vatican once praised him for defending Christianity, it disapproved of his methods, which soon became infamous.
Dracula earned another nickname, "Vlad Tepes" (pronounced tsep-pesh), which means "Vlad the Impaler." Dracula's favorite method of torture was to impale people and leave them to writhe in agony, often for days. As a warning to others, the bodies would remain on rods as vultures and blackbirds nibbled the rotting flesh.
During one battle, Dracula retreated into nearby mountains, impaling people as he went. The Turkish advance was halted because the sultan could not bear the stench from the decaying corpses.
Another time, Dracula was reported to have eaten a meal on a table set up outside amidst hundreds of impaled victims. On occasion he was also reported to have eaten bread dipped in blood.
At that time it was believed that religious charity, and a proper burial, would erase sin and allow entry to heaven. Dracula surrounded himself with priests and monks and founded five monasteries. Over a period of 150 years, his family established 50 monasteries.
Killed in December 1476 fighting the Turks near Bucharest, Romania, Dracula's head was cut off and displayed in Constantinople.
Dracula was buried at the isolated Snagov Monastery near Bucharest, which was also likely used as a prison and torture chamber. When prisoners prayed before an icon of the Blessed Virgin, a trap door opened dropping them onto sharp stakes below.
In 1931 archaeologists searching Snagov found a casket partially covered in a purple shroud embroidered with gold. The skeleton inside was covered with pieces of faded silk brocade, similar to a shirt depicted in an old painting of Dracula.
The casket also contained a cloisonn crown, with turquoise stones. A ring, similar to those worn by the Order of the Dragon, was sewn into a shirtsleeve.
The contents were taken to the History Museum in Bucharest but have since disappeared without a trace, leaving the mysteries of the real Prince Dracula unanswered.
Read more from the original source:
Dracula: The Terrifying Truth - infoplease.com
- Netflix Dracula is sexy and fun, but could season 2 undo the end? - NewsDio - January 18th, 2020
- What Kind of Dracula Can We Expect From the Sherlock Creators? - Checkersaga - January 16th, 2020
- Steven Moffat's Dracula and the Problem With How We Write About Cancer - The Mary Sue - January 15th, 2020
- Netflix Dracula connects with Sherlock Holmes (but not the BBC version) - NewsDio - January 15th, 2020
- Dracula (2020 TV series) - Wikipedia - January 14th, 2020
- Dracula Review: It Sucks - The Workprint - January 14th, 2020
- Netflix's Dracula: 5 Things It Kept From The Classic Novel (& 5 Things It Changed) - Screen Rant - January 14th, 2020
- Wonder Woman, Dracula, Cinderella... themes are taken to extremes at the new Roxbury Hotel in rural New York State - The Telegraph - January 14th, 2020
- Does Sherlock Exist In BBCs Dracula Timeline? Heres Something You Should Know - The Digital Wise - January 14th, 2020
- Mazda Miata "Dracula" Is an Aggressive Little Thing - autoevolution - January 14th, 2020
- BBC's Dracula: Every Difference Between the Novel and Episode 1 - CBR - Comic Book Resources - January 10th, 2020
- Dracula, King Arthur And The Wizard Of Oz's Dorothy All Star In This Bookish Metroidvania - Nintendo Life - January 10th, 2020
- Who Won the Week Ep. 214: Dracula, Doctor Strange, Doctor Who - SYFY WIRE - January 10th, 2020
- What's Bermondsey's link to Dracula - and how long does it take the Bishop of Southwark to get a Nandos? - Southwark News - January 10th, 2020
- Why BBC's Dracula Is Better Than Any Other Version Before It - CBR - Comic Book Resources - January 10th, 2020
- Creator of 'Riverdale' and 'Chilling Adventures of Sabrina' Developing Dracula Series - Showbiz Cheat Sheet - January 10th, 2020
- CJ's reviews: The disaster that is Cats, Dracula and The Commons - ABC News - January 10th, 2020
- Stream on Demand: Joker, Dracula and Aladdin ready for home visits - The Spokesman-Review - January 10th, 2020
- 'Dracula' and 'Doctor Who' power BBC iPlayer to break its streaming record - Yahoo Movies UK - January 10th, 2020
- Brides of Dracula Series Coming to ABC from Riverdale Team - Sunriseread - January 10th, 2020
- 'Dracula' and 'Doctor Who' power BBC iPlayer to break its streaming record - Yahoo Sports - January 9th, 2020
- Infinity Train Book 2 found a new mystery in a clever subversion - Polygon - January 9th, 2020
- Dracula: Sherlock Creators Explain Reinvention of Bram Stoker Classic - CBR - Comic Book Resources - January 7th, 2020
- Dracula, Gavin & Stacey & A Christmas Carol Help The BBC To Its Biggest Festive Period Ever For Streaming - Deadline - January 7th, 2020
- Draculas bonkers finale both keeps it simple and absurdly complicated - The A.V. Club - January 7th, 2020
- Dracula drained the lifeblood out of viewers pushing BBCs woke agenda - The Sun - January 7th, 2020
- Best New TV Series Added to Netflix This Week: January 5th, 2020 - What's on Netflix - January 7th, 2020
- Dracula review a blood-sucking delight that leaves you ... - January 6th, 2020
- 'Dracula' Ending Explained: What Happened at the End of the Netflix Series? - Newsweek - January 6th, 2020
- Why Netflix's 'Dracula' sucks, and not just literally - Haaretz - January 6th, 2020
- Whats on TV Saturday: Midsommar and Dracula - The New York Times - January 6th, 2020
