28 February 2007

Dracula 1931

I consider necessary enriching the media gallery with this dialogue from the movie Dracula - 1931. Bela Lugosi in another proof of his talent.

25 February 2007

The Real Life of Vlad The Impaler – Dracula

Life of Vlad The Impaler Dracula - the Childhood

By most probabilities, Vlad was born in Sighisoara, in the year 1431, presumably November or December. As explained in this post describing briefly Vlad Dracul’s life, 1431 is very probable the year of his birth. And as his father Vlad II (Dracul) was in Sighisoara by that time, running one of the state’s mints, is very probably that he was born in Sighisoara in the house still standing today near the clock tower (you can see it in this picture that I took in march 2004 in Sighisoara).

There is no much information about the childhood of Vlad III but we know how young princes were educated at that time. There was a “preceptor”, usually an important boyar to take care of them education. This one was searching for them masters of arms, equitation, etc. In the Germanic world as Sighisoara was in the 15th century there was an emphasis put on “the seven skills”: equitation, swimming, using arms, the arch, fighting, the court life and the tournament. We can easily suppose that Vlad Dracul, after receiving this kind of education himself at Sigismund’s Court wanted his sons to be educated in the same manner.
Doubtless equitation was the main activity, as the horse was the universal transport modality, as well as the close friend of the warriors. Learning horse riding at the Wallach court was going in parallel with the fights on-horse, or the “harta” – term used then for the hunting parties.

About theoretical skills we can suppose that Vlad didn’t know writing at most he was able to read. That’s because we don’t have letters written by him, neither signatures nor any other proofs. Slavonic was the language used for writing at that time in Romanian countries. However, official correspondence with Saxon towns in Transylvania was sometimes done in Latin Language. We don’t know if Vlad was in knowledge of this language, however we knew he was speaking Turkish after his stay by the Ottoman court.

In 1436 Vlad Dracul took the throne of Wallachia and his children went along with him in Târgoviste. Here the boys get in contact with what princely court life means. He gets in touch with the Princely Court’s ceremonial, with all the political intrigues of the boyars, become conscious of the fragility of the Wallachia’s Throne and of the Wallachia as a state itself, facing Hungary and The Ottoman Empire. Both Mircea (first son of Vlad Dracul) and Vlad seems to have been strongly influenced by the record of Mircea the Elder, them grandfather, although they haven’t seen him alive.

The teenage of Vlad is presented in this post.

Dwight Frye in Dracula (1931)

Dwight Frye playing lunatic Renfield in this short sequence called "Flies!" from Tod Browning's 1931 version of Dracula, the first official Dracula movie:

Renfield's Conscience (Dracula - 1931)

Dwight Frye - Renfield's Death (Dracula - 1931)

An other scene from the classic movie Dracula.

24 February 2007

Sighisoara Medieval Town

Here I found a short movie made from the Clock Tower in Sighisoara, birth town of Vlad III, Dracula
If interested, here there is a presentation of the medieval Sighisoara , the town where Vlad lived his early ages.

Sighisoara ,Medieval Town Of Romania :view From The Watch Tower -

Dracula Castle

Here we have a nice documentary movie (in fact images slide-show) about Bran Castle, better known as Dracula Castle, maybe the most famous castle in Carpathians. One can admire the middle-age architecture, as well as the nice landscape around the Castle.

DRACULA - The most amazing home videos are here

Bran Castle - short history and myth bursting.

See this BBC piece of news on the dispute over Bran Castle.

A presentation of pictures from Bran Castle

Dracula Movie, 1931

Another scene from Dracula movie, of 1931.
Bela Lugosi has a terrifying look, just look at his eyes.

Maybe is also the sound-track that makes me love the black and white old movies. the Vesta's only survivor after a terrible storm is a man considered a maniac. kept under observation.

23 February 2007

Dracula Movie - 1931

Here we have the trailer of the movie Dracula, from 1931 the one that made Dracula famous. Or, better said made it famous again (Count Dracula was already famous for his atrocities in the XV-th century). Featuring Bela Lugosi. "The original terrifying story of a maniac and a man that lived after death". Pure horror:

21 February 2007

Images from Sighisoara Medieval Town

This video compilation is a slideshow with images from what is considered not only by Romanians as the most beautiful medieval town in Central and Eastern Europe – Sighisoara, the birth place of Vlad III Dracula.

The slide-show starts with images of the Clock Tower, the symbol of the medieval town (seconds 6 – 19, 178 - 180) then continues with images from the street turning left from the opposite side of the main square, (seconds 20 – 40) , images of the middle age houses still inhabited.

Image of the house where Vlad Dracul lived from 1431 to1436 are to be seen at seconds 84 - 97, but one can also notice the stair going uphill, the gateways, the church on the hill.

Also the statue of Vlad Tepes (Dracula) , the orthodox cathedral, the Saxon graveyard on top of the hill.

Pictures of Legenda guesthouse (used by outdoor holidays in it's tours in Transylvania) anbd of Burg Hostel are also presented.

The remaining towers from Sighisoara defending system can also be seen (the image at 08:29 – 09:20 are taken from the clock tower), as well as an overview of the old and of the new town.


20 February 2007

Dracula 2000 Pictures

Here is a short compilation of pictures from the movie Dracula 2000, featuring Gerard Butler.
I enjoyed the pictures more than I enjoyed the movie trailer, maybe because they are much less violent :)

18 February 2007

Black and white Dracula by Bram Stoker

Another collection of sequences from the movie Bram Stoker's Dracula. I like it and mainly the song: My Immortal by Evanescence.

17 February 2007

Dracula FAQ

Dracula and Transylvania FAQ

Working and traveling thru Europe it happened to me to be asked different things about Count Dracula. Sometimes just heard about the movie or saw it, other times they have heard about Transylvania or the vampires.

So here we have the most frequent asked questions about Dracula:

1. By far on the first place there is the question asking if Dracula really existed.

Answer: it depends if we are talking about the warlord that inspired Bram Stoker for its novel, yes it exists. His name was Vlad III Dracula and he lived in the XV-th century in Transylvania and Wallachia.

If we are thinking about a supposed vampire as he appears in the novel, no, there has been no vampire with this name, at least as far as I know.

2. Are there vampires in Transylvania? (yes, I have been asked even that)

Answer: No, there are no vampires, neither ghosts there.

3. Few days ago (February 2007) I have been asked if is true there are a lot of castles in Transylvania.

Answer (exactly the answer I gave to my colleague in Milan): Yes, absolutely. In order to explain a little I have to talk briefly about the history of Transylvania. As you probably know it has been part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire for centuries. In the 13th century the emperor brought the Saxon population at the south-eastern border and gave them some lands in order to defend the empire. As the middle age in Transylvania was all but not a calm period, they had to build fortifications in order to defend themselves. The most of the Castles date from the 13th – 14th and 15th century. Bran Castle as well as Râsnov are such examples of middle-age castles.

4. This is from two nice Americans I guided through Romania two years in a row: we were really in Sighisoara when they asked me how is Vlad seen in Romania: as a bloody criminal or as a hero.

Answer: he’s rather seen as a hero, because he managed to defend the independency of Wallachia against the Turks.

16 February 2007

Dracula 2000 movie - the trailer

Here I found the trailer (?) of the movie Dracula 2000.
The movie seems pretty violent, so I don't know if I'm gonna see it !

Dracula 2000 Audition

Gerard Butler in an audition for Dracula 2000. I pretty like the way he plays. Ok, he might not look exactly like Dracula here. However, look at his eyes, pure evil :

15 February 2007

Sighişoara - birth place of Vlad III Dracula

Sighişoara in the medieval era

Before presenting Dracula’s life I think it would be interesting to have an idea about the nice town he lived in: Sighisoara. Attested for the first time in 1280 under the name of Castrum Seg (the town on the hill – in Hungarian Seg means hill). Although I encountered many times the name of Castrum Sex, I prefer to use Castrum Seg (sincerely I haven’t seen the original document). From which Segsburg and the actual German name Schassburg, with the same meaning, the town on the hill. Is easily understandable the name, as it is really placed on a small hill, near Târnava River. One would have to climb the clock tower to have a perfect view of the geography of the place. Even the Romanian name seems to come from the Hungarian name (Segesvár)

Fourteen square towers were placed on the wall protecting the citadel. A second defending wall has been built around the lower town by the end of the XIVth century.
During Vlad‘s life the town was counting about 2000 inhabitants, so much fewer than Braşov (6000) and Sibiu (4000). The first official census, dates from the end of the XVth century. Sighişoara was sheltering 638 families, so about 3000 inhabitants. The majority of them were Saxons (hospites in Latin), 600 families.

The inhabitants were organized in guilds (bresle in Romanian). Each guild was having it's own tower. They were shoe-makers, coopers, goldsmiths, tinsmiths, spurs-makers, woodcarvers, leather dressers, butchers, carpenters, etc. Nowadays some of the towers are still preserved, and, more than this, still inhabited.

The town was being governed by a local judge, with power over the 16 neighboring communities forming the Stuhl (headquarter of the justice).The judge was seconded by the mayor and the local council (formed of 12 wise old-men). The population was speaking one of the Germanic dialects called Saxons. This was common to the 35 villages around, grouped in three ecclesiastic communities.

What characterized the Saxons in the 240 German villages is Transylvania is although the clothes they used to wear. As mentioned by Dávid FRÖLICH in Medulla Geographiae Practicae (1639) the men’s clothes are almost identical to the Hungarians’, except the men like larger clothes. The sacerdotes were using a purple coat, a blue or red belt, a dark-color cape called “reverenda”. The women were wearing tight clothes, with the shoulders uncovered.

A short video from a parade of middle-age wearing in Sighisoara is to be seen here:
The quality of the video is not the best, but at least we can have an idea:

13 February 2007

Dracula, My Love (Eurovision 2007)

A video clip that divided the Romanian music world.
After passing the accusation of plagiarism, the melody has been disqualified because some sequences of it has been shown on TV prior to the competition.
Besides the fact that Transylvania is mentioned in the chorus (growing the confusion around the myth of Dracula - as mentioned earlier in my posts Wallachia would much more deserve to be associated with Vlad Tepes) I don't really like the melody, neither the clip.

However, here it is:

Waiting for you opinions !

Bram Stoker's Dracula (F F Copola's movie)

Bram Stoker's Dracula
Probably one of the best known Dracula movies. Here is the first part of it. Starting with a short introduction of the historic moment, 1462, nine years after the fall of Constantinople. The movie starts with the symbol of the fallen cross. Muslim Turks invade Europe.

11 February 2007

Dracula movie

here is the trailer of the movie "Bram Stoker's Dracula":
Is true that is a German manuscript of the 15th century presenting Vlad III as a bloody warlord, impaling people (boyars, merchants but also traders or even women), killing without thinking too much, doing the most horrible atrocities.

10 February 2007

Wallachia history from Mircea the old to Vlad Dracula

In 1417 Wallachia was still in a good situation. Mircea the Elder has built or enforced many strongholds along the Danube, in the main passing points. The most important of this was Giurgiu, 60 km south of Bucharest. Vlad Dracul mentions that for every stone in the castle his father has paid the equivalent of a block of salt of over 100 kg. The stone was rare in that area, but building the castle shows the importance given by Mircea to that defending point. Was much easier defending on the Danube that in the country. The castle can still be seen today, although it is entirely ruined.
With the strong town of Chilia, at the Danube’s fork, with Braila, Wallachia’s most important Danube harbor, the country confirms its role as guardian of the commercial routes linking Asia with the Black Sea. This was used by Transylvanian and Wallachian traders but also by Venetian traders and those from Genoa.
After Mircea die the throne is held by his son Mihai that was already sharing the throne with his father since two years, for no more than two years, between 1418 – 1420. He was the first ruler to die fighting against the Ottomans.
In 1420 the throne is disputed by the successors of Dan I and those of Mircea the Old, also called Drăculeşti (in Romanians means “the Draculas”). The first were sustained by the Hungarians, while the second ones were helped by the Turks. The aristocracy was divided according to the location of the lands. The ones close to the Danube were sustaining the Turks, because of being afraid. The Turks were not asking anymore for hostages, as a guarantee for Wallachian ruler’s fidelity, but one or two sons of the Principle and of few boyars. Hungaria started using the same system since the 14th century.

Vlad Dracul

After spending his early years as a hostage at the Ottoman or Hungarian court, Vlad II gets from the Hungarian King Sigismund of Luxembourg the mission to defend Transylvania’s south east border. Therefore it settles in Sighisoara, where he runs one of the state’s mints. In 1431 the opportunity to take to Wallachian throne appears when the boyars come to Hungarian king to ask for the nomination of the new Principle instead of Dan II, presented by them as being dead. In the same year 1431, in Nurnberg Sigismund of Luxembourg enthrones declares Vlad as the new Principle of Wallachia. Meantime Vlad is being given the prestigious order of San Ladislaw and that the order of Dragon. This one has been created by Sigismund in 1408, first as a Hungarian one and then as an order of the German empire.

But the throne of Wallachia has already been taken by Aldea, another illegitimate son of Mircea the Old. So Vlad has to wait until 1437, when Aldea Alexander dies and he ask Sigismund to support him take the throne. After taking contact with the main boyars he passes the Carpathians and at 24th of January 1437 he already calls himself “autocrat”, “big voievod and Lord, governor of all HungaroWallachia and duke of the territories over the mountains, Fagaras and Amlas”

In 1438 Murad II attacks Transylvania and he obtains the support of Vlad Dracul and conquers all the secklers’ citadels. In 1440 Iancu de Hunedoara (John Hunyadi) and Nicola Ujlaki are ruling Transylvania together. From that moment forming an ally with the Transylvanian governors was possible, so that in 1442 Iancu de Hunedoara stops two Ottoman armies. Vlad’s army attacks the rest of the Ottoman one; therefore Murad II decides military occupation of Wallachia. Iancu de Hunedoara (John Hunyadi) enthrones Basarab II, son of Dan II on the Wallachian throne.
Vlad is invited at Adrianopoli by Murad and made prisoner. Between 1442 – 1444 Iancu de Hunedoara, helped by the wallachs attacks the Turks even on the foothills of Balkan Mountains. In 1444 Murad helped Vlad Dracul to regain the throne and this one send to the Ottoman court two of his sons: Vlad (the future Dracula) and Radu, aged fourteen or fifteen and, respectively five of six. In October 1444 Mircea, the first son on Vlad is sent to help the Christians at Varna, in the Battle against the Turks. But he retires from the battle under the threatens to see his two brothers dead if continuing. The allies are beaten and Hunyadi barely manages to escape. In 1445 French troops under the command of Walerand de Wavrin enterprise an expedition on the Danube, attacking and taking from the Turks the citadels of Siilistra , Turtucaia, Giurgiu, Rusciuc. In 1447 VLad decides no to accepts the Hungarian coins anymore because of their devaluation. The conflict with Hunyadi starts again and this one passes the Carpathians and kills him and his son Mircea (probably Mircea was buried alive by the boyars of Târgoviste). As Vlad Dracul has a fascinating life I intend to enter more in details about this one.

Vladislav II is enthroned by Hunyandi in Wallachia.
Hunyadi organize a campaign in Moldavia, enthrones Pietro II and obtains from this one the citadel of Chilia. After unsuccessfully attacking Constantinople on sea Murad 2 attacks Chilia, considered “the key to Moldavia, Hungary and all the Danube”. But the Hungarian and Romanian troops manage to resist and set the fire on the Ottoman navies. In September 1448 Hunyadi together with Vladislav’s troops pass the Danube and attacks the Turks. Hunyadi manages to escape once again, after taking a normal soldier’s clothes. Vladislav II will have a big surprise when turned home: on the throne, helped by an Ottoman army, has come Vlad Dracula.

09 February 2007

Dracula - The Story of Lucy

I like the soundtrack of this short sequence from the same movie "Bram Stoker's Dracula". Lucy Westenra, interpreted by Sadie Frost.
This is the story of Lucy, tehe restless soul that takes even the body of a white wolf:

08 February 2007

Bram Stoker's Dracula (by F.F. Copola)

Dracula was made famous by the first movie done about him, and since the first one most of the movies on the subject became famous. F.F. Copola's movie (Bram Stoker's Dracula) seems to be very appreciated. In this scene one can clearly see the letter sent by Mina (Winona Ryder) to Dracula (Gary Oldman) saying:
"My dearest Prince,
forgive me. I have received word from my fiance in Romania. I am en route to join him. We are to be married, I will never see you again. Mina".

So is really clear that Dracula is presented as a sensible person, and in fact, even in Romanian history Vlad Tepes is neither white or black, is just a complex personality of the middle-age.

What surprises me about the movie is that, while the name of Transylvania is mentioned a few times (and the name of Romania also), Wallachia (where Vlad III ruled) is never mentioned. However, just for the sake of the historic truth, speaking about Romania in XV century is at least odd (if we keep in mind that Romania as a state appeared in 1859 - 24th of January).

07 February 2007

Dracula Media Library

Dracula movies, documentaries, pictures, songs

This part of the project “Dracula – The Truth” is grouping together short movie clips about Dracula (both artistic movies like the one of Francis Ford Coppola and documentaries), pictures, sound-tracks or songs, lyrics where available, etc.

Because one of the main purposes of this project is separating the myth from the truth about Dracula I think the best way to do this media library is splitting it from the very beginning in two main parts: artistic movies and documentaries. Therefore it’ll be easier to differentiate the Bram Stocker’s Dracula character from the real Vlad Tepeş, aka Vlad Dracula. The documentaries (but also the artistic part) will not be strictly limited to Dracula, but try to present the entire middle-age in Wallachia and Transylvania and to the places where he lived and that can still be visited.

I found some very nice media documents about Dracula’s Castle, for example and I took pretty good pictures of Snagov Monastery, Sighişoara, Târgşor and other places directly connected with the story of Vlad III Dracula.

Envisaging this I started the media library with the artistic part, presenting a nice scene from the movie Bram stocker’s Dracula, featuring Winona Ryder and Gary Oldman.

The media library also contains some documentary video presenting Vlad III Dracula's history.

Audio books
By now I only found one good audio book - Dracula.

Of course, pertinent comments are always welcomed.

06 February 2007

Bram Stoker's Dracula

I initiate the Dracula media library with this scene from Bram Stoker's Dracula (very nice called LOVE NEVER DIES). Gary Oldman and the beautiful Winona Ryder are doing a great movie.

05 February 2007

Vampire Killing Kit

The Vampire hunting kit – sold for 4450 USD.

When thinking about Romania one would connect the name with Dracula, the most famous of all vampires. It happened to me to be asked, both in Italy and in France (but more in Italy) if the Dracula story starts from a little bit of truth. I always explain that Vlad Dracula was a bloody warlord, however there are no real proofs it become a vampire after he passed away :).

However, seems like selling Dracula’s Myth is a pretty good business. (Maybe that’s why the amount asked for Dracula’s Castle is around 100 m. USD.) Today I found out that an American Company, "Turner and Williams" sold on eBay a vampire killing kit - rare Dracula Antique, that they claim to have belonged to a monk in Transylvania.

According to the presentation, the kit is composed of a wooden box (made of linden tree), internal of brown velvet, and has eight compartments. Inside the box there are: a wooden hammer, 9 inches long, four wooden stakes, 9 inches each. Maybe the lime tree is not for nothing, we know the linden tee has the best relaxing, calming effect. It is also used for reducing the blood pressure, but also as an antispasmodic. In Romania the nervous babies are even being washed in linden tea. There are crosses both on the stakes and on the hammer.

