In The Steps of Count Dracula

I know, I know that there are million tourist agencies that offer “Dracula tours”. Yet, instead to be presented with someone else’s idea, why don’t you make a tour of your own? Despite the over popularization of the movie industry and the image they offer, Count Dracula was a famous historical person and through the list of places connected with his life story, you can make your very own tour. This Count marked the medieval history of Central Europe with his ruthless actions. One might be appalled or attracted to his military and everyday actions, yet they tell the story of a fascinating medieval lord:

5. Visegrad Palace- via judyscreativeadventures

  1. Sighișoara, Transylvania: Vlad was born in Transylvania, despite him being the Count of neighboring area Wallachia. Transylvania was then part of the Medieval Kingdom of Hungary.  He was the eldest son of the famous Count Mircea the Elder. The same year when Vlad was born, 1431, his father was elected as a member of the Order of the Dragon-a Christian military order with task to combat the rising Ottoman power. The name of his mother is still unknown, though there is a possibility that his mother was a Moldavian princess. Today, Sighisoara, bears the traces of its multicultural past, as being settled by the Transylvanian Saxons, merchants of German origin in the 12th century. The city center can claim the most preserved medieval citadel in Europe. So, if you want to trace the steps of Vlad the Impaler, his birth town is a good place to start;
  2. Târgoviște, Wallachia: this is the town where Vlad and his brother spent their boyhood. As the record say, the nobility brought their children here as to be educated by scholars sent from Constantinople. The economic power of Targoviste was growing, so during the time of Vlad the Impaler, it was the capital of Wallachia. One of the many historical monuments, now the hallmark of the city-the rotund Chindia Tower was built;
  3. Edirne, Turkey: as to secure the loyalty of his father, Vlad and his brother was sent to the Sultan’s court in Edirne, then known as Adrianople. There he was educated in Islamic philosophy and warfare and learned the Turkish language. It is believed that this is the very place where he adopted the impaling as a punishment technigue. Edirne today is a modern, boosting city where the Christian and Muslim culture mix into astonishing results and where the name of Kaziklu Bey (the Impaler Prince) is still whispered with reverence;
  4. Poenari Castle, Argeș County, Romania: the 13th century rulers of Wallachia built this castle, overhanging a cliff over one of the tributaries of Argeș River. Vlad the Impaler restored the castle, after realizing its strategic importance. A great Ottoman siege had befallen the castle with Vlad in it, with no chance of safe retrieval. His first wife, whose name is unknown, threw herself from the window of the topmost tower in the river running below it, as to avoid being captured. This tributary of Argeș is called Râul Doamnei, which means the Lady’s River;
  5. Visegrád, Hungary: Vlad fought with and against the Hungarian kings for dominance in Wallachia and Transylvania. As a result of political machinations, he was imprisoned in Oratea Castle in Romania, then Visegrád and Buda in Hungary. Vlad spent 10 years in Visegrád. Here he married his second wife, Countess Ilona Szilágy. Visegrád, with its completely restored medieval royal palace, many castles and historical charm is a definitely must-see location on your Hungarian visit. The added flair of connecting this city with Dracula just adds to its attractiveness;
  6. Lake Snagov, southeastern Romania: Vlad the Impaler died in battle with the Turks at the end of 1476, in an unknown location near Bucharest. It is said that the head of the Impaler was sent to Constantinople and impaled on spike, as everyone to see that the formidable lord is finally dead. It is said that he is buried on an islet monastery at Lake Snagov, again one of his favorite retreats. The archaeologist Rosseti excavated the monastery in 1930s, and he disregarded that there was a burial under the threshold-only horse bones were found. So, the Impaler is buried somewhere else. Or maybe there is another explanation for this mysterious lack of proof that the Count ever died