30 March 2007

Vlad the Impaler in Battle Against the Turks

Part 5 of "The Dark Prince" (The true story of Vlad the Impaler) presents one of the first battles of Vlad agianst the turks, but also his meeting with his younger brother Radu, that betraded his country to ally the Turks.

Also scenes of the normal city-life of medieval towns (is seemst o be shot in Sighisoaa, in the middle of Transylvania, not in Târgoviste, the capital of Wallachia, but let's consider this just a small detail). His wife Lidia is horrified by his attrocities, meantime she seems to understand that's the only way the country could be led.

28 March 2007

The Dark Prince - life of Vlad Dracula

Here is the 4th part of the great movie about the life of prince Vlad Dracula. He comes to seize the Wallachian throne, thirsty for justice.
Vlad starts with a visit to his father grave (presented as being situated in the monastery of Snagov -although there is no proof about this) and revenge against the noblemen, for killing his father and elder brother, Mircea, but also for the political instability they caused to the country. The country keeps being called "Romania", despite the fact that in middle ages there was no Romania, but this is understandable by the commercial nature of the movie. (People has to know what country the film is talking about, isn't it ?).

27 March 2007

The True Story of Vlad Dracula

The Dark Prince: the true story of Vlad Dracula (part 3):

Vlad marry the beautiful Lidia, daughter of a nobleman, just when she was about to go to a convent.
He obtain from Hunyadi the Wallachian Throne. On his return he is shocked by the poverty people lives in, by the unfair treatment they have from the boyars (unguilty people being beaten in the public square, just for ...not being rich enough).
He decides to change the things, even by risking his life! After killing the ruling prince, Vladislav (called Karl in the movie, I don't know why) Vlad claims the throne of Wallachia. People is happy about it, he promises justice and freedom for all

26 March 2007

Moldavia in the middle-ages

Moldavia in the 15th century - a brief history

Moldavia, the eastern of the three Romanian countries knew in the XIV-th century the same fights for power, the same civil war as Wallachia did. Its name came from Moldova River, flowing in the North of the country, where its first capital was lying. The country was formed of two big regions: The upper country and the south country (the down country). At the very beginning the two principalities were called Wallachia (= the Romanians’ Country), but then, to differentiate it from the other country it was called “RussoWallachia” or MauroWallachia.

The name Moldova is the one that rests since the end of the 14th century, when the two countries: the North one and the South one join together. The country was independent from 1359, when Bogdan, a Romanian from Maramures area settle the throne and give his name to the dynasty. In 1370 Ludwig of Anjou, Hungarian King, gets elected also King of Poland. The union Hungary-Poland determines prince Peter I to swear fidelity to Ladislav Jagellon _(Jogaila) . Despite the efforts of Hungarian kings to dominate Moldavia it remains vassal of Poland for many years.

The long reign of Alexander the Good, allowed Moldavia to develop an important role in Europe. The commercial way linking Persia with China was crossing Moldavia from South to North and brought Moldavia the economic prosperity.

In 1428 the country rich its maximum expansion, 93.000 sq. km, much bigger than Wallachia. It was lying from the Eastern Carpathians to Nister and from the Black Sea to Galitia. After Alexander died, a quarter of a century of internal fights and civil wars followed, from 1432 to 1457.

In 1448 John Hunyadi set Peter II on the Moldavian throne, to stop the politic instability in Moldavia (he wanted Moldova to be a powerful country, capable of defending itself against the Turks, so defending also Hungary). The Hungarians project was to guarantee the fidelity of the Romanian Countries Wallachia and Moldavia, envisaging the expedition against the Turks.

Peter II dies on October 10th 1448 and on the throne is set Alexandrel, son of Ilia (a son of Alexander the Good). In November-December 1448 Vlad Dracula comes to Moldavian Court after being thrown from the Wallachian throne by Vladislav II. Presumably his step-mother is here, to her relatives. Is here that Vlad rests for three years, despite the fact that Alexandrel is being taken the throne in October 1449. The new prince, Bogdan II was son of jupân Bogdan, brother of Alexander the Good.

If Alexandru was sustained by the Poland king, Bogdan II was looking for politically sustain from Hunyadi. Therefore at February, 11, 1450 he established a fidelity and alliance treaty with John Hunyadi (Iancu de Hunedoara). Bogdan obliged to act with Hunyadi “as a son with his father”, obtaining military help, the right to exile, etc.
Poland attacks Moldavia twice in 1450 in March and September but is defeated. Is supposed Vlad Dracula participates in the battles and is since that period his friendship with Stefan, son of Bogdan II.

