The final scene from Bram Stoker's Dracula:
26 December 2007
The final scene from Bram Stoker's Dracula:
22 December 2007
This amatorial documentary aims to present the similarities and differences between Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler) and Count Dracula - the famous character of Bram Stoker's book.
The movie is done by some kids, but it is pretty amusing and they present well documented data, starting with Vlad's birth in sighisoara, up to his reigns. The most interesting and original part is the one comparing the real Vlad Dracula with Sotker's Count Dracula.
15 December 2007
Here is a documentary called "Vlad the Impaler - The True Story of Dracula". It begins with mentioning some facts that I'm also presenting as more as I can. They exagerate when saying the Castle of Bran has absolutely no connection with the story of Vlad the Impaler. In fact is very probable Vlad stopped by once or twice. While the guy mentiones he visited the Castle on his research trip to Transylvania he presents The Cross on Caraiman Mountains (Bucegi Mountains) so everyone could mistakenly associate the Cross with Transylvania. But NO it is not in Transylvania, it is in Wallachia. And the look down to Prahova Valley is on the rivers' flow in Wallachia. Then it presents Braşov city, strongly connected with Vlad the Impaler.
06 December 2007
Vlad’s psychological war against the Turks take every possible form and reach its apex with the scene of Târgovişte where Mehmet, a man used to the horrors of an war sees a scene that terrifies him: a field of 20.000 impaled men in front of Vlad's Palace. This gives rise to Vlad’s Turkish nickname: Kaziklu Bey – The Impaler Warlord.
Vlad has retreated into the mountains, in Poienari Castle, from where he runs in Transylvania. He will return on the Wallachian throne for a short period. In 1476 Dracula dies in a battle against the Turks, around Bucharest, but the cause of his death are still unknown.
Three are the most probable causes of Vlad Dracula’s death:
· he gets killed by a paid man or
· he really dies fighting an enemy or
· he climbs a small hill to see his army throwing away the Turkish army, as he has the habitude to change clothes , wearing enemy’s clothes. Some of his men did not recognize him and killed him by mistake.
Anyway, while his “official” thumb is in Snagov Monastery, a monastery in the middle of a lake, there is no body there. Now there is a mystery to clear out: as mentioned by Matei Cazacu in his book in 1933 a thumb is found with a body that was wearing the purple coat, with golden needlecrafts. The archaeologists (Dinu Rosetti e George Florescu) could easily notice they were facing the thumb of a man wearing a purple or green coat, and they were sure they have seen the true thumb of Vlad Dracula – the Impaler. However, the so documented History Channel didn't mention this and I'm seriously asking myself: "why ?". However we know from historical sources that Dracula has been decapitated and his head sent to the Sultan as a proof of his death. But the Turks were only cutting the skin, therefore letting the skull (cranium).
Here is the very good documentary:
03 December 2007
In 1459 Vlad Dracula engaged in a campaign of terror, so cruel that his name will be remembered over centuries. In fact is in 1457 that he crossed the Carpathians for the first time and punished the Saxons in Mediaş, Sibiu, Braşov. I know no proof that he grouped his troops together in Bran Castle as the documentary mentions. He intended to punish the Saxon merchants in Braşov, medieval Transylvania’s richest and most well defended town. Today’s Braşov gives few clues about the events that unfolded here 550 years ago. What the documentary don’t mention, is that the reason of the attack over the Saxon towns is more complex than simple revenge: they shelter Dan III, pretending Wallachia’s throne. On the Easter week of 1460 Dan III and his troops march through Vlad’s army but gets defeated and gets his head cut off. Vlad‘s attack on the city of Braşov was not an easy one. A huge wall, thick almost 14 feet in some places was surrounding the city. There were bastions at regular intervals. We get acquainted with the medieval fortification system. A multi-level wooden gallery was built on the inner part of the wall. Into the outside walls there are arrow slits and loopholes, that were later been used for canons and for musketry.
Dracula, that grew up in the Saxon town of Sighişoara knows the Saxons very well, as well as them way of fighting. He avoids a frontal attack, instead take them by surprise attacking by night, before they can retread behind the thick walls. Everyone he catches is impaled on the surrounding hills. Thousands died, according to some later Saxon stories. The attack over Braşov inspires the most infamous of the few images of Vlad: the forest of the impaled, with him, Dracula, taking his lunch/dinner in the middle of corpses. However there is proof that he drunk blood or had canibalic acts. Is known the image is an exageration of Germans, that wanted to present Vlad as the Evil in person.
Once Braşov subdued, Vlad turns his attention to the Ottoman Empire. Vlad Dracula is determined to resist the Turks. He concentrates his building efforts on South. He built his palace in Bucharest, on an important commercial route. As the Turks could attack in any moment, he built it in a hurry, with the best specialists available. He took the best stone-masons and approximately 1000 workers to make sure the palace is erected quickly. This is a very functional fortress, opposed to the exotic palace one could expect from Dracula. Later rulers rebuilt and extended it, to reach what we know today as the old court. But hidden in the building’s foundation are clues to its history.
With the country secured by these palaces and castles, Vlad Dracula begins planning for war. In his fortification in Târgovişte he receives a delegation of the Ottomans, claiming for tribute. He refuses to pay the tribute, and ordered the envoys to remove them turbans. When they answer they never remove them turbans he nailed them to them heads so they could really never remove them turbans. After a striking campaign in the winter of 1461 Vlad returns to the safety of his fortification at Târgovişte.
Here is the History Channel documentary :
Vlad's flee in Transylvania, his last reign and his death.
02 December 2007
Third part of the documentary made by History Channel about Vlad the Impaler (Dracula).
Well, here today I have a pretty bad Internet connection, therefore I started posting after seeing just a part of the documentary. I thought it starts with what could be considered a mistake, made by many, probably due to the images presented in the German brochures that made Dracula famous in the XV-th century. I'm talking about the shape of the stakes: many historians (like Matei Cazacu, for example, consider the stakes where not sharpen at the top, as presented here and in every image one could see. The technique of impaling was perfected by Vlad and others, therefore the stakes were having a rounded top, so the impaled did not have the internal organs destroyed (that would have lead to a faster death). However, the next seconds give my confidence in History Channel’s documentaries back. Here you can read more about impaling.
The story of building Poienari Castle - the real castle Dracula is presented, with unforeseen images of how the castle looked before. The castle is built on the strategic place, from where the valley going to Vlad's Capital, Târgovişte, can be surveyed, but also the Valley descending from Făgăraş Mountains, that's from the neighbor Transylvania., where the merchants are threatening Vlad Dracula’s grip on power.
Since Vlad need to build to castle swiftly he relies on unconventional techniques and slave labor.
The Castle of Poienari seems to have started during Vlad's father, Vlad Dracul, but Dracula is the one that fortifies it. The Castle not only occupies to whole summit of the Poienari hill, but enlarges it. The walls surrounding the castle, still visible today, give it the strange appearance. The unusual building structure is made up of red brick, sitting on top of gray stone base. The walls are 9 feet thick, just imagine !! This was achieved by using a byzantine construction method: first of all the two external walls were built in brick, then infill the walls with stones. This combination was resulting in an absolutely powerful structure. What tights the walls together, so they made it thru the centuries was the lime mortar –the secret of Poienari castle’s survival in an area that is very close to an earthquake zone – the earthquakes took place in another area in Carpathians, Vrancea, in the Carpathian’s arch, only 200 km away from Poienari. It has the property that it does not completely set, but allows the walls to move, that is very useful in this earthquake situation. Therefore they don’t suffer severe cracks and damages as it would if it were cement. The construction methods used show that master builders must have been involved, as the techniques used are really advanced.
Everything needed to build Poienari Castle was available in the river valley below: sand for mortar, gravel and small rocks for the byzantine wall filler, steady river-stones that formed the castle’s base. When finished , the castle offer an almost perfect security and the control over a key strategic pass in the mountains, between Transylvania and Wallachia.
01 December 2007
From the History Channel, the second episode of "The Lost World of Dracula":
It starts with the presentation of Bran Castle, where Vlad Dracula stopped by in 1415. The castle has been modernized by the Romanian Royal Family (remember, Bran Castle belonged to the royal family in the first half of the XX-th century), so its interior is very different from what it was in middle-ages. But, by using floor plans of the castle the experts pieced together how it looked 500 years ago.
Here is a simulated image of Bran Castle, obtained by high class computer simulation. Compare it with a picture of the nowadays Bean Castle and you'll be amazed of how different it is. It was not the gothic castle that we see today, but a strong, secured border castle. Placed of the Transylvanian border with Wallachia, the castle occupies a strategic place. However, building the castle was a huge undertaking. The territory was not allowing easy construction and the first difficulty was getting the stuff on the place.
What few people know is that Dracula, in order to build-up his dream (a strong, independent country of Wallachia) , he had started one of the most ambitious building programs in his small country.
A team of experts explore Vlad's construction projects. After seizing the throne of the princedom of Wallachia, in 1456 , he began an extensive building project, trying to impose order in an unruly land.
Vlad III set his capital city in Târgovişte. Is the place where most of Dracula's atrocities took place. in the XV-th century the rule was pretty very simple in politics: kill or be killed . Vlad's first thought was getting rid of the boyars, that were representing the power in the country, changing the ruling prince upon them wish. The princely court in Târgovişte is strengthened, he build something more imposing than every building erected before. The whole complex was surrounded by walls of 5 feet thick. The construction was made up of cellars. The arches, typical for the byzantine architectural style of building, were constructed using a timber framework and helped creating huge volumes. Once Târgovişte was transformed in a highly secured head-quarter, Dracula had begun exterminating his enemy boyars.
The documentary is to be watched more that once:
29 November 2007
Well, folks, I found another nice History Channeldocumentary about Vlad Dracula the warlord that became known allover Europe.
Among other images a scene described as one of the most terrifying landscape in history, a forest of impaled people in front of Vlad's residence in Târgovişte is presented. Also, images from Chindia Tower (The Sunset Tower) in Târgoviste, from Bran Castle or from "one of Eastern Europe's most breathtaking mountain-top castles", from many places in Transylvania or from Bucharest can also be seen.
The computer animation is amazing, it really brings back to life the lost world of Dracula.
Sighişoara, the place where Vlad Dracula was born (in 1431) is presented in details, with images and a short history of the town and of it's inhabitants. Vlad's father, Vlad Dracul, has been killed in 1446 together with his son Mircea.
28 November 2007
"Do you believe in Love ?
Do you believe in Destiny ?"
Dracula is the track 9 from of Iced Earth's "Horror Show" CD. This is the best quality of a concert performance I found so far for "Dracula" song:
Please refer to my previous post for the lyrics.
27 November 2007
Here is another video of Iced Earth performance, with Matthew Barlow, the same piece Dracula.
This is from a show in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (The Trocadero Theater).
The band line-up as given by Vigo on YouTube (thanks Vigo) is:
Matthew Barlow - Lead Vocals
Jon Schaffer - Rhythm Guitar & Back Vocals
James Macdonough - Bass Guitar & Back Vocals
Larry Tarnowski - Lead Guitar
Richard Christy - Drums & Back Vocals
26 November 2007
Was Bela Lugosi, in 1931, the best interpreter of Dracula ? For me, yes (so far) !
Take a look at this slideshow with images from his movies and banners of his movies and enjoy the music:
Very recently a movie was released by Florin Iepan, "Bela Lugosi, The Fallen Vampire", also bringing a tribute of the famous actor, as well as some light in the story of the man that played Jesus Christ and Dracula (in a timeframe of just few years).
Bela Lugosi is considered by many the best interpreter of Dracula ever.
Indeed, he was the interpreter of Count Dracula in the first official Dracula movie, in 1931, the movie that brought Bram Stoker's novel back to live and made famous by the 1931 movie. Despite the fact that by the end of his career, Lugosi played in Ed Wood movies, he was a sacred monster of the cinema (and it would have been if he pnly played in Dracula)
25 November 2007
The same song "Dracula", of Iced Earth.
