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Romania and the Myth and Origins of Dracula

by www.EasternEuropeans.co.uk
Romania - the Myth and Origins of Dracula
The History of Dracula - Fact and Legend Entwined

 Bram Stoker’s original version of Count Dracula’s life takes place in Transylvania, a region of Romania. A young solicitor, Jonathan Harker, is invited to Dracula’s castle to provide information and the contracts for the Count’s new acquisition, an estate in England. The story continues as Jonathan’s fiancée and her childhood friend are pursued by the Count, becoming his victims as a now-returned Jonathan and his compatriots attempt to stop the reign of terror. While this original story has become the basis for several movies, a few cartoons, a children’s television show puppet, and on a very basic level the character on a box of kids’ cereal, does the character of Vlad Dracula have his origins in anything but his author’s mind? Ask almost anyone who has heard the literary version and you will get the same answer – absolutely yes. And some people think the fictional version is less evil and bloodthirsty than the real-life man that inspired the vampire tale.

 
Deeply seated in Romania’s past is the story of Vlad the Impaler, a Wallachian blueblood and one of the most controversial figures in the country’s history. Also known in Romanian records as Vlad Tepes or Vlad Dracula (which translates as “Son of the Dragon, referring to Vlad’s father’s title which was given to him in 1431 when he was accepted into the Order of the Dragon, an anti-Islamic knighthood), While of Wallachian blood, he and his family had been exiled to the region of Transylvania when they were ousted from rule by an opposing faction. After years of war with the Ottoman Empire, Vlad was placed as Prince of Wallachia, where he continually warred with invaders and opponents to his rule. Dying in 1476 at approximately 45 years old, he has left behind stories and images that continue to haunt the world.
 
Atrocities committed to memory and written down by German and Turkish warriors, as well as his captors during his relatively brief imprisonment in Turkey include torturing and killing small animals, nailing hats or other badges of office onto people’s bodies, and the mutilation of unfaithful or unchaste women. However, Dracula is most famous for his tendency to execute almost anyone who stood in his way, disagreed with him, cheated customers, or just generally didn’t fit his ideals by impaling them on stakes and leaving them on display. There are well-documented anecdotes of warring factions arriving at a town after Vlad the Impaler, only to find thousands of men, women, children, and even infants suspended on stakes - sometimes head-down, sometimes head-up – with Vlad’s soldiers feasting among them.
 
Tourists to modern-day Romania are often directed to Bran Castle on the historical border of Romania and Wallachia, where Vlad the Impaler was rumored to have lived (most likely it was where he was imprisoned for a few days as opposed to have resided); other sites in the region include a restaurant in Sighisoara which used to be a house where Vlad did in fact live for a time, and the citadel in the same city which offers a glimpse of living conditions in his era. While there is not much else still in existence to prove that Vlad Dracula was indeed the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s legend, one has only to speak to the Romanian people to know that the legend has soaked into their culture, as sure as his victim’s blood soaked into the ground so many years ago.
 
Transylvania image reproduced courtesy of siliconium.net
 


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Other articles:
- Possible Consequences of Brexit on Care Homes and NHS
- Club fire highlights problems in Romanian Healthcare System
- Travel Guide to Romania
- Romanian Festivals and Traditions
- Could the UK Healthcare system survive without EU Nurses and Carers?
- History of Hungary Part 1 - Medieval Period
- Famous Historical Polish People
- A Brief History of Lithuania
- Estonia - Small but Beautiful
- A Tourist's Guide to Romania
- History of Poland Part 3 - Modern Day
- History of Poland Part 2 - World Wars 1 and 2
- History of Poland Part 1 - Medieval Age
- Healthcare Ails as Doctors, Nurses Emigrate
- Traditional Drinks of Eastern Europe
- Hungary's Natural Thermal Spas
- The History and Difference Between Samba and Salsa
- Name Day - Traditional Polish Custom
- A Tourist's Guide to Latvia
- Placek Swiateczny - Polish Christmas Bread
- The Inca Trail in Peru
- A Brief History of the United Kingdom
- Mexican Dishes and their importance in Traditional Culture
- Cultural Sites of Interest in Poland
- Polish Weddings - Traditional Customs
- Back Packers Guide to Eastern Europe
- How to Manage your Debts during a Recession
- Czech Republic - A Bohemian Paradise
- Bulgaria-Land of Outstanding Beauty
- Credit Crunch- Has the Capitalism Bubble Burst?
- A Tourist Guide to the Amazon in Brazil
- 20 credit crunch busting tips
- Argentina and Brazil: Rivals in Life and in Sport
- Hungary- Land of Dental Tourism
- London- Playground for the New Russian Elite
- Poland, Family, and Catholic Culture
- Once Golden, Again Golden Poland
- British people of Brazilian descent
- Go Green and Beat the Energy Crunch
- History of Brazilian Samba
- Polish Employee Rights - Anna's Case Study
- Employee Rights -Holidays and Wages
- Cosmetic Surgery in Eastern Europe
- Porkolt- Hungarian Stew
- Review of Polish Festival In London
- Writing Within the Periphery of Culture;
- Different Cheeses from Romania, Poland, Hungary
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- Argentinian Bocaditos -finger sandwiches
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- Basic Polish for Beginners - Part 3
- Fashion Saving Tips- Affordable Panache
- Scottish Traditional Dish - Haggis
- Bliny -Russian Pancakes
- Bigos -Polish Hunter's Stew
- Interview with Writer of Life of a Recluse
- Polish Words for English Speakers - Part 2
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- Polish Words for English Speakers - Part 1


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