Sunday, 1 November 2015

Dracula's legend

The idea of writing about Dracula's  blossomed into my mind while I was writing a post on Linkedin.
First of all: Transylvania is not a country, but a region of Romania.
Secondly: Dracula's based on a real person, but it's a legend. Vampires don't exist. Sorry to bring these to you. :p

Now, while I was living in Italy, the first question people used to make me, when they heard I was Romanian, was this one:
"Would you tell me about Dracula?" 
------------------Based on this, I would say that Italians always knew Transilvania was a region of Romania. I am just saying, not insinuating anything. :p----------------------

My problem was that I have never known Dracula's legend and I found myself in a very awkward situation quite a few times.
One day, I decided I was going to learn it, for future reference.

Here it is.
(Count) Dracula is a vampire, the main character of Bram Stoker's (Irish writer) novel with the same title.
It is based on a real person: Vlad the Impaler (Vlad Tepes in Romanian).
And this is the story I will tell you, not the Dracula's one. For that, you have Bram Stoker's novel. :p

Vlad the third (Tepes= the Impaler), was a Voivode (Prince/Ruler) of Walachia (an old name of a region of Romania = Tara Romaneasca) was born in 1431 (15th century) in Sighisoara (a place in Transylvania/Romani).
He was the son of Vlad the second. This (Vlad the second = Father of Vlad Tepes) was called Dracul (or Dragon) by Sigismund (a Roman Emperor) at his initiation into the Order of the Dragon. A fellowship of knights sworn to defend Christendom against Ottomans and other enemies.
The name Dracul (or Dragon) was because of his red robe where a dragon was printed.
Vlad the second, had 2 sons who were very much educated. Vlad the third (Tepes/The Impaler) and Radu (The Handsome) were given to the Ottomans to maintain peace in the country.
Vlad the third learned many languages while he was with the Ottomans, but was never happy with the fact that he was kept against his will, away from his family. He often was punished for his behaviour.

Image from Wikipedia
He's been chosen a ruler of this region, 3 times in his lifetime.
From 1462 he fought against the Ottomans until he died in 1476. Nobody knows exactly how he died, but his head was cut off by Turkish and put in honey to testify his death.

Many legends were written about his cruel behaviours.
Different people, with different nationalities, depicted him as a true monster who killed children and women and burnt people alive.
"The Impaler" comes from the fact he was used to impaling his enemies as a form of torture.

Despite his cruelty, he was a kept and seen as a true hero for his nation and defended his country in any possible way. He's always been on the poor's people side.

Bran's Castle is associated with Dracula's Castle, but Vlad Tepes's never lived there. It has similarities with the Dracula's Castle depicted by Bram Stoker... so, from there the name.
All tourists remain extremely disappointed that couldn't find any vampire teeth, some corps impaled, a dead vampire (strigoi in Romanian)  with a cross in his heart and blood all over the walls.
I am one of them (before knowing all these). I left a few hard words in their Guest Book. I still feel ashamed. :D

Image from Castelul Bran.ro 
Poenari's Castle is also tied up with Vlad Tepes, still, it wasn't always been his home. Many Transylvania's rulers lived in there.

This is the person who inspired Bram Stoker to create one of the most terrifying creatures of all times.
And how many movies were made, books were written, characters were created after that?
Infinite.

My favourite movie is Dracula Dead and Loving it, with Leslie Nielsen (my favourite actor). The movie is a parody, of course, of Bram Stoker's Dracula, but also some scenes are inspired to The Carpathian Castle/Le Château des Carpathes (a Jules Verne's book).
I find it hilarious despite the words used in the movie that are everything BUT Romanian. I believe they are Hungarian, never understood a single one.
Never mind, I watched at least four 4 times and I still laugh as crazy.

Then there was a Tv series (British+American) I liked a lot, but it was cancelled after the first season. Such a pity. Was truly amazing. Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Irish actor) was insanely hot.
Yes, I know he's gay. So what?! I am not brain blinded.

Image from Sky.com

A bottle of Romanian Merlot from 1999, bought from Transylvania (in 2000), took it to Italy, moved it from a region to another, in 2010 went back to Romania (my place), where it remained. 
I am sure it can't even be tasted... BLEAH. Just a souvenir.
Maybe it will be priceless one day. :D


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Thank you. 
See you soon, amazing human being.

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