The lower side of the box contains: a prayer book, a crucifix, knife and eight bottles with Pamânt (holy soil), Agheazma (holy water), Mir (anointing oil), Tamâie (holy incense), Usturoi (garlic), red serum, blue serum and secret potion, wooden cross, a metal syringe box. They present the box as a creation of a Transylvanian monk, in 1857 – 1860. The praying book is written in old Romanian, with Cyrillic characters. This makes me wonder. Is known that by the middle of the XIX-th century Transylvania was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, therefore the majority of the books were written in Latin or Hungarian. However, they claim that the box is certified by the Romanian minister of cults and culture. The crucifix is made out of silver and put on a metal chain. There are some inscriptions like “Is est Sanctus Res ego sum decessio secundum ut meus pius futurus adsuesco assuesco obviam Malum , Nox noctis Ingredior Nosferatu , Lamia quod Intentus” ("This is the Holy Thing, I am leaving behind to my own kind to be used against the Evil, the Night Walker , Nosferatu , the Vampire and Strigoi").
According to them, the vampire experts said that this kind of kits where largely used in the XVIII – XIX century.
I personally did search on eBay and found also a Vampire hunting kit sold at 15 USD, with the mention it is made to look like old. An extensive search also revealed the Vampire Killing Kit here, selling for US $4,450.00 + shipping cost of US $90.00

04 February 2007

History of Wallachia

A short history of Wallachia

The history of the country laying south to Carpathians, up to the Danube and to the Danube Delta, in East, starts by the end of the 13th century. The Black Prince (of cuman or slave origin) run away from its feudal duchy, Fagaras and shelters South to Carpathians. That happens because the duchy was given to Ugrinus, a Hungarian noble, by the king of Hungary Andrew III.

A unification process of the small principalities started and in the XIVth century, Basarab I "the founder" ("Intemeietorul" - in Romanian) was already ruling an area more or less equal to Wallachia as it survived for five centuries. Except Oltenia, that still conserved a certain autonomy. The new country was having an average size (cca 77000 sq. km) but a very important strategic position.

The Hungarians kings tried, since the very beginning, to include the new country in the empire, but it managed to preserve the independence (although they were under the strong influence of the big empire). In 1330, when Basarab occupied the stronghold of Severin, on the Danube, the Hungarian king Charles Robert of Anjou ask him the fortress. As Basarab refuses to give it, Charles Robert starts a military campaign and threatens the Wallachian prince. But Basarab manage to negotiate a peace pact: he promised paying an amount equivalent of 72 kg of gold (or 21000 golden forints). The Hungarian King turns back, but set fire on Basarab's residence in Curtea de Arges. However Basarab surprisingly attacks Hungarian army in a place called Posada (not exactly identified until now). After the battle of 9- 11 November 1330 Charles I of Ajou difficulty manages to escapae, changing his clothes with that of a soldier. So Basarab conserves Oltenia and it was given under to be controlled by his son, his associate on the throne. Basarab dies in 1352 leaving on throne his son, Nicolas Alexander. This disturbs the Hungarian king, as he pretended that the Wallachian prince to be named by him. In 1359, Alexander (angry because the Hungarian king intercepts his correspondence with the pope) asked the patriarch of Constantinople his consecration under the name of “lord autocrator” and to give autonomy to the Wallachian church. So the church becomes metropolis, taking like this a clear distance from the Catholic Church. Basarab I and his son Nicolas Alexander are buried in Câmpulung Muscel, in the Princely Complex.