- This Bloody Clever Dracula Ad Gets Creepier as the Sun Goes Down - Adweek - January 6th, 2020
- The week in TV: Dracula, Doctor Who, The Trial of Christine Keeler and more - The Guardian - January 6th, 2020
- Where was Dracula filmed? Filming locations in England and Slovakia for the new BBC One series - inews - January 6th, 2020
- Worth Watching: Golden Globes, a New 'Dracula' on Netflix, 'Say Yes to the Dress America' - TVInsider - January 6th, 2020
- Manchester's Space behind Headless Nun and fly in the eye on Dracula - Prolific North - January 6th, 2020
- Review: BBC and Netflix's Dracula Is a Gory but Banal Adaptation of a Classic - slantmagazine - January 6th, 2020
- Flight-free breaks: on the trail of the BBC's Dracula series in Whitby - The Times - January 6th, 2020
- Sister Agatha on Dracula: Who is Dolly Wells, the snarky nun on Netflix series? - Monsters and Critics - January 6th, 2020
- BBCs Dracula: Everything you need to know from the history of the savage vampire to the dramas goriest mom - The Sun - January 3rd, 2020
- Best New Shows and Movies on Netflix This Week: Dracula, Anne with an E - TV Guide - January 3rd, 2020
- Is Dracula based on a real person? The new BBC drama isnt entirely a work of fiction - The Sun - January 3rd, 2020
- Dracula's Claes Bang enters race to become the new James Bond - The Telegraph - January 3rd, 2020
- Here's what's streaming on Netflix, HBO and others in January - The Denver Channel - January 3rd, 2020
- Dracula cast: who stars in the TV adaptation of Bram Stoker's book, and what time episode 2 is on BBC One tonight - inews - January 3rd, 2020
- Emmerdales New Years Day baby beats Dracula in the ratings battle - What's On TV - January 3rd, 2020
- Dracula, Frankenstein And The Creation Of 3 More Gothic Novels - BBC History Magazine - January 3rd, 2020
- Was Dracula real? The true stories and real-life figures that inspired Bram Stoker's famous vampire - inews - January 1st, 2020
- The best shows to stream this winter: From 'Dracula' to 'Sex Education' - New York Post - January 1st, 2020
- Dracula cast: who stars in the TV series based on Bram Stoker's famous book, and when it starts on BBC One - inews - January 1st, 2020
- 'Dracula' Is Coming to Netflix in 2020 Find Out the Release Date - Distractify - January 1st, 2020
- What are Dracula's weaknesses? | Daylight, crosses and more - RadioTimes - January 1st, 2020
- What to watch this New Year's Day - Buzz.ie - January 1st, 2020
- New Years Day TV 2020: BBC, ITV, and Channel 4 schedule for films and shows - The Irish Sun - January 1st, 2020
- Will BBCs new Dracula series be the definitive small screen adaptation of Stokers masterpiece? - Independent.ie - December 31st, 2019
- 2020 highlights: From Dracula and James Bond, to Cush Jumbo's Hamlet and Andy Warhol - inews - December 31st, 2019
- [Retrospective] A Curse of 30 Years for 'Castlevania III' - Bloody Disgusting - December 31st, 2019
- Mum who was nicknamed 'Dracula' in school finally feels beautiful thanks to 199 veneers - Gazette - December 31st, 2019
- What's on TV this week: 'Doctor Who' - Engadget - December 31st, 2019
- Actor Udo Kier to Receive 437th Star on Palm Springs Walk of the Stars - NBC Palm Springs - December 31st, 2019
- Keanu Reeves Could Resemble Great As X-Men Baddie Mister Sinister In The MCU - The Digital Weekly - December 31st, 2019
- What to watch on TV on New Years Day - Independent.ie - December 31st, 2019
- New on Netflix this week: Dracula, Anne with an E and more - Netflix Life - December 29th, 2019
- Damien Love's TV pick of the week (Dec 29-Jan 4) - HeraldScotland - December 29th, 2019
- Flirty Dancing tops this week's TV must-sees - Calgary Herald - December 29th, 2019
- Everything horror coming to streaming services in January 2020 - 1428 Elm - December 29th, 2019
- TV best bets with R. Kelly, Linda Ronstadt, Luciano Pavarotti, the Golden Globes, New Years performers - Atlanta Journal Constitution - December 29th, 2019
- TV guide: 42 of the best shows to watch this new years week - Irish Times - December 29th, 2019
- Dracula (2013 TV series) - Wikipedia - December 28th, 2019
- Dracula returns: Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat on their new BBC series - The Times - December 28th, 2019
- Discover the Surprising Way That Gene Colan Got His Gig on Tomb of Dracula - CBR - Comic Book Resources - December 28th, 2019
- Five Netflix shows to kick-start 2020 - The Jakarta Post - Jakarta Post - December 28th, 2019
- Kesha, bachelors and The Good Place: A guide to pop culture in January - austin360 - December 28th, 2019
- This weeks best home entertainment: from Doctor Who to The Deuce - The Guardian - December 28th, 2019
- 10 Best Universal Monster Movies (According To IMDb) | ScreenRant - Screen Rant - December 28th, 2019
- The Avengers' Villains Are Uniting Against Them Next Year - Screen Rant - December 28th, 2019
- Renovated Utah theater shows classics with modern technology - Houston Chronicle - December 28th, 2019
- Wham, fang, thank you Bram: Hotel hopes link to Dracula writer will put village on the map - The Sunday Post - December 24th, 2019
- Dreaming of a black Christmas: Dracula, A Christmas Carol and Susan Hill's Ghost Story give a twist to the Yuletide classics - The Sunday Post - December 24th, 2019
- When is Dracula coming to TV? Whos writing it? And whos in the cast? - Radio Times - December 24th, 2019
Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero