December 31, 2010

Who Should You Think About when You Think Transylvania?

When you think about Transylvania, the place, the area within the country of Romania, who should you think about?  When you are working with people and places is one person more important than another or are you getting only one part of the story about Transylvania?

The people who lived there  or the people who others have told stories of time and again?  It is partly based on oral history, a good example being the Transylvanian Saxons writers who would focus on writing about customs but did not focus as much on the people who lead the lives dictated by these customs.  It was a village mentality long before people wanted to accept this fact.

There were many famous people who changed how we view Transylvania and not all of them were real people, they could be fictional characters or one whose "real" history was altered by other writers with an agenda.

Who is more important to the people who lived in the area: Vlad Tepes, Prince of Wallachia, and his father or Count Dracula, a fictional character of the novel Dracula?

What is most important the history of the land or the future of this land?

Who do you think of when you think about Transylvania?

If you think of politics- what Romania is like now you are not thinking of what is there, the people, but if you only think of the past, you will not understand much of the present.  To have an understanding of why people look to Bran Castle and see many things you have to know that Britain has played a part in how Europeans see Transylvania, Romania  If you take just one thing form this land, it is that people and cultures mixed, some times not well, but they lived there and still do.  Another writer who you should think about when you think about Translyvania is Queen Maria of Romania, formerly a Princess of Great Britain and Ireland.

December 28, 2010

Should You Write About Transylvania?

Of course we should, and the land, and the people are a part of this history.  I would say that while Transylvania is not unique in terms of people or land, it is unique due to its history and future.

It is not a country and yet, countries have fought for it. It is a paradox, and yet, so simple.  Yes, for all these reasons you should write about Transylvania.

I know I will continue to write about this land and the people and history in it.

December 27, 2010

Translvania, Where Are You?

I was asked: Where is Transylvania....

The answeris simple: in Romania, bordering Hungary.

December 23, 2010

Transylvania and a Point of View

There are some great legendary figure n our lives.  Many people can point to the person or place which has "made" them.  Often this place is a far way away.  I for one was enchanted by Transylvania at a young age.  To me, the land was old, full of history and magic.  Not like Harry Potter magic, but the magic of the past, meaning my past.

Many people hold the view that Transylvania is the heart of Romania.  Other feel differently and take the view that the land is vital to them, but as for the heart, they think otherwise.  As is often the case, we can all agree that Transylvania is an important part to the fabric of many lands, especially Romania and Hungary.

Still, Transylvania should be valued, for its history, and for its people, for its present past and future. Its value can not be underestimated or otherwise, many people would not want to talk about a simple province within a country.

After all we think of Britain, or Germany, but we do not often think of England and Scotland, or Prussia and Baden.  We often think of a greater whole.  This is also what makes Transylvania unique. It is thought of in a different way.  It is thought of as a part of a whole.  It can be a powerful thing, and the people of the land are a powerful and important part to this land.

Still, Transylvania is more than the sum of its parts, it is a link to many people's points of view to the area, by this, think of Dracula or many other legendary figures which make up the fabric of the land.

Transylvania is important and should be viewed of as such.

December 21, 2010

A Queen of Hearts?

The peoples of Romania ended up calling her Mama Regina.

Queen Marie of Romania was certainly awesome in the work which she did, and very extroverted.  She did a lot for the people of Romania.  She was very much aware of the people.

This makes me wonder, would she now, if she was alive be considered a sort of Queen of Hearts?

December 20, 2010

What Is Transylvania to You?

What is this land to you?  Is it a place where your family came from or is it a place where it is more a place of stories.

Transylvania can be all of these things, and it can also be a political place where people will want to debate who and what and where for a long time.

Transylvania is a place where a name can mean many different things.  It is a place where many cultures lived, and still live, and as a consequence a city might have several names that mean something to someone, but not to another.

Transylvania is a place of myths and legends.  Some are fictional, most are, and some are based upon real life people.

Transylvania is still untouched by man, it still has many natural resources and many places where nature still is the most powerful and precious resource.

It is a place on a map, but really what does Transylvania mean to you?

December 18, 2010

Of these Three: Who is Transylvanian "Royalty?"

I've added three pictures, and I am sure you know these people by name, but only one of them had the title, "prince of Transylvania"  can you guess who?

The person ruled for one year between 1599-1600 the three principalities of Moldova, Wallachia and Transylvania.

This person was killed in 1600.

Still can't guess?

His name was Michael the Brave.

December 16, 2010

When a Map is simply a map

Map Pre-1919

Map pre-1919

map dated pre-1919
 These are some great maps, I am currently looking for more older maps with details of the land of Transylvania.  Of, course the older the map the more information you will need to know about the area in question.  In this case if you look at the map above, you will see that "vallachia" ( it is also written as Wallachia) is in pink. At the very top of this is the Principality of Moldavia. The light green below is Bulgaria and the darker the Kingdom of Serbia.

Interestingly, the country of "Romania Trachi" is below Bulgaria.  Transylvania is in yellow.

As for the others, the top map is the pre-1919 borders of Europe.  and the Middle is a more detailed map of Siebenburgen or Transylvania.

December 14, 2010

Cities in Transylvania: Are They A Part of Transylvania?

Bear in mind this point, that I am using a very old map to make a point.

This map show The Grand Principality of Transylvania in the Kingdom of Hungary pre 1919, and the Paris Peace Talks.  It is located in the far right hand corner and it is labeled "Siebenburgen"  Note this is also written in German, but the point is that it encompasses some other smaller areas of the land.

This would be very close to the new borders of Hungary but this city is in fact a part of the Banat.  This city is Timisoara.  It has a long and proud history but it is not in Tranyslvania proper.  Yet, in many books it is referred as being a part of Transylvania.

This historically important city is vital, and so is its history but, administratively, it is considered one of country seats within the larger area called "Transylvania"

December 12, 2010

Vald Dracula: Tyrant or Misunderstood?

When reading about Dracula (more specifically Vald Dracul or Vlad Tepes) it is important to understand that the versions people read about are from many different sources.

The Germans viewed Dracula in a different light than Romanians.  For example, according to Saxons sources Dracula nearly destroyed the peoples of Brasov (the Saxon merchants there) and did so as punishment for lack of support from the Saxon people.  This is the records found more in Western Europe and North America.  this was due to the printing press in German territory which allowed this information to be passed on quickly.

In contrast, the Romanian peoples and their writings are more of a positive portrait of this mam.  While they do not suggest that Dracula was anything but what he was, which was a warlord, who did do deeds which were considered evil; they push more of his positive aspects.  These were along the lines of helping the people of Wallachia and Moldavia who were under the power of the Ottoman Empire.

So, was Vlad Dracul a tyrant or misunderstood?

If you simply read only one version of his story, you will think one way or the other.  If you read as many sources available about Vald Dracul, then you will find a complex man, while dedicated to his princedom, was never the less cruel.

December 10, 2010

Is There a Place Called "Transylvania?"or Transilvania?

I couldn't resist, this question some one asked me, yes there is a place called Transylvania, but it can be known by other names as well.  It can even have a different spellings of Transylvania, which include Transilvania.

Still I suspect that through history, everyone has a different point of view about Transylvania and the people.  Yes, there is a place called Transylvania, and yes there are many people who live there, or lived there.  These people include Romanians, Hungarians, Germans, Roma and Jews.  Each has many cities, which were considered "important" by each culture.

 Each Left its mark on the land and that is the most vital part of the place North American know best for a novel.

December 7, 2010

Writing About Transylvania

Writing a book?

It is not as easy as you might think, especially with a land such as Transylvania.  You need passion and a willingness to keep on looking for facts.

Number and dates are one thing, but the people are the most interesting thing of all.  Writing about Transylvania is important and you need to be willing to write and continue to look for answers when it seems that they are harder to find.  Sometimes, the answers are right in front of you!

December 4, 2010

Old Saxon Churches

This is an old Saxon Lutheran Church which was found in a small village.  It is rather old, and is now used as a Romanian Orthodox Church.  Since this village was close to Bistritsa, it is now a part of the ever expanding city.

Still, this photo shows how the building looked about 60 years ago.  In fact chances are the tress have grown but it is still in good repair.

December 2, 2010

Transylvania and Its History and Culture

I find it amazing when my readers find an bit of interesting facts on one of my online articles and then completely forget I have others on a similar topic.

The people of Transylvania are fascinating, and often when someone has a view that is quite nationalistic I try to show a bit of what or how they think to others.  One was an email.  The comments on this hub have been the lifeblood to it, and to others.

Still, some comments have great points, here in North America we have a totally different view on culture and nation.  After all many of the places people live have different cultures, but there are mostly living within a community in ways that they can still relate to others.  It can also be because most people have chosen to live where they are now.