On October, 15th, 1451, Bogdan is taken from his bed and cut his head down by a small troop lead by Petru Aron, challenger to the throne, helped by the Poland’s king. Bogdan’s widow runs to Transylvania, together with the two sons, to seek for help near Hunyadi. Vlad goes with her but does not present in front of Iancu de Hunedoara (Hunyadi) , the killer of his father.
He established in Braşov or Sighișoara, where his father Vlad Dracul has been welcomed.

Vlad III in Transylvania, 1451.

In 1456 Dracula obtains the throne again for his second and longest reign

25 March 2007

The Dark Prince (True Story of Dracula): the exile and return to Transylvania

the second part of this great film presenting the real history of Dracula.
Of course, here also there are some comment but let's follow the movie first. Dracula's exile in the Ottoman Empire is presented, his first meet with the sultan. The name of the sultan is not Mehmed but Murad II.
As far as I know there is no real proof that the sultan cut Radu's chest with a knife, neither that he put Vlad on a bad treatment while he was there. Also is probable that only Mircea, Draula's big brother, has been buried alive by the nobles, not his father Vlad Dracul. Also, is 1448 the year of Vlad's liberation from the Turks to seize the Wallachian throne, not 1455. In 1455 he was already in relations with John Hunyadi and was preparing the occupy the Wallachian Throne for the second time.

here is the movie, nevertheless very interesting:

Part 3

24 March 2007

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23 March 2007

Dark Prince The True Story of Dracula

The short sequence below is the movie closest to the historic truth about Dracula. There are some doubts, like the Gothic church where he has to face the heads of the Orthodox church (it is presented like a church in the middle of the lake and the same church of that type is the one in the middle of Snagov Lake, an orthodox one, of course !

here is Part 2 of the movie

18 March 2007

Romania - not only Dracula

Seems to be some problems with Blogger, I lost all this post after writing it (and it was a so nice one....:( )

Anyway I waas presenting the video clip below? As I said, I intend to present not only Dracula but also the places where he lived, as they were in the middle age, as they are today.

the video presents :
- a fortified church in Transylvania;
- an image from Sapanta Merry Cemetery in Maramures;
- Palace of Culture in Iasi,
- Silva Hotel in Busteni resort, at the foothills of Carpathian Mountains;
- People's House, second largest building in the World, resutl of Ceausescu's megalomany;
- the cazino in Constanta;
- another image from the Carpathians;
- a traditional Romanian house;
- The Orthodox Cathedral in Cluj-Napoca
- ...
- a traditional village image (might be from the museum of traditional civilization in Sibiu;
- Peles Castle in Sinaia, former residence of Romania's Royal Family;
- a modern statue...I can't recall the city;
- Paragliding in Romania, maybe at Bunloc;
- an overview of Brasov City
- two images from a traditional festival in Transylvania;
- the high tower of a church;
- a beach at Black Sea;
- the Black Church in Brasov, sheltering the biggest organon in central ans Eastern Europe;
- another image of Peles Castle;
- a realxing landscape on the pre-Carpathian Hills - the moutnain behind seems to be Piatra Craiului, so the image is taken from the village of Sirnea or Fundata, near Bran Caslte;
- an image from Bucharest, once called the Little Paris;
- another picture with the Carpathian Mountains...
- ...and another one of Peles Castle;
- an image of Bicaz Lake
- and one with a mountain river;
- an image from a Transylvanian town, almost surely from Sibiu;

RO! "Not Only Dracula!" - Amazing videos are here

17 March 2007

Dracula Makes the Music of the Night

Gerard Butler in Dracula Makes the Music of the Night

Gerard is a great actor, and the video-clip is really enjoyable, a pleasant music and a nice compilation of images:

The first reign of Vlad III Dracula

The first reign of Vlad III Dracula

In September of 1448 the army of John Hunyadi (Iancu of Hunedoara) passed the Danube and head south to reach the Albanese troops of Scanderbeg (G। Castriota). Michael Szilagyi and the Wallachian prince Vladislav II helped Hunyadi in this campaign; they siege Vidin fortress and capture 3000 prisoners. The campaign continues, however on the way back attacks Hunyadi’s army, defeats them and Janos Hunyadi manages to escape, Vladislav II and his 4000 men retire slowly. Meantime Vlad attacks Wallachia, left without any real army and set he on the throne.

