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
- Dracula | Oct 17-Nov 17 ACT Theatre - October 21st, 2019
- Drcula (film) - Wikipedia - October 21st, 2019
- Dracula Untold | Dracula Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia - October 19th, 2019
- Urban Dictionary: Dracula - October 19th, 2019
- Dracula | Roxey Ballet Company - October 19th, 2019
- Dracula Untold 2: Release Date, News and Everything To We ... - October 19th, 2019
- Dracula's Cabaret | draculas.com.au - October 19th, 2019
- Dracula (TV Mini-Series 2019 ) - IMDb - October 12th, 2019
- Quotes from 'Dracula,' Bram Stoker's Horror Classic - May 23rd, 2019
- When Dracula Met Dracula: Gary Oldman & Luke Evans Unite ... - May 2nd, 2019
- James Bond actress Catherine Schell joins the cast of BBC1 ... - May 2nd, 2019
- Dracula, Bram Stoker - Essay - eNotes.com - May 2nd, 2019
- BBC, Netflix Dracula Series Sets Directors, Adds Cast ... - April 30th, 2019
- Mavis Dracula | Hotel Transylvania Wiki | FANDOM powered ... - April 29th, 2019
- Dracula (Character) - Giant Bomb - April 29th, 2019
- Category:Dracula - Wikimedia Commons - April 29th, 2019
- Dracula Untold 2 (2020) Will there be a sequel with Luke ... - April 27th, 2019
- Dracula Movies | List of the Best Films About Count Dracula - April 27th, 2019
- Dracula | Castlevania Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia - April 15th, 2019
- SparkNotes: Dracula: Themes - April 13th, 2019
- Dracula (TV Series 20132014) - IMDb - April 5th, 2019
- Dracula | Buffyverse Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia - April 4th, 2019
- Dracula | film by Browning  | Britannica.com - March 29th, 2019
- Vlad the Impaler | Biography, Dracula, & Facts | Britannica.com - March 24th, 2019
- Hark, a vagrant: 285 - March 21st, 2019
- Vampire | Penny Dreadful Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia - March 8th, 2019
- Dracula (Castlevania) | Villains Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia - March 4th, 2019
- Draculas Castle Is for Sale | Smart News | Smithsonian - February 19th, 2019
- Dracula | I Wanna Be The Guy Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia - February 19th, 2019
- Dracula | Free Lesson Plans | Teachers - February 19th, 2019
- Character List - CliffsNotes - February 19th, 2019
- Dracula (Hotel Transylvania) | Heroes Wiki | FANDOM ... - February 19th, 2019
- Dracula - Whitby - February 19th, 2019
- Jew or Not Jew: Dracula - February 19th, 2019
- Dracula (1931) - Filmsite.org - February 19th, 2019
- Dracula | Penny Dreadful Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia - February 19th, 2019
- Dracula: The Crowns John Heffernan & Doll & Ems ... - February 14th, 2019
- Dracula - SmashWiki, the Super Smash Bros. wiki - February 10th, 2019
- Dracula ants set record for fastest animal movement: Study - December 13th, 2018
- Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992) - I Never Drink Wine (2/8) | Movieclips - December 1st, 2018
- Whitby Dracula, Connections Between Dracula, Whitby & Bram ... - November 30th, 2018
- Dracula | The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy Wiki ... - November 30th, 2018
- Amazon.com: Watch Bram Stoker's Dracula | Prime Video - November 1st, 2018
- Dracula (Barnes & Noble Collectible Editions) by Bram ... - October 31st, 2018
- Dracula - Milwaukee Ballet - October 31st, 2018
- Dracula - Shmoop - October 31st, 2018
- Netflix & BBC One Board Dracula Series From Sherlock ... - October 17th, 2018
- Dracula TV Series Ordered at Netflix From Steven Moffat ... - October 17th, 2018
- Dracula Series from the Sherlock Team to Launch on BBC ... - October 15th, 2018
- Amazon.com: Dracula: Complete Legacy Collection [Blu-ray ... - September 27th, 2018
- Dracula (9/10) Movie CLIP - Dracula and Van Helsing (1931) HD ... - August 24th, 2018
- Dracula (Barnes & Noble Collectible Editions) by Bram Stoker ... - August 22nd, 2018
- Dracula Powers, Villains, History, & More | Marvel - August 22nd, 2018
- DraculaA Summary | Britannica.com - August 13th, 2018
- Dracula Part 3 | C-S-S-A.com Celebrity Sex Stories Archive - July 22nd, 2018
- Dracula (Signet Classics): Bram Stoker, Leonard Wolf ... - July 6th, 2018
- Dracula | Monster High Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia - June 28th, 2018
- Book Summary - Written by Teachers - June 28th, 2018
- Dracula | Marvel's Avengers Assemble Wiki | FANDOM powered ... - June 24th, 2018
- Dracula | Count Dracula | Dracula - scribd.com - October 19th, 2017
- Dracula - Marvel Universe Wiki: The definitive online source ... - September 27th, 2017
- Dracula by Bram Stoker - September 26th, 2017
- Gene Causing Dracula-Like Appearance Points to Vampire Origins ... - Inverse - September 7th, 2017
- Wolfeboro dancers to participate in Northeastern Ballet Theatre's 'Dracula' Sept. 16 - Conway Daily Sun - September 7th, 2017
- Bram Stoker's relative Dacre writes first authorised prequel to ... - The Guardian - September 7th, 2017
- Dracula in Vegas - DVD Talk - September 7th, 2017
- Dracula prequel in development with It director Andy Muschietti - Looper - September 6th, 2017
- Late Night Likens Trump to Dracula, Hitler; Invokes 'White Supremacy' - NewsBusters (press release) (blog) - September 6th, 2017
- Dracula Prequel in Development at Paramount With 'It' Director Andy Muschietti - Variety - September 6th, 2017
- Rakul Preet Singh visits the birthplace of Dracula - BizAsia - September 6th, 2017
- Resurrecting Dracula with a Shake and Stir - The Adelaide Review - September 5th, 2017
- Rakul Preet shoots at the birthplace of Dracula | Tamil Movie News ... - Times of India - September 5th, 2017
- The dark side of books - Isle of Man Today - September 3rd, 2017
- PFAA production of Dracula to begin - Waynesville Daily Guide - September 1st, 2017
- Water handicaps restoration work on 'Dracula' castle ... - Hurriyet Daily News - August 28th, 2017
- Breon Arzell to Star in The Hypocrites' DRACULA at Mercury Theater Chicago - Broadway World - August 26th, 2017
- Dracula Uses One Guitar and Two Voices to Haunt With Intensity - Miami New Times - August 24th, 2017
- Theatre Review: Sink your teeth into shake & stir's bloody brilliant adaption of Dracula (At Brisbane's QPAC to ... - the AU review (blog) - August 24th, 2017
- Holland theater group performs musical version of Dracula - HollandSentinel.com - August 19th, 2017
- Strand Theatre to have Dracula in October - MDJOnline.com - August 19th, 2017
Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero