August 31, 2009
Now when you read about her what comes to mind, the 600 young girls she apparently killed? Or the idea that she did it so sadistically? or, that she wasn't stopped?
I'll give you my version as to why she wasn't stopped:
Many of the girls whom she killed were servants or girls from nearby villages. Nobility possibly didn't take much notice in that, and it could be argued that the girls "went" to another village, although this would be unlikely since this happened within the borders of the Carpathian mountains, in Transylvania, in the 1600s.
The way people, or more specifically, the nobility found out about her deeds was when she began to take daughters of the minor nobility to her castle to kill them. That was when the investigation began and they found the evidence they needed. A young woman dying on the floor in the cellar mass graves and a list of 600 or more names of young women, who the countess later admitted she and her associates killed.
Which bring me to the next question what about her associates? Were they Walled up with her?
August 30, 2009
Elizabeth Bathory feared death, or old age, both really, and int eh end thought that the blood of young girls would keep her skin young. Legend has it that she hit a young servant girl across the face and drew blood, which fell on her hand. It made the hand appear younger looking.
Madness descended upon the castle and any young servant girl would have their blood drawn and she would "bathe" in the blood. Of course it only ended with she began to believe that the pure blood of nobles daughters would keep her more beautiful and younger.
Then she was not put to a court but walled up in her castle where she died there.
The numbers where left uncounted but some say it was at least 600 girls.
August 29, 2009
August 28, 2009
The Saxon story begins with an invitation. King Geza II of Hungary needed people and gave an invitation for people to come to Hungary in exchange for land and more freedoms. Several hundred families accepted the call and went.
The land in the South was sparely populated. The Saxon settlers who came to live in Transylvania first cleared the land and founded villages and cities. This continued alongside the Hungarian and Romanians, in the mountainous regions. This was true of much of Transylvania at the time. During the next few centuries Mongols, and Turks invaded the land, wanting to get to Western Europe. Between the Saxons Wallachians, Moldavians, (These two groups would soon be known as Romanians) and Hungarians these invasions were slowed, and sometimes halted.
August 27, 2009
Why oh why?
I'll give you one reason Bram Stoker and the Germans. Vlad Tepes isn't viewed in such a dark manner in Eastern Europe, in fact the Russian and Romanian writing of the time shed a different light on the subject, he was someone who was fair and loyal to his people, and expected that back from them.
The Truth is somewhere in between....
August 26, 2009
August 25, 2009
August 24, 2009
His first wife was aware of the price that she would get as Vlad wife if she were ever captured by the Turks. Although history does not reveal her name, her story survived. In 1462, when the Turks began an attack near the castle she was living in, she jumped to the river below. This was upon hearing of the impending arrival of the Turkish army by a messenger. Later the part of the river where she jumped to her death would be renamed the Lady’s River in her honour.
August 23, 2009
According to some reports, during raids into Transylvania in 1459 Vlad impaled 30,000 German Saxon merchants in the city of Kronstadt. This was to show his might but also a show of his cruelty. According to some writings, Vlad also wanted to use his power against his own country this way. At first, he simply eliminated trading rights that the Saxon merchants and the boyars had between them and Wallachia. Then the raids began.
Reality is a bit different, the boyars had their power through the Transylvania's Saxons, and they were not as loyal to Vlad as he wanted. The trade connections with the Saxons provided the boyars a source of money and this was what Vlad eliminated. This way the men who were loyal to Vlad himself could gain more power. Once he had done this, he then he turned to his own country. Since the death of his grandfather, Wallachia had no ruler who could stop the decent into anarchy. Under his rule, the situation slowly repaired itself.
August 22, 2009
I've found some interesting things.
August 21, 2009
Nope, sorry not part of this family. or at least so my family says... we're Germans after all, and he didn't like us.
August 20, 2009
A young married couple, the woman is wearing a headdress that "older" married women would wear, before wearing a kerchief.
Saxon Houses note they are all white, if they are still standing these days they are painted a bright colour. My grandmother's house is now a deep green and her parents house is a red.
August 19, 2009
It is very interesting now to look at the family photo album and try to find out what my great great grandmother looked like as she died in 1919. Is a bit of Italian in her descendants?
August 18, 2009
I need some quick help here, as I'm not sure where this will go.
I've got a bit of a dilemma, a friend and I are planning a trip to Europe, two years hence, of course, England and Scotland are on the list but so is Poland and Transylvania. Scotland and England because her family is from the area, Yorkshire, and Edinburgh are two of the cities she mentioned.
My family now mentioned that perhaps, my great-great grandmother might have had descendant from Italy, should I explore that part of my past?
This map is to me is important since it gives an idea of where and when she came with her family.
August 17, 2009
August 16, 2009
August 15, 2009
August 14, 2009
Hm, so what about it? Well Dacia was a Kingdom that Transylvania was a part of. It was there for hundreds of years until be conquered by the Romans. I wonder is there a connection?
Above is the image of the Roman Emperor Tragan, who defeat the Dacian army. He was a ruler who gained land and power for the Roman Empire.
above is a picture of the man Tragan fought against, Decebalus, who in the end committed suicide rather than be marched to the streets of Rome, as a conquered king.
One of the wall reliefs that depict the battle between the two. it is very interesting to see the Romans and the Dacians in this.
It has given me a new sense of what Transylvania was like.
August 13, 2009
One of the most interesting photos I've come across is that of his triumphant entrance into the city of Alba Iluia. He is strong and proud on his horse, and there are people greeting him, the future is his to take, and he has done what so many of the Romanians in Transylvania hoped he would do, unite the three provinces together.
I love this picture of the gate in Alba Iluia, it seems that it might have been there since the time of Michael, when there was an interesting events happening, intrigues, and or course battles and deaths. Unfortunately one such death was Michael himself. It is said that during one battle someone killed him. Possibly from his own side, and Transylvania was once again a principality on its own.
Could this be the fortification in the picture? Much was destroyed by the invasions of the Turks and Ottomans in the 1700s. One such building that was destroyed was Michael's palace, and I think I know why.
August 12, 2009
This picture above is the picture representing Michael the Brave entering Transylvania in 1599. This is one of the first instances where Transylvania was united with two other provinces that would ultimately form Romania, Wallachia and Molodvia. It wouldn't last, as Michael was killed in 1601.
The next photo shows King Michael of Romania, who was King twice. A boy king and a youthful man. He is the current pretender to the throne of Romania. He resides in many of his old homes after the fall of communism in the 1990s. There isn't much support in Romania for a restoration, but Michael does much work on behalf of Romania.
Still, it is interesting that both men strike a chord with many people.
Until tomorrow, enjoy the images.
August 11, 2009
August 10, 2009
Yet, the royalty and the people keep me going back. Queen Maria, the woman in the photos, was a wonderfully interesting woman. Her mark was made in the First World war, and had she lived into the Second and past it, her mark would most likely have been felt there. She wasn't old when she died, in her sixties.
Still it's hard to miss such wonderful things about Transylvania, precisely because of its location and it connections to legends.
See you tomorrow, and I'll be getting into something a bit more dramatic, the Second World War.
August 9, 2009
August 8, 2009
The book is done, and is being edited. Almost there, almost there.
It's about Transylvania. It's about the Second World War, and I'm interviewing Transylvania Saxons for it and the series of books I'm writing about. If anyone knows some Romanians or Hungarians in that area, tell them they can contact me, in my efforts to complete a book on the people of Transylvania.
The main city I have in this book is:
August 7, 2009
August 6, 2009
One of the many fortifications in Transylvania. The City is called Sighisoara, the birthplace of this man...
August 5, 2009
The Answer Peles Castle.
It remains as an important piece of history as it links once more Wallachia to Transylvania.