Are vampires real? Was there or not a vampire living in Transylvania? In 1897, Bram Stoker wrote an impressive novel about Count Dracula. He was inspired by one of the best-known and one of the most controvertible figures of Romanian history, Vlad Dracul (nicknamed Vlad the Impaler).
Born in 1431, in Transylvania, he was the ruler of Walachia and become a bloodthirsty and ruthless legislator. Dracula's favourite method of punishment was to impale his enemies and leave them (for hours or even days) to die in agony. To celebrate his victory he drank the blood of those he impaled, says the legend. In the collections of the British Museum, Vlad is described as a vampire who drinks human blood, and a great lover of cruelty. In Romania, Vlad the Impaler is honoured as a hero who saved his people from Turkish invasion.
In the villages near Bran Castle, there is a belief in the existence of evil spirits, called strigoi or according with Stocker's invention - vampires. Dracula's reputation derives from these local myths. Bram Stoker's description about Dracula's home matches with Bran Castle.
Situated between Piatra Craiului and Bucegi Mountains, Bran Castle had a protective role against the Ottoman Empire’s expansion and the Tartars’ invasion at the borders of Transylvania. The castle was completed in 1388. Built on a steep cliff the castle has an extraordinary view of surroundings hills and landscapes.
Photo - public domain pixabay.com