Europe Travel

The Real Story of Dracula

One of the most visited landmarks in Romania is Bran Castle aka Dracula's Castle

While many are watching It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, I enjoy reading the origin stories of ghouls and creatures like Stingy Jack and Dracula. Don’t get me wrong, I love Charlie Brown – but I’ve always had an interest in history and traditions at an early age.

I remember when I was eight years old, I checked out a book of the real Grimm brothers’ fairy tales from my school library.

Have you read it? You’ll never see fairy tale stories the same again! However, my dad managed to get the book removed from the school library after finding what I read.

With that said, let’s talk about Dracula!


Who Was Vlad Dracula?

Sighișoara is Vlad III’s birthplace

Vlad III was the Prince of Wallachia – now Romania. Born in the year 1431 in Sighisoara, he ruled with an iron fist. His nickname “Vlad the Impaler” wasn’t given for nothing.

His method was to use fear in efforts to establish law and order particularly for those who were against his reign.

It is said that he performed cruel acts of punishments including dining while watching hundreds of people being impaled in his presence. Even worse, I’ve read he also did this to women with their babies on the same stake.

There are tales of him drinking the blood of his victims, but it has yet to be historically proven and could just be additions to his story via word of mouth – which was the way people shared stories during that time period.

He is called other names such as Vlad Tepes, Vlad Dracula or Dracul – meaning dragon.

Bram Stoker

Books at Dublin’s Trinity College Library

One of Dublin’s most famous writers, Abraham (Bram) Stoker, penned Dracula in 1897. Stoker did a pretty good job creating the imagery of Vlad Dracul’s homeland considering he never set foot in Romania.

His novel quickly caught on around the world eventually turning into films adaptations such as Nosferatu (1922), Dracula (1931) and many others.

Bran Castle

Bran Castle sits on the borders of Transylvania and Wallachia

One of Romania’s most visited landmarks is Bran Castle, located on the border of Transylvania and Wallachia.

Bran Castle helped fuel the imagination of readers in Bram Stoker’s classic novel. The castle is also associated with Vlad III since it’s one of the many castles related to him. However, he rarely stayed there.

I know it isn’t truly the exact castle Stoker had in mind while writing his novel, but I think it’s worth a visit anyway if you’re a Stoker fan.

Have you ever visited a real life location inspired by a book or film? I’d love to know what it was like. Comment below and share this post with your friends! 

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