The other hub I find gets a lot of readers is the hub on Dracula, and most readers there are rather disappointed since when I wrote it I wrote it as a question of an alternate ending to a life.  A what if... but most people read it and move on.

It seems the common thread here is that the fascination with Transylvania is its people and not the history of the land.

November 29, 2010

Transylvania Myths ( Dracula Myth, and the Pied Piper Myth)

Transylvania has a lot of links to many of the people in Europe.  It is a small part of a country but it is rich in history as any other place.

At the same time there are many Transylvania myths.  Dracula is possibly the most famous of all myths, but is based upon a real person.

Dracula's home, and yet most closely identified with Queen Maria of Romania.

The pied piper supposedly brought the children of Hamelin into the land of Transylvania. These children become the Saxons.  In reality it was a Hungarian King who invited Flemish and other peoples of German origin to Transylvania to cultivate and protect the land.

November 27, 2010

Should You read the New Dracula Novel?

The new Dracula novel is out, and it has been out for a while, but the question is: Should you read the new Dracula Undead novel?

It doesn't seem to be placed in Transylvania although there is mention of "the countess of the blood..."

It is set twenty-five years later, and while the writing is good, it is set in London, so there is little mention of the land that Bram Stoker made famous ( he also appears in the novel)

Should you read the new Dracula?  It is a good one from the library but the facts are far more interesting than this book.

November 24, 2010

Transylvania and an Interview with Dracula

There are times when I simply just love reading things about Dracula, especially when it is about history and not fiction.

As most of you know I do look around the Internet for some decent writings about Transylvania, and a wonderful person on hubpages has done a fantastic job on a hub called Interview with Dracula.

The important thing is to be questioning and to make sure that facts are there and this is done.  Enjoy!

If you wan tot read up a bit more about Dracula, there is an alternate history of his wife, and a few points about Dracula you can read.

November 23, 2010

Transylvania... or Other Matters of History

I find history a interesting subject, but I also find that everyone has a view on "their history"

Take the Saxons for instance.  A proud race living on their own in Transylvania... forced to pay high taxes, all the time, but they kept their traditions in Transylvania, then they were forced to leave, and they have lost their past...

Okay, cute (now before you go asking for my head, please understand I am of Saxons origin, so I am also poking fun at myself)

The Saxons, came to Transylvania in the 1100 at the invitation of a Hungarian King, and there were about 2,000-3,000 people who came.  They settled the land and were, more importantly at the time Catholics.  Yes there were taxes, but they weren't as high as those placed on other communities.  What goes around comes around, and the land ( they voted to place their allegiance with the Romanian Government... a fact Saxons love to ignore) was given to Romania in 1919.  They faced more taxes, yet still were allowed to keep much of their land and religion, but were still taxed.  They weer ordered evacuated in 1944 and many in Northern Transylvania left while many in the Southern Transylvania were sent to Soviet labour camps.

Of course, many will state that was the end of Saxons in Transylvania. They forget many still lived there after the war, and even now some do.  So, yes even now Transylvania still has the Saxons living there, but not as many as there once were.

Truth can be a hard thing to swallow.

November 20, 2010

Blogs and Transylvania: Transylvania on The Internet

While I prefer not to think much about blogs and who is writing what sort of blog, I was running a small Internet search on Google.  I was asking myself, about the content of my next blog post, and I wanted to get an idea of what was out there in terms of facts that people can find elsewhere, such as a library or archives.

I have spent time asking the Romanian consulate in the area, abut information regarding Transylvania, and they have been more than generous about pointing me in the correct direction.  Still, they did point out a few websites which they said were of interest.

I typed in the search terms they suggested, and the top listing was this site....I had done a blog post about Transylvania and the Internet, and that was number one on Google.  Shows me that blogs are important, and this means on need to relay information about Transylvania as best one can.

That includes everything about Dracula and other myths, but also the history and people of the land.  Writers such as Bram Stoker, have played an important role in teh torism indutry for Transylvania both in writing in books and on the Internet, but Transylvania is important to Romania and to Europe otherwise.

November 17, 2010

Dracula, and a Place He "lived"

The place Dracula ( the fictional character, not the person he was based upon, lived in the Saxon city of Bistritsa.  In fact Stoker out does himself with the details. 

The city is still as wonderful and picturesque as it was then as it is now.

November 16, 2010

Transylvania, a lot of Writing, a lot of Interest?