Now you can listen it while admiring this images from Dracula 2000 movie, featuring Gerard Butler, in this nice video clip:
Here is the band Iced Earth, with Matt Barlow playing Dracula:
here are the other tracks from the F.F. Coppola's movie:
I found on Internet the sountrack of the movie "Bram Stoker's Dracula", directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Here is the beginning of the sountrack, I hope you enjoy it.
Also check the part 2 - Vampire Hunters,
part 3, Mina's Photo,
part 4, Lucy's Party,
part 5, The brides,
part 6, Love Remembered.
and sountrack continues with...
Dracula music - all songs
Besides movies, there are many Dracula songs made so far. I'll try to present them by artist.
Sting - Moon Over Bourbon Street
Not directly related to Dracula, but to the theme of vampire/undead: Moon Over Bourbon Street
Iced Earth - Dracula
- Here is a videoclip with lyrics made after the Iced Earth's song Dracula.
- Timothy Owens and Iced Earth in concert, playing Dracula
- Iced Earth with Matt Barlow playing Dracula in concert
- Iced Earth (music) and Gerard Butler images from the Dracula 2000 movie contribute to this nice video clip
- Matthew Barlow & Iced Earth playing "Dracula" live in Pennsylvania
- Good quality concert performance of Dracula, in Brno, on 18 october 2007
Dracula movies soundtracks
Bram Stoker's Dracula
- Bram Stoker's Dracula soundtrack - first part
- Soundtrack of Bram Stoker's Dracula (directed by F.F. Coppola)
Le Tombeau de Dracula - Dracula's Grave
Young composer Alexis Savelief wrote this when he was only 12.
The second part, Dracula's Death
Here is Iced Earth playing Dracula. The controversial Timothy Owens seems not to be as beloved as Matt Barlow (see comments). For sure he sings different. If Barlow sings this song better or not...well, is on you to listed and decide
here is the Dracula, by Iced Earth, with lyrics:
22 November 2007
Here is a compilation of my favorite Dracula movie so far, the one in 1931, featuring Bela Lugosi as Dracula. I really like the music chosen for the compilation, don't you ?
21 November 2007
Here is another nice performance of Alban Préaubert in his long programm as Dracula at the Eric Bompard Trophee, 2007. Music is from Bram Stoker's Dracula movie:
I realise that the famous warlord transformed by Bram Stoker's novel in a king of vampires, the most famous vampire ever, is so wellknown that there are a lot of artistic spectacles that I added this page with all kind of performances having as central theme Dracula. They are grouped in cathegories, so everybody could choose the type of performance he/she is most interested in.
Alban Préaubert - Dracula the French skater in Courchevel Gala, August, 2007.
Alban Préaubert in his long programm as Dracula at the Eric Bompard Trophee.
Here is the free program of the French skater Alban Préaubert in Courchevel Gala (august 2007).
The music is from the movie "Bram Stoker's Dracula" (1993), composed by Wojciech Kilar and from "Interview with the Vampire"(Elliot Goldenthal). Alban is wearing the suit of the famous Count Dracula (the suit from the movie, not the one Vlad the Impaler was wearing in the 15th century):
17 November 2007
Here is a documentary made by Sky News about Vlad Dracula (Vlad Tepes).
It starts with the presentation of Bran Castle, as well as the surrounding area. The very first image (second 8) is a view from Bran Castle over the hills around, the road going to Bran and Moieciu villages. They don's say this in the documentary but looking attentively one could notice a small stone building on the right side of the road, just between the road and the forest. There is a chapel where the heart of Queen Mary (that owned Bran castle) is burried, for a while (there is a similar chapel in Balcic, Bulgaria, where the queen lived).
The documentary explains that the castle is not what one could expect: vampires, ghosts, etc. It is just a normal XIII-th century castle. Interview with villagers from the area are interesting. They consider it a great ruler, and it is still known in Romania as a courageous and intelligent principle.
Also images from Poienari Castle are presented, as well as how Vlad escaped Turks, but his wife threw herself off the top (I found no proofs to sustain this).
15 November 2007
The organizers of Etnovember festival in Braşov, now arrived at XVI-td edition, prepared a marathon of music, photography, poetry, design, architecture and, generally, the medieval spirit of Braşov.
The festival will be officially open Saturday, November 17th at 12:00 at the university Transylvania of Braşov, with an exposition of architecture, furniture design, picture, sculpture and photos. The Sunday will be dedicated to the medieval era.
I remember Vlad Dracula inhabited in Braşov before seizing the Wallachian throne for his second and longest reign.
11 November 2007
Here, at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TbEitVbyF0 is a short Documentary I found about Vlad the Impaler (Vlad Dracula). Short History and origins of Dracula are presented as well as places where he lved: Braşov city, main city in Transylvania, where Vlad lived before taking the throne of Wallachia. Then it continues presenting Bran Castle, near Braşov presented to tourists as Dracula's Castle. The rulers in that parts where controlling trade, as well as terithory. While they present Bran Castle as the Transylvanian Castle closest to Bucharest, I'd say Râşnov Castle, also in Transylvania is closer, at least for driving. While they say Bram Stoker, the novelist that made Dracula so famous, never visited Transylvania, there are good probabilities he did (proofs can be brought in order to sustain this).
Then we enjoy images from Sighişoara, birth place of Vlad the Impaler. Also the reporter went to Poienari Castle that can be considered Dracula's Castle, as well as to Pasul Tihuta, to visit hotel Castle Dracula.
I'd like to mention that Vlad Dracula was NOT "a minor Count in a different part of Transylvania " as the guy who posted the video states, but be was the ruler of Wallachia, in three times during the XV-th century. And he was all but "minor".
10 November 2007
Bram Stoker's Dracula - the final scene with Mina (Wynona Ryder) killing the vampire Dracula and cutting his head (don't watch it if you have heart problems). Even if, as the youtube comments mention, the movie do not follow the book entirely, I consider it deserves the time if you like this kind of horror movies:
Dracula's Castle as Bran Castle is known is for sale! With an estimated price of 140 m. Euro, the medieval castle is the second most expensive property worldwide, according to a recent top made by "Forbes".
The castle lies 30 km away from Brasov City, South-Eastern Transylvania, in the heart of Romania.
The first place in the list is occupied by a property in Beverly Hills that belonged to William Randolph Hearst. Forbes notes that the castle is being sold by Baytree Capital, in the name of Dominic de Habsburg, son of princess Ileana of Romania, that received the castle back from the Romanian government.
However, in September, the Chamber of Deputies accepted the report of a commission that established the given-back of the Bran Castle has not been done to the right persons (there is an argue about who has the rights to receive the castle), therefore all papers being declared non-valid. Lower of the House of Habsburg, Corin Trandafir considers the decision of the deputies a political one and intends to ask for compensation of 150 m. euro.
08 November 2007
Bela Lugosi, The Fallen Vampire
"Bela Lugosi, The Fallen Vampire" is a very recent production made by a team of 30 -40 actors: Romanians, Hungarians, Americans, Irish. The documentary has been shot during three years, in America, Austria, Germania, Hungary and Romania (Lugoj).
Born in 1882 in Transylvania, in a small town called Lugoj, Bela Lugosi (Bela Ferenc Dezso Blasko on his real name), has a fascinating life. Few people know that before going to Hollywood and playing Dracula, he interpreted Jesus Christ at the National Theater in Budapest.
The movie that made him famous in 1931, Dracula, also destroyed him; after that he accepted roles less important, even playing in "Plan nine from outer space", by Ed Wood, one of the worst movies ever.
Did you know that Bela Lugosi has been burried wearing the suit of Dracula, that made him famous and meantime has been made famous by Bela ?
07 November 2007
Dracula Hypno, with Christpher Lee, in a movie from Hammer Films, "Scars of Dracula":
Well, I found the soundrack of the movie Dracula, from year 2000 :
06 November 2007
Here is a video presenting techniques, the storyboards and editing of Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992):
04 November 2007
Here is the real Dracula's Castle, Poienari, on the way to Fagaras Mountains
This video-clip made by the Romanian Government to promote Romania and it's great natural heritage and millenary history:
03 November 2007
Here is a short anmatorial movie presenting a visit by night to Poienari Castle, the real Dracula's Castle:
According to the legend, Poienari Castle, made up of bricks and stone, has been built by the betraying boyars. During his second reign, after the corronation Vlad called them all and after a party accused them of ruining the country for them own interests and send them to Poienari, to build the defending castle. Copy of images representing this are kept in Chindia Tower, in Târgovişte.
A tour in the area can be offered by a romanian travel agency
31 October 2007
First, I start by an announcment: this is the post number 100 of this blog !
While I do not believe in vampires (I never met one so far) here is a pretty frightening National Geographic docuementary about living vampires:
Well, Henry, the guy at the beginning of the documentary seems a little bit "gone" :)
29 October 2007
I call this posts History by Art because here is a nice summary of the medieval history (in fact, starting earlier, since 1100, up to 1600). We have nice comments, although in French, about the history of art, the evolution of mankind being presented in parallel with the evolution of it's art.
Of course, few seconds are dedicated to our Vlad Dracula, being presented the well-known paintings of the famous Wallachian ruler, a very very short history of his life.
28 October 2007
the last part of the documentary about Transylvania continues with the storyof Dr. Honigberger, then presents Braşov City, with it's 800 years old history. A typical village, in the middle of Transylvania, is then presented. (I'm almost sure the village is Buneşti, near Viscri).
I ends with a very nice lessons about history, self-knowledge, and the beauty of life. we need to thank Victor Rebengiuc for this documentary made in cooperation with Kmigths of Mediaş order
27 October 2007
People's mentality in middle ages, domintated by the permanent threats of the Evil as well as the simbol of Lyon as opposer of the Evil (represented by the Devil), are presented in this sixth episode.The Devil's representations were threatening and infernal. We are presented the St. Michael church in Cluj, the first example of hall church in Transylvania. The church was attracting all social classes: the beggars were lamenting showing them wounds and handicaps, while the big noblemen and rich people were exposing them jeweleries and luxurious clothes.
The medieval town of Sibiu (European Capital of Culture in 2007) is then presented, big and powerfull. Its walls, large and solid are very well fortified, with thick towers and an water moat surrounding it all around, except for the East. Is the image about Sibiu given five centuries ago by Nicholaus Olahus, nobleman archbishop and diplomat.The misterious and ocult life of Dr. Hinigberger is then presented.
25 October 2007
Printing in medieval ages, the quality of prints during Gutemberg, as well as it's evolution is presented in this part of the Transylvania Documentary.
Also, the Transylvania in the XVIth century, with all the problems derived from the proclamation as autonomous principality (like internal fights for power, etc).
The knighting ceremony is led by a bishop, who was blessing the sword of the future knight. But on the battlefield this was much more glorious.
Codlea citadel, near Braşov, is presented. It has been unsuccesfully besieged by a captain of Vlad Dracula, that was punished by impaling.
Făgăraş citadel , at the foothills of the mountains, was like a small dukedom, the Făgăraş noblemen obeying the castleman as them ruler. The besiege of Făgăraş was led by Dracula itself.
The walls of Prejmer are about 5 meters thick at the bottom. On the inside there are a lot of rooms, connected by porches and small balconies. The altar in Evangelical Church of Mediaş, with Austrian and Deutch influences presents bible scenes that were educating people in the middle ages.
24 October 2007
This is the fourth part of the documentary about Tranyslvania. This part speaks about the saxon collonial population, the reason why they left Saxonia and arrived in the eastern part of austro-hungarian Empire. Also while admiring images from Sighişoara, we learn about the way the small town was ruled, the town's defending walls and towers. The tournament is presented as a game of love, as having the motivation in showing the beloved girl what the man is able to do in order to protect his worhiped lover. The apparition of the numerous fortified churches is also explained. Each village fortified the church and even build arond strong defensive fortifications. Even Mattheus Corvin, son of John Huniady, helped the villagers build the fortifications, by temporary cutting the taxes and not asking them to contribute to the king's army. The defending methods are all concentrated around the citadel (example the fortification of Apold). More concentric walls have been built, so if the enemy would succed overpass the first wall it'll be much more difficult to pass the others. When a peril were announced, villagers were brought the assets and cattle inside the fortress, the entrance bridge was closed and the warriors were going to the surveing positions.
