September 20, 2016

Transylvania and The Reality of It Place in the World.

Transylvania, as a part of Romania does have some value in terms of people knowing it is "where Dracula is from?" (or in North America at least!) which in turn allows for the tourism to grow and keeps the economy running.

In the greater world however, Transylvania is not important.  It is a part of a medium sized country which for many years was a part of the communist bloc, and did not have the same economic benefits- and challenges- as its Western European counterparts.  Transylvania was filled with many ethnic groups who had diverse interests.

It could have been a nation, but the majority- ethic and cultural Romanians- wanted to be a part of the newly formed country of Romania.

Transylvania and the surrounding area.
The reality is that while Transylvania is only a part of a country, it had an effect on it.  Within its borders was oil.  As such it made it an important strategic land for Romania during the communist era.  It allowed the country to have very nominal independence from the Soviet influence everywhere else.

If it were not for this important natural resource, the chances that Romania would be controlled as was Poland, or Hungary or countless other countries in the Eastern bloc, would have been high.  No matter how much the politicians, or even some people who lived in Romania, would argue the point, it would have been under more control of Moscow.

The reality of Transylvania now is that it still has the natural resources, but they are harder and more costly to come by than the oil found in some Middle Eastern countries.  The power it holds now is its tourism industry which creates many job opportunities within Transylvania.  However, upon deeper reflection, this is also not the entire story.

Dracula's Castle
Bran Castle, Romania
In some cases, such as Bran Castle, it is privately owned by others. When one thinks of Dracula and his castle, and the power it has over some people in North America, it comes as a surprise that this was a part of the castles of the former Romanian Royal Family.  In some cases, the power of the tourism dollar does not always flow back to Transylvania, but rather to corporations or the government of Romania.

The place of Transylvania within Romania is important, however, the place of Transylvania within the world is not.

Not because of the land and the valuable natural resources, but rather because it is a part of a country which is still growing and learning its own place within the world.

July 6, 2016

Transylvania and Updates

Things about Transylvania and regular updates will return soon.....

Until then, enjoy these photos.

March 8, 2016

Dracula and His Power

Dracula is one of the more famous gothic characters most people know of, besides Frankenstein's monster.

Which is all well and good, and the fact that Dracula brings to Transylvania the all important tourist dollar, it's wise to begin to think about the power of the Dracula myth on Transylvania.  After all there is no doubt that although it was the home of Queen Marie of Romania, Bran Castle is commonly known as "Dracula's Castle."

For a small fee, tourists can go inside the castle and see what life was like for the Romanian Royal Family between the wars.  There is a bit of the gothic history, and a mention of the Teutonic Knights who were the original builders of the castle.

However,  Transylvania, and Romania do not get income from the castle, the descendants of Queen Marie and King Ferdinand of Romania, through the Princess Ileana of Romania, are the ones who receive the income, since the castle reverted back to their ownership.

This being the case, how the Dracula and his power help Transylvania?
Simple, the extras and the area around Bran Castle.  A tourist can go and see the castle, then can go explore the cities around it.  For example, the city of Brasov, is a popular tourist destination, and it main drawing power outside of the Black Church is the man known as Vlad Tepes, who was the person used by Bram Stoker as the idea, and the character of Count Dracula. Tepes was a brutal warlord who would show no mercy to his enemies and his countrymen.

Vlad, for all is supposed extensive power, he would ultimately lose his life in battle having never really had the power of his title in Walachia- he was born in Transylvania, but was a prince of Walachia- he might have fallen through the cracks of history.  

The key to his power is simple: if he had not been "found" as the idea for the main character, of Stoker's most famous novel, I am sure that Queen Marie of Romania and her writing, and hard work on behalf of the Romanian people might be better known.  She was passionate and accurate about the land, but had a flair for the dramatic.

Dracula's power, however is more concrete these days, he holds the power and the passion of many people who have read the book, or have seen the movies which made him famous.  Ironically, for example, Van Helsing, filmed in 2004, was filmed in Prague, whereas many assumed it was in Transylvania, but that is the power of Dracula, and Transylvania.