Dracula - Legend and Truth

Transylvania Travel Blog

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The Real Dracula Castle Poienari 2005

Count Dracula's name was Vlad Tepes.  Vlad was born in Sighisoara in 1431.  In the 15th century Romania was made up of a number of small states, each with an independent ruler. Vlad Tepes was a ruler for a state called Wallachia not Transylvania.  Wallachia is located just south of Transylvania.   The name "Dracula" was first held by his father also named Vlad.   The name means "Son of a Dragon".  Vlad senior received the name because he was part of the Order of the Dragon, an order created by the Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund.  The Order of the Dragon was designed as an alliance to fight the Turks.  Vlad Tepes assumed the name from his father. In current day Romanian, the word "Dracul" is synonymous with the word "Devil".

Fagaras - 2005 - This is the region where Dracula Castle is
As a ruler, Vlad Tepes probably had some "Devilish" habits such as drinking human blood.  This was done to perhaps promote fear .  It was not unusual for the victor of a war in those times to "drink the blood of his enemy".  Whether Dracula took it a few steps further it is not known for certain.

Dracula was a very strict ruler.  He raised the level of punishment that was administered even for petty crimes.  People were hung very easily in those days with little mercy.  Not only were they hung but some were executed/tortured by having a 15 foot sharp-end pole striken or impaled into their body starting from in-between their legs and up into the chest area.

Count Dracula would then have these poles stood up by the side of the road.  By-passers would see the type of punishment Dracula administered to his enemies or to those who did wrong.

Me at Poienari Castle
  This act of impaling people earned him the name Vlad Tepes (Vlad The Impaler).

Places related to Vlad The Impeller I recommend:
Sighisoara • visit the house where he was born • nowadays a very popular restaurant (been there many times and Sighisoara is fantastic - one of the last medieval inhabited citadel in the world - its like traveling back in time)

Poienari Castle • this is THE REAL Dracula Castle • very inaccessible place high in the mountains, located in Arges County, near Fagaras Mountains , you have to climb 1,426 steps up the mountin. I’ve been there as well and it’s all worth it believe me! :)

Bran Castle (near Brasov) • called “Dracula’s Castle” just for tourists • Vlad the Impeller never lived there, just spent 2 days locked in it, while the Ottomans controlled Transylvania. Still a nice place to visit and you can find all the Dracula enthusiasts there.

ela3211 says:
great blog!!
tnx :))
Posted on: Oct 27, 2012
dark-phoenix says:
good tip about the castles. i was kind of fooled by Bran Castle. :D
Posted on: May 28, 2012
mainhart says:
Thanks for sharing. I'm heading to Romania in 2 weeks and want to do the REAL Dracula thing. Your pictures are great. Besides the million steps, is there easy transport to Poienari?
Posted on: Jun 18, 2009
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The Real Dracula Castle 
The Real Dracula Castle Poienar…
Fagaras - 2005 - This is the regio…
Fagaras - 2005 - This is the regi…
Me at Poienari Castle
Me at Poienari Castle
The house where Vlad Tepes (Dracul…
The house where Vlad Tepes (Dracu…
Vlad The Impaler aka Dracula
Vlad The Impaler aka Dracula
Bran castle
Bran castle
Sighisoara Tower Clock
Sighisoara Tower Clock
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photo by: Marius1981