Biertan fortified citadel, the most famous of all of them, is also presented, as well as Harman, Câlnic, Sebeş, each of them helping understand the life of the inhabitants and the military defending systems.
23 October 2007
Third party of the documentary speaks about the medieval town of Sighişoara, the house where Dracula was born in 1430 - 1431, his strange relation with John Hunyadi, governor of Hungary and ruler of Transylvania, a hero of Christian World. Hunyadi's castle in Hunedoara is also presented, with it's gothic architecture and his evolution in time. The legend explains history of Iancu of Hunedoara (John Hunyadi) by him, killing with an arrow ravens that steal his royal ring. Therefore the Hungarian kind decided to give him the lands around Hunedoara, as well as put the raven on John's coat of arms.
Then we can see the ruins of Vlad's princely court in Târgovişte, his first residence as Wallachian ruler. Chindia Tower is also to be seen near the ruins. While is true what the documentary mentions, that Vlad's punishment methods are similar to the one use during middle-ages by other rulers like Ivan Third, Luis 11th, Families of Visconti, Sforza and Borgia, Richard IIIrd or The Inquisition. However I'd say the punishments of Dracula spread allover Europe because he exposed them, he used terror to impose law and order in Wallachia. Is unbelievable people were used to this, were watching this "spectacles" with a strange joy, satisfaction and happiness.
While we are not sure about how Vlad Dracula died, the theory presented (his killing by one of his men) could be true, but there are no proofs to sustain this.
22 October 2007
Here is the second part of the documentary about Transylvania
starts with the presentation of the cemetery of Sighişoara, in the heart of Transylvania, "unknown , but full of magic, mystery and superstitions".
A brief presentation of Bram Stoker's novel follows. Even if the inhabitants did not hear about Dracula the vampire, the vampires are well-known here in Transylvania. They area said to bring a lot of harm: after killing them own relatives, they call the other vilagers from the bell-tower of the church, so the villagers die suddenly. Very interesting is the comparison of vampire's killing with a steak thru it's hears, the same way St. George killed the dragon with a spear. Interesting because, indeed, in Transylvania I also noticed a lot of representations of this fight, cuminating with the 1373 bronze-cast statue, representation of the endless confrontation between Good and Evil, dragons, Lucifer's warriors, oposing God's Angels
While is true the merchants spread the legends about Vlad Dracula, is supposed that Matthias Corvinus contributed actively to this, in order to explain Pope why he didn't support Dracula in his fight against the Turks. Although in Rome and Venice Vlad Ţepeş was considered a hero of Christianity (due to his victories against the Ottoman Empire) the stories begun to "catch some roots", people start to believe this histories and exagerations.
This part of the documentary ends with a panoramic view of Sighişoara.
The first part is here
Over 100 American tourists reserved the Hotel Castel Dracula in Tihuta Pass Bârgau Mountains, Bistrita for the night of October 31st to November, 1st .
They’ll spend the Halloween here, as they do every year. The organizers have prepared for them a full schedule for them, ending with the Halloween night, when they use masks, dance around the fire, they entertain themselves climbing the walls, preparing food directly from the camp fire and…wait to meet Count Dracula by midnight.
Something similar can be organized by Outdoor Holidays (TM) a romanian adventure tours travel company.
21 October 2007
Well, I found this very nice documentary about Transylvania made by Kogaion Film and a romanian director, Pascal Ilie Virgil. Bran Castle is presented as well as his lack of connections with Stoker's story. Than we focus our attention on the town of Bistriţa, in the North.
One can also admire images from Fagaras Castle, (seconds 50 - 65), Sighişoara (Vlad Dracula's birth place), Braşov City (Dracula lived here between his first and his second reign) with the old council square and the Black Church.
Also images from the place of Poienari Castle - the Real Dracula Castle.
20 October 2007
This Parody of Dracula Movies is really amusing.
Except few things that have nothing to do with reality (for example women in Transylvania don't wear that type of cap) it is really entertaining:
here we have a compilation with short sequences from "Dracula 2000" (Gary oldman & Winona Ryder) to HIM's "Join me in Death" :
18 October 2007
Good music and a nice compilation of sequences from the movie Bram Stoker's Dracula, with Gary Oldman and Winona Ryder.
11 October 2007
From the same movie Dracula A.D. 1972, the scene called "Dracula returns to swinging London", with Christopher Lee:
10 October 2007
Another scenes from the same Dracula AD 1972 with Christopher Lee :
I don't know why but I still like more Bela Lugosi :)
08 October 2007
Here we have the opening scene of the movie Dracula Anno Domini 1972, a party with the Stoneground:
07 October 2007
Here is another short presentation clip of the film...Even if Dracula got a steak through his heart, a bunch of kids had risen him from the grave. So we have Dracula A.D. 1972:
06 October 2007
The Prince of Terror.
Another classical film about Dracula is the one released in 1972, featuring "the prince of terror", Christopher Lee (as Dracula) and Peter Cushing (as prof. Van Helsing). Watch the promo here:
The final scene the the 1977 BBC's movie.
Discutions over who's better Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lee or Louis Jordan will be forever, but I think the value of a movie is not given only by the main actor, but the scenery , music, etc.
When asked if she's afraid, Mina's answers: "Of course not, I'm in your hands!". Mina (interpreted by Judi Bowker) has a complexe role, she saves Jonathan by shooting one of count's men.
After the fight the atmosphere slowly become creepy as they reach Dracula's cave in the castle (Alnwick Castle has been used as location). Interesting what happens when they kill Vampire Dracula by sunset, in his cave. He evaporates as a powerfull steam. Nothing remains out the the Count's body. Profesor Van Helsing (Frank Finley) thanks God for protecting them and for choosing them to be His instruments (in getting rid of the vampire).