An Ottoman chronic places the action in 1449 : “The next year [after the battle of Kosovo] Murad II build the fortress of Giurgiu. From here he attacks Wallachia and set Vlad on it’s throne; he gives him a coat of arms and a flag, in a ceremony coat, as well as many favors”.

In reality Vlad arrived in Transylvania much faster this chronic was thinking, on October 31 he was already occupying the Throne of Târgoviste, from where he sends a letter to the mayor and senators of Brasov Town, as a response to a message of a Hungarian boyar. He manages to avoid a trap set by Nicola of Ocna Sibiului, an invitation to capture Vlad (after his father has been made prisoner in the same manner by the Turks, was easily understandable that Vlad is vary careful to every trip he makes). He reponds that he cannot honor the invitation to rich Ocna Sibiului before Hunyadi returns from the war, mentioning that Murad 2 captured Hunyadi. And if he would go to Brasov the Turks will destroy both Wallachia and Transylvania.

The first rign of Vlad Dracula is pretty short: on December, 7th in Constantinopole arrives the news that Vlad has been defeated by John Hunyadi, that also condemned him to death। However this is not true, as Hunyadi manages to get free only by Christmas time. So was Vladislav II, turned back from Kosovo, to make Dracula leave the Wallachian throne and go to Moldavia, in exile.

14 March 2007

Dracula Movies

I mean artistic Dracula movies. Here you can find Dracula documentaries !

The novel of Bram Stoker, "Dracula" has really become famous after it has been translated into the movie with the same name. Or...movies with the same name ?
Well, let's try to present them in a chronological order, starting with the masterpiece of 1931.

The first official Dracula movie

has been made in 1931, featuring the Hungarian actor Bela Lugosi as Dracula and Dwight Frye, a great American actor. (Few years before there was another German movie, but it went underground.)

The movie has a very good IMDB (Internet Movie Data-Base) mark, 7.7/10 (after almost 7000 votes).

On the trailer of the 1931 movie we can read: "In all the annals of living horror one name stands out as the epitome of EVIL ! DRACULA! ". Here is the trailer of the 1931 Dracula movie.

Here is the movie:

Another scenes from the movie are to be found here:

Dracula 1958

Some IMDB comments consider it the best vampires movie of all times.

Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966)

Here is another Dracula horror movie. Dracula Prince of Darkness, from 1966 with Christopher Lee. The movie is considered a Sequel to "The Horror of Dracula" (1958)

Dracula Has Risen from The Grave

As imdb states the release date in USA was 6 February 1969. The IMDB mark 6.2/10 denotes a sensible difference from the 1931 movie. In fact it did not reach the fame of the first official dracula movie. However, I present it here, there are some nice scenes that deserve a look:

Dracula A.D. 1972

With an IMDB mark of only 5.3/10 the movie seem to has had less success than the versions of 1931 and 1977, despite being directed by Alan Gibson and having a cast as Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing

Blood for Dracula

Count Dracula. BBC, 1977

The guy who posted this considered the 1977 version "Easily the best version of Dracula filmed to date" and in fact it has the biggest IMDB mark. However I don't know if I like more this one or the 1931 Dracula version, feat. Bela Lugosi.

From the same movie, Vampire Lucy's first victim

Vlad Țepeș (1982)

Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)

The movie is rated 7.1/10 on imdb (by more than 30 000 voters). This is a good mark and the difference from the 1931 movie's mark also reflect my opinion, I like the old one more !

Unofficial scripts of the movie can be found here.

Here we have the Story of Lucy, from the same movie !

Dracula 2000

Dark Prince. The True Story of Dracula

This movie could also have been put in the documentaries section, as it is well documented and presents the historic truth about Dracula, rather than the vampire Dracula or the impaling stories.

The world knows the legend.

Many know the MYTH....
but FEW know the TRUTH
Here is the full movie Dark Prince.

Dracula: Dead and Loving It

The first part of this parody upon Dracula Movies.


One of the best german expressionist film, Nosferatu is loosely based on the Bram Stoker's novel.

Vlad Tepes

Vlad Tepes (Romania, 1979). Watch the first part of the movie here !

The forest of impaled that Mehmet found in Targoviste, in 1462.

Dracula's Curse

This seems to be the worst Dracula movie of all times (at least according to imdb rating: 1,8/10). However I added it to the media library, as the intention is to present all Dracula movies and see the evolution from the 1931 movie to the nowadays ones.

This ammateur french movie tells the story of a soldier hanged during Dracula's regime. Well, one could easily reply that Dracula was not ruling Făgăraş , where they say the soldier has been hanged, but the movie is quite interesting.