Here is a map of Wallachia in the 14-th century (credits to Wikipedia):

Mircea the Elder (1386 - 1418) or Mircea the Old, grandfather of Vlad III Dracula was the most important ruler of Wallachia in 15th century, although his country was under a permanent threat by the part of Turks, who extended them power in Europe starting with the middle of the XIV-th century. in 1396, in Nicopolis, he sustains the West European armies of French and Borgognian knights, int the fight against the Turks. However, the allies failed (the heavy french cavalry had no chance against the easy turkish one).
In 1402 Timur Lenk, the Mongol khan, beats Bayazid in what we know now as The Battle of Ankara and Mircea takes advantage of this in order to consolidate the independence of Wallachia. After 32 years of reign Mircea dies in 1418, leaving a powerful country.

After Mircea the Old ...

03 February 2007

The Life of Vlad Dracula

As M. Cazacu mentions in his book, Vlad Dracula was born between 1430 and 1436, most probably in Sighişoara (Schassburg, as the town was called in the XV-th century). The house that has now a plate saying this was where Dracula born was used at that time as mint. And is known that Vlad Dracul, his parent, was in charge with the mint, between 1431 – 1436. Therefore, we can accept that he lived in that house and consequently, that Vlad Tepes was born there. In 1442, Jean de Wavrin (uncle of the Burgundian knight Waleran de Wavrin that led an expedition against the Turks, on lower Danube) mention the only son of Vlad Dracul (Vlad being imprisoned by the Turks) as being about 13 - 14 years old. So Mircea, the first son of Vlad Dracul was born around 1428-1429, therefore Vlad couldn't have been born before 1429-1430.
Meantime, when Vlad Dracul took the throne of Wallachia, in 1437 he mentions his two sons; therefore we can suppose Vlad’s birth to be between 1430 and 1436. So, in his house next to the clock tower in Sighişoara.

Adolescence of Vlad III (Ţepeş) was not the most peaceful possible...

02 February 2007

Vlad III the Impaler - a brief history

Brief history of Vlad III

Vlad III (a.k.a Vlad Dracula) lived in Wallachia and Transylvania, by the middle of the 15th century (1431 - 1476). He had his royal court in Târgovişte, now a small town south of Carpathian Mountains and in Bucharest (Bucureşti) (setting the capital to Bucharest for the first time)

Described by a German chronicle of 15th century as the most evil of all tyrants that ever existed and by a Russian one as a dictator (without mentioning details), he surely defended the independence of the young Romanian Country against the Ottoman Empire.

Read more about the life of Vlad Dracula here...

About the project Dracula - The truth

Dracula - Myth and Real History

This might seem an utopia: a project aiming to present Vlad Dracula's life, the medieval Transylvania of XV-th century, what is true and what is only imagination about Vlad The Impaler and the medieval age when he lived.
However, the idea came closely to my mind while searching some real information about Vlad III the Impaler. It's not about scarcity of the information that I was surprised, but the difficulty to find only the truth, not the mythology around, as well as details about the places, the people of that age, etc.

My ideas might change in time, but what I have in mind right now is grouping the information in few big groups:

1. Vlad III Dracula. It's life, as detailed as possible. Information about impaling people in that era, the wars, etc.

2. Medieval Transylvania & Wallachia. My idea is we cannot really understand all details if we don't try to contextualize the facts. How was people's life, how were the medieval towns what did they looked like, what about the medieval church ? What about education ? But the food ?

3. Dracula's myth, the connection with Bram Stoker's novel, the vampires - did they really exist ? The idea will be a clear distinguish between myth and reality.

4. That places nowadays: South Eastern Transylvania, Wallachia, Bran Castle, Poienari Castle, Târgovişte, Snagov, Bucharest, etc.

5. Media library: pictures, movies, songs, etc

6. Documentation. All good information sources I can find: books about Dracula and about medieval eastern Europe, websites, magazine articles, eBooks, etc.

Latest posts:

A short history of Wallachia up to Vlad's reign
The history of the country laying south to Carpathians, up to the Danube and to the Danube Delta, in East, starts by the end of the XIII-th century. The Black Prince run away from it's feudal duchy, Făgăraş and shelters South to Carpathians. That happens because the duchy was given to Ugrinus, a Hungarian noble, by the king of hungary Andrew III. Read more ...