04 October 2007
I agree with the comment that says this version gets everything right. Genuinely creepy and surreal. Is also accurate to Bram Stoker's book
03 October 2007
Continuing the presentation of sequences from the BBC movie Count Dracula.
Count's brides seem to share the same soul, so killing one affects the other, Mina.
02 October 2007
Lucy (Susan Penhaligon) and Mina (Judi Bowker) meet skipper Swales (interpreted by George Malpas), a strange character, scaring, funny and excentric in the same time. The story of the suicide, falling of a cliff, comes back in this movie as well:
30 September 2007
Here is another Dracula movie, made by BBC in 1977. With an IMDB rating of 8.0/10 the movie seems to have had a success equal to the 1931 one.
The movie, directed by Philip Saville is writen by Gerald Savory, who adaptated the Bram Stoker's novel for the movie.
Here is a scene from the movie:
Composed for the 1931 "Dracula" by Tod Browning, this solo piano played by Michael Riesman gives the measure of Riesman's talent.
Whatch this performance of April 27, 2007, from the gothic space of New York's lower eastside concert hall the Angel Orensanz Foundation. And fell like being in the movie:
27 September 2007
Visited by over half a milion tourists each year, the Romanian Castle that is presented as Dracula Castle, Bran Castle, near Brasov is subject of intense dispute between Dominique of Habsburg and Romanian Government.
After giving the castle to his previous owner, Dominique of Habsburg, the romanian government rejected his expensive offer for buying the castle. Now the decision to give the castle back is put under doubt and there are voices asking for that decision to be canceled, as the castle belongs to the Romanian people.
Whatch this BBC documentary over Bran Castle for details:
also have a look on this short slide show about Bran Castle
25 September 2007
Just look at this short sequence from the movie directed by Freddie Francis, featuring Christopher Lee. In my oppinion the music makes it all :
18 September 2007
Another sequences from the Dracula movie featuring Christofer Lee:
I kinda like it, enjoy.
15 September 2007
Dracula Has Risen from The Grave
...was produced in 1968 by Warner Bross studios.
Featuring Christopher Lee, Rupert Davies and Veronica Carlson (presented as "Dracula's most beautiful victim"). Rated 6.3/10 on IMDB, the the movie seems to have achieved a smaller fame that the 1931 movie.
Here is the trailer of the movie:
13 September 2007
The German newspaper Berliner Kurier wrote before the amical footbal game between Germany and Romania that the romanian player Adrian Mutu to the Wallachian prince Vlad Dracula, saying that Mutu is the most dangerous Romanian since Dracula.
One can notice once again that the famous Dracula is a brand for Romania. And if we remind that part of Dracula's fame is due to German people of the XV-th century, Mutu could become as famous as his ancestor.
28 July 2007
The last part of the documentary presented by Discovery on the history of Vlad the Impaler. Vlad's retreat in Transylvania, his last reign and his death near Bucharest are briefly presented:
Also watch the first and the second part of the documentary .
Vlad the Impaler - Dracula.
The second part of the documentary about Vlad Dracula presents the reign of Vlad Dracula from his second ascent to the Wallachian throne. Professor Raymond Mc Nally , author, together with Prof. Radu R. Florescu of the book "Dracula - prince of many faces", is a real Dracula expert, as well as Matei Cazacu.
Is presented his revenge over the boyars (that allegedly killed his father and elder brother Mircea); boyars are send to build the castle of Poienari, still considered the real Dracula Castle.
The impaling technique is also presented, however so far I haven't heard of any serious proof that Vlad was putting his bread in the blood of the people he was impaling.
The war of 1462, against the Sultan Mehmed II presents impressive war strategy for that time.
Anyway, let's better watch the documentary:
The first part of the documentary is here
The last part of the presentation of Vlad Dracula in the Discovery's series of Most Evil Men in History.
27 July 2007
History of Vlad the Impaler
07 July 2007
There are a lot of documentary movies about Dracula, both amateur video as well as professional ones.
Movies about Vlad Dracula's life
1. an amateur five minutes video describing Dracula's History.
2. After following the first video here is a proffesional documentary, emphasizing more the myth part of the story around Vlad Ţepeş (Vlad the Impaler), somehow normal considering this is a commercial movie. However I didn't find big errors in the movie, my comments are inside the post.
Discovery Channel Dracula documentary
4. A professional short documentary with History of Dracula is this one realized by Discovery Channel. You can also watch the documentary about Vlad Dracula here
5. Here we have part 2 of the documentary made by Discovery upon Vlad the Impaler
6. and the third and last part of the Discovery Channel's documentary movie about Dracula
7. Transylvania. History, Legend, Mistery. A very nice romanian documentary presenting Transylvania (even if it starts with the the Sphynx, that is not placed in Transylvania, but few meters away, in Bucegi Mountains. There really are something like two kilometers from the Sphynx to the Dragosn's Ridge, in the same Bucegi mountains, that represents the geographical and geological determination of the limit between Transylvania and Wallachia), the history and the legend of Vlad Dracula. Part II of the documentary about Dracula, the origins of the legends about his cruelty - please also read my comments for this. here is the third part of the documentary about Dracula's life.
Fourth part of the documentary presents the fortified citadels in Transylvania, the reason and the way the fortifications were built, as well as the villger's systems used to defend themselves
Fortified citadels of Fagaras, Codlea, Prejmer, the medieval town of Medias are presented in fifth part.
Middle-ages people's mentality, medieval town of Sibiu, gothic architecture in Cluj Napoca.
Last part of the documentary "Transylvania. History, Legend, Myth" speaks about the beauty of life, the pleasure of discovery and the beauty of history and ...of life.
8. Sky News about Vlad Dracula. Origins of Dracula's name, Bran Castle, Poienari Castle, how Vlad is seen today.
Lost World of Dracula (by History Channel)9. A fantastic animation brings back to life a lost world: the World of Dracula, of the middle-ages in Transylvania and Wallachia.
