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  TRANSYLVANIA - The land of Dracula
Reasons to Visit Transylvania
Cluj Napoca
Dracula Legend

Dracula, Myth vs. Legend

When one hears the name Dracula, most are inclined to think of a Hollywood fairytale with blood sucking vampires and a fictitious Count Dracula. This is true in one sense and completely false in another.

The figure most people associate to Dracula is a fairytale, written from the pen of Irish Novelist Bram Stoker. Many believe Stoker based his novel on the real life figure, Vlad Tepes III. Vlad was a prince of Walachia, located in central Romania. This is where the similarities end, as Stoker never actually visited Transylvania, or Walachia, and merely drew images from the stories written in European papers at the time.

Vlad Tepes was born in or around 1431, in the Transylvanian town of Sighisoara. Today you can visit the house in which Vlad was born, which has been restored to its original condition, and enjoy one of the best preserved medieval citadels in Europe. At the time Vlad was in power, Walachia was a main trading route, and a strategic point in the battle between the Turkish Invaders from the East and the Hungarian throne situated in Budapest. This caused a very turbulent situation, as the battle of religions with these powerful neighbours was often fought on these lands. Vlad was known for many things, most of which being his cruel and ruthless torture methods. Impalement was Vlad's favourite form of punishment, and he held no favourites, whether it be local thieves, foreign nobleman, or the sick and poor.

As stories vary from one person to the next, the true life of Vlad Tepes will never be known. The printing press releases from Germany and Russia have similarities to the stories and life of Vlad, and local folklore is probably the best way to find out more on Vlad's life.

We have found a very well written essay on the life of Vlad Tepes written by Ray Porter (from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) in 1992. It includes 6 chapters explaining variations of Vlad's life. For any Dracula enthusiast or if you would like to know more about this fascinating story it is definitely worth reading.

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