NBC Series, 2013

The Dracula series, on NBC. The trailer

13 March 2007

Bran Castle on Italian Television Rai 1

This morning the Italian television RAI 1 aired a 5 minutes documentary about Bran Castle. They mentioned it has been built “in 1300” (although the “official” year is 1377), that it belonged to Dracula in the 15th century (still we'll see later on this blog if it really belonged or not to Vlad III), than to Queen Mary of Romania at the beginning of the 20th century (they “forgot” to mention that the local council of Brasov offered it to Queen Mary “for her contribution to realizing the union of 1918” – is still unclear to me what her contribution was, but let’s skip this “detail”). Then they mentioned the castle has been transformed into museum by the communists and that Dominic of Hapsburg managed to have the castle given to him as he inherits the royal family (respectively Queen Mary). Images in the short documentary where from the castle, from the movie Dracula (1931) - a few seconds with Bela Lugosi and from the moment when dominic

The future of the Castle is still unclear; Dominic of Hapsburg wants to sell it for an amount of 60 to 100 m. USD but the Romanian state considered the sum exaggerated and refuses to pay.

Bran Castle on Italian Television

This morning, the Italian Television RAI 1 aired a short documentary (about 5 minutes) presenting the history and the actual status of Bran Castle.

They mentioned it has been built in 1300 (in fact the "official" year is 1377), that it belonged to Dracula in 15th century, than to Queen Mary of Romania (not mentioning it was a gift of the Brasov Local Council), being transformed into museum by the comunists.

Now, Dominic of Habsburg manageg to have the castle given to him (as he eredits Qeen Mary and the royal family) and wants to sell it for an amount of 60 - 100 m. USD.

11 March 2007

The adolescence of Vlad III – The Impaler

The life of Vlad III, from 1436 to the first reign
In 1444, at the age of 13-14, Vlad III is sent together with his brother to the High Ottoman Porch as a warranty of the loyalty of his father, Vlad Dracul to the Ottomans. We don’t know details about his stay in Adrianopole, however we can suppose he was in a kind of half-liberty /half-prison state there.

The peace of 12 -24 April 1444, between Murad II and the delegation of representants of John Hunyadi (Iancu of Hunedoara), the Hungarian king , and George Brankovic was establishing the situation of the Romanian Country – Wallachia and of its ruler, Vlad Dracul. He had to pay the “tribute” and also to send his elder son to the Ottoman court. In June 1444 King Ladislav validates the peace . Vlad Dracul pays his duty, but not wanting to sacrifice Mircea, the old son, send instead Vlad (the future Dracula) and Radu.
(Unfortunately he is informed too late about the decision of Ladislav and the Hungarian high court to set the war on Turks.) So Vlad end up in Egrigoz, (Asia Minor) , from where most probably he get moved to Adrianopoli.

Might be the period spent on Turkish territory that developed in Dracula a sense of cruelty that he later applied in Wallachia. I remember that the Turks were very well organized people, as well as devoted to them chief (Murad II by that time).

After the killing of Vlad Dracul by John Hunyadi on Wallachia’s throne is now Vladislav II, that manifests fidelity to Hunyadi.

In 1448 John Hunyadi passed the Danube together with an army of Hungarian and Wallachian troops and attacks the Turks, but , after the battle of 17-19 October, in Kosovopolje, Turks end up victorious. Huniady manages to escape and, after being captured by the people of Brankovic (that meantime negotiated the peace with the Turks), has to pay a high price for his liberty. Vladislav, instead has a big surprise at his return in Wallachia: the throne has been seized by Vlad Dracula, 18 or 19 years old, supported of the Ottomans.

10 March 2007

Bram Stoker's Dracula movie

OK, I might insist too much on the media library, but here we have another scene from Bram Stoker's Dracula movie (called Bring Me to Life):

07 March 2007

Informative video about Dracula

I found this very nice short documentary about Dracula:

While is true that Vlad did not live in Bran Castle, the rest of the documentary is correct and I recommend it for having a first idea about Vlad III - Dracula !

The narrator says about Snagov Monastery: "there is no way to get there but by boat", however in the winter of 2005 I guided two American photographers there and passed on the ice covering the whole lake! Also the villagers in the movie don't look like Gypsy (as he says) :). Maybe one of them is the guy that walked next to us in the winter and took the biggest risk of an ice crash. (he was fishing in the lake).
Also there are very intense controversial about Snagov Monastery being the place where the body of Vlad the Impaler is buried.

02 March 2007

Scene from the same Dracula 1931