10. History of Dracula: Bran Castle, Târgovişte (Dracula's first princely court)Vlad Dracula's campaign against the Saxons in Braşov. His palace in Bucharest.
Another Dracula Documentary
A short sequence of a documentary aiming to present what is true and what is only myth in all the stories about Vlad the Impaler
Cities of the Underworld. Dracula
Documentary of History Channel
In search of ...Dracula
A nice documentary that I find very helpful for my project. I mind you one of the targets of this project "Dracula - The Truth" is the help distinguishing Dracula myth from the historic reality.
Here it the first part of the documentary
In search of Dracula - part II
In search of Dracula - part III
Vlad Dracula armor and impaling techniques
Here is a documentary by Massimo Polidoro about impalement methods in the middle-ages
Voyager - Documentary about Dracula
Dracula documentary in Italian
Vampire SecretsPart 1, part 2, focused on Dracula, part 3 - about Elizabeth Bathory, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, part 8, part 9
The life of Vlad the Impaler is briefly presented in this short movie called Killers for Christ.
[UPDATE: Video was removed, but I'll keep the post as a collection of references to others related to Vlad Țepeș]
Here are my comments on it:
1. it is only supposed that Vlad III was born in November or December 1931
2. The facts about Vlad Dracul are true (or what in history is a generally accepted truth), one can find here more details about the fascinating life of Vlad Dracul.
3. After 1448 Vlad came to Vallachia to take the throne and, taking advantage of the fact that Vladislav II was attacking the turks on the right side of the Danube, together with his protected John Hunyadi. In fact the real reason for Vlad's liberation was, from the Turks' part, to set him as a ruler of Wallachia. His brother Radu the Handsom remained and there are good proof that he became sultan's lover.
4. at min. 1:42 indeed in Chindia Tower in Târgoviste there are some copy of the old designs representing the building of Poienari citadel. I only wish to remind that the capital was in Targoviste by that time, that's why there was a 50miles trek up to Poienari.
5. min 2:26 - he used brutal punishment methods (like impaling) againd Transylvanian merchants but especially agains the transylvanian saxon population that was hospitating and sheltering him rivals for the Wallachian throne.
6. Facts about 1462 are generally accepted but the romanian historians still discuss if the Turks' campaig in Wallachia was a failure or a success. Only an unfortunate confusion made Vlad not killed the sultan. While the turkish army was resting on the left side of the Danube, after hardly passing the Danube in Vidin Vlad attacked by night and, even if he has been spying the turks's camp before he missed sultan's tent and so the opportunity to kill him.
7. At 3:42 we can admire the terrifying figure of Bela Lugosi in the movie Dracula, of 1931, the first official movie about Dracula.
Generally this video respect the historic truth and is a good short presentation of Vlad Dracula's life. I really like it for this and highly recommend it !
27 June 2007
Besides the numerous movies (I read somewhere that there are about 300 movies inspired by Dracula), the books and the songs, there are also some jokes about Dracula and the vampires.
Is true that these jokes are confusing people associating the vampires with the myth of Dracula, however I'm going to relate one that I heard yesterday evening on Italian Television RAI 1.
"Somewhere in Transylvania there was a castle (my comment: this is also confusing people: while Vlad the Impaler was born in Sighisoara, Transylvania) he lead Wallachia, died there and was buried also in Wallachia).
On a windy night the castle doors where moving and the thumbs begun to shake. Dracula and two vampires exit and need to eat some blood. They are afraid to go out in the storm, however Dracula get some courage and dears to exit the castle.
After a while he comes back to the others with some blood in the corner of his mouth. The others are excited about him being so brave, such a good hunter and ask him how he managed to get some blood.
- You see that tower up-there? , he says
- Yes, we see it, was it there that you found the victim?
- No, no, is that tower that I head so hard, while looking elsewhere.....
19 June 2007
The Blacksmiths' Tower, Sighisoara
Also check my images of the Tinkers' Tower in Sighişoara
The Blacksmiths' Tower is one of the 14 defending towers protecting the medieval town.
(c) April 2007 - dracula-transylvania.blogspot.com
One can see the shooting windows on the upper part and the way the tower is emerging from the defending wall.
Interesting archaeological research revealed some great detailed design can be viewed at http://www.cimec.ro/Arheologie/CronicaCA2001/web_cronica_foto/187/index.htm The one to the left is looking at the tower nearly from the same angle as this photo.
18 June 2007
Dracula's coronation - beginning of the second reign
It was not easy for the boyars and the population to identify Vlad, in the summer of 1456. He left the country when he was only a twelve years old child, and only came back for a short period of time in 1448. How could they know he really was the son of Vlad Dracul and not an impostor? The first to recognize him where the old boyars, like jupân Manea Udriste, the chancellor Cazan and a few other old boyars.
Besides those testimonials, there was in Wallachia, but also in Moldavia, another safe way to identify the son of a principle. The new born boy is being “signed” with a burned hot iron, in order to be later easy to recognize as a real son of the principle. At the end, this signs, together with an edict of the Sultan, presented by his mother, allow the identification. Probably as identification signs there was the sun, the moon and a star, that were also present on the national flag, around a rook.
After the identification, the coronation ceremony follows. The ceremony for crowning Vlad took place in the metropolitan church in Curtea de Argeş that Vlad knew pretty well as this was built by his father and inaugurated on August, 15th 1439. Seems like after the coronation ceremony in the church boyars exit and climbed a tribune from where they asked the people “Your principle Vladislav is dead ! Who do you want to choose as a principle ?” all of them answered: “we want only Vlad, son of Vlad !” The ceremony was in a Slavonic language, as in the middle age in Wallachia the official language was pretty similar to the one in Bulgaria, Serbia or Ukraine. The principle was “oiled” ("uns" in Romanian) with special oil made up of thirty essences and blessed in the sacred Thursday. This oil came from Constantinople where the patriarch and metropolitan churches heads were preparing it during a special ceremony. Then he sits the throne and all boyars, heads of the church, military heads, etc come kiss his right hand.
After the ceremony the day ends with a huge dinner.
1459, the attack against Braşov
17 June 2007
As mentioned in a previous post about Sighisoara, the old medieval town was protected by 14 defending towers, all given in care to different castes.
Tinkers' Tower, still standing today is a strange building. Built on a triangular base, the tower has a pentagonal shape, with the upper part having an octagonal shape. The exact date when construction started is unknown, however what we know is that important consolidation work has been done in 1583.
Here is a photo of the tower taken by myself in April 2007.
10 June 2007
Places related to the story of Vlad Dracula
Understanding the real life of Vlad Dracula means also contextualizing the facts, trying to imagine him in the medieval age, with people, habits, culture and the places of that age. Therefore this corner presents that places, at least what is still existing today.
SIGHIŞOARA - the medieval town
Sighisoara is the birth place of Vlad III, and the place where the future Dracula spent it's childhood. Have a look at this posts to have a better image of Sighisoara:
- The best (as far as I know)presentation movie about Sighişoara
- Slideshow with views of Sighisoara, 2006, from youTube, but explained in detail by myself.
- Sighişoara in the medieval era
- A movie made from the Clock Tower in Sighisoara
- Photos of Sighisoara, that I took in April 2007.
- Sighisoara - Tinker's Tower
- Sighişoara - Blacksmiths' Tower
If we know today that Bran Castle can hardly be connected with Vlad III Dracula, than which is the real Dracula Castle ?
Targsor Prahovais less known as being connected with the myth of Dracula, therefore is the less touristy of all Dracula places.
Medieval Saxon Citadels
A great cultural heritage of Transylvania are the medieval citadels and fortified churches. Few people know, but there are about 1000 middle-age fortifications in Romania.
In April number National Geographic Romania published some great images aiming reconstitue the way this fortification looked.
Vlad Tepes' buildings: Snagov, Comana, Târgovişte, Poienari, Bucharest Old Court
Slide-show presenting Snagov Monastery and Lake
Photos of Sighisoara
While visiting Sighisoara few weeks ago, I took some photo in the town where Vlad III (that later took the name of Vlad Dracula) was born and spent it's childhood !
This is how people was dressed in the XVth century, they are just in front of the house where Vlad Dracula was born:
Stairs are always fascinating me, especially stairs of Sighisoara. Besides the well-known covered stair, going uphill where the schools is, there are equally fascinating.
The Clock Tower of Sighisoara is the symbol of the town and meantime one of the most beautiful medieval buildings in Eastern Europe. Now the clock tower acts as museum and from the top of it one can admire the whole medieval town as well as the surrounding area. Objects from the medieval age, as well as a smal hall dedicated to Hermann Oberth (1894-1989), founder of astronautics adn inventor of the first rocket are to be seen.
09 June 2007
Besides the well-known Dracula Movies, there are thousands of short clips, slideshows, interesting images about Dracula and Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler) that (most probably) has inspired Bram Stoker for his book.
Let's start with this slideshow containing images from movies (starting with Dracula, 1931 - the image of Bella Lugosi), the well-known portrait of Vlad the Impaler as well as a relaxing music:
The Immortal, Vampire Myth
Another short clip is this one, rather amusing, called bride of Dracula
Gerard Butler. Dracula makes the music of the night, a nice slideshow.
I found this slideshow pretty interesting. A nice mix of romantism, horror, movie images and a decent music, all dominated by the image of Vlad Dracula:
I found this short video about a "bride of Dracula". Pretty amusing, enjoy :
24 May 2007
This is a pretty annoying movie of youtube, a Turkish (?) guy talking about Dracula's history. While the guy speak a crappy English the interesting thinks are the comments and repsonses
07 May 2007
In the April 2007 number, National Geographic Romania publised two very interesting related articles, featuring the medieval Transylvania: one about the saxin citadels, and one about Medieval Sibiu.
The saxon fortifications are presented in a very nice graphical presentation by Radu Oltean. Medieval towns as well as fortified churches are presented here. One can admire the XIII-th century peasants churches of Câlnic, Prejmer, Cisnadioara and the fortified church in Biertan, but also the graphical representation of Medias, Brasov or Sighisoara.
Here you can admire some photos from this great article.
01 May 2007
Here is an addiction to the Media Library, this nice detail from the Medieval Church in Targsor, Prahova. The photo was taken by myself in April 2007. I remember Targsor was an important medieval town in Wallachia, now disappeared after Ploiesti rise in close nearby. Note the bricks and the care for architectural details:
The final part of the movie Dark Prince. The Truth about Dracula presents Vlad fighting his brother Radu in Snagov monastery and initially defeating him. However Radu is not alone and the guards help him.
His father-in-low Aron as well as Father Stefan are all there. He is considered Antichrist for fighting his own people and his own religion, however he explains he did never fight God! Betrayed by father Stefan, that Dracula accused has killed his father Vlad Dracul, he finally gets killed by Radu, his own brother. Here I have to mention the movie is fara away from the historic truth, most evidence presents Vlad Dracula's death as on the battlefield, somewhere in the southern part of Bucharest (I'll post more especially about this as it seems to be a lot of controversial about the death of Vlad III Dracula - the place as well as the way he died.
Father Stefan dies by heart attack when he meets Dracula's phantom, the doomed spirit rest undead for etenity:
30 April 2007
In 1476 Dracula is given his throne back, after the Hungarian king finds out that the letter sent to him many years ago was a fake. Vlad has to marry his daughter, a roman-catholic. Like that he will have money from the Pope. He accepts and goes back to Wallachia. He finds out that his brother Radu (that remained in history under the name Radu the Handsome. He give the noblemen the privileges back and made Aron (Dracula's father-in-low and betrayer) the chief advisor. After many years of absence he finally gets to see his son, Vlad, and give him his ring, the ring that belonged to Vlad Dracul. He gets excommunicated by the Orthodox Church. He did not renounce Catholicism, as this would mean missing support of the Pope and the Hungarian King.
Vlad III finds out from father Stefan where his brother Radu is, he goes there to meet him and they start fighting.