Is there an interest in the land Transylvania or the people, I have written, a long time ago, a hub on hubpages called a city in Transylvania...

It didn't get traffic, but it was about Alba Iluia, and Queen Maria of Romania.  I changed the title, which was all I did, and when I mentioned the Queen the traffic was increased quite a bit.

So, there is interest, but it is all in the name, and the terms Transylvania.

November 15, 2010

Writing and Publishing Books on Transylvania? Is There Money/ Readership in it?

There is a huge topic of discussion about writing and publishing, but the fact remains that often, a book can be controversial and can have far reaching effects on readers.  This can be said of the topic of Transylvania, where for the most part if the topic is not about Dracula, then there is not much of a readership... or is there?

There is a strong group of people who did, and still do, live in Transylvania who are interested in topics, such as the history, or the people of Transylvania.  Publishinga  book is very improtant to building a idea about what Transylvania is all about.

These people have the ability to make any subject interesting.  It is not hard, since Transylvania itself has such a long and varied history that you can find something from royalty to people that have left their mark on the land.

So, I do believe that there is a readership about the topic and the place of Transylvania.

November 13, 2010

A City in Transylvania needs A Coat of Arms

This is the coat of arms which the city of Sibui (aka Hermannstadt in German) is one of the more historic cites in Transylvania.

It was originally a Saxon stronghold, and the administrative center of the Saxons in Transylvania.

The thing which My eye goes to on this coat of arms is the fortified castle on the top, Sibui is one of the many fortified cites and churches in Transylvania.

It is a major tourist attraction and because of this, makes money for Romania.  Since you can use the airport to fly into other destinations, such as Munich it is possible to understand why there is such a draw for tourists.  I suspect that the coat of arms is a strong part of the culture we can find within Sibui, and the fact that it was at one time the "crown" of the Saxons within Transylvania.

November 10, 2010

The Interesting things about Books.

I was searching for a few newer book on Transylvania. One that caught my eye was a book called Transylvania and Hungary.  The reason... not a good one.

I looked closer at it and noticed that the publisher is AuthorHouse, a vanity press. On amazon, looking into some details, it is ranked around 3 million in terms of sales.  Still it probably will not be of any research value to most people.

Ont eh other hand in that same search a re-published book called Hungary and Transylvania might be of historical value since the book is pre-1923, which will be of interest to see what the people who had lost the First World War, and their views on the land which the ceded by the Paris Peace talks to: Romania and The future Check and Slovak Republics.

If you are not too careful about books, they might be something which is not great information, especially in a land where history is so and ever changing.

November 9, 2010

Is it Correct?

I found this link was interesting, it is the names of Transylvania, however, it does not cite sources, but says that the Romanian names and Hungarian names are connected
Upon reading the the Saxon name, I had to pull this shield up.  Siebenburgen means in German (roughly of course) seven cities, or castles.

I can see the origin to many of the theories that the Saxons did refer to the "seven" major cities in Transylvania. 

November 7, 2010

Is Transylvania a place you would travel to?

Yes, I know you are reading a site on Transylvania, and you like the idea, but if you live far away this might be something more of a dream, or because you do not have the money for an all out tour...

After seeing such pictures is Transylvania a place you would go and travel to this place?  A lot of people who live in North America do not think of all the places that they can see in a small area, but Transylvania, has so much to offer.

From Alba Iluia to the mountains and rivers, I am certain this is a place I would go to.  I think I am certain to see water buffalo as well. (don't believe me, check out a book called.. Transylvania to see pictures of these animals.)

Still, to be there for a while will cost money, but if money isn't a big thing and you want to go... what would be the first place you would visit?

November 4, 2010

Three People in 100 tyrants that Have Links to Transylvania

It must be the air, the high plateaus or the water of Transylvania, but there are a lot of people in many books who have links to Transylvania.  These might be links via conquest or simply by birth, or also by what they did within the land.

In 100 Tyrants, Attila the Hun, King of the Huns, used Transylvania as a pathway to the Western Roman Empire.

Vlad Tepes, listed as "count of Wallachia' (he was in fact a prince)  is also listed as one of the many infamous people who influenced Transylvania.

Last, Elizabeth Bathory "the Blood Countess" who was also listed in this book, having married and lived in Transylvania. She has links as well to Vlad Tepes, Prince Steven Bathory was a commander of the 1476 expedition to regain the Wallachian throne for Vlad.

November 2, 2010

The Countess of The Blood: The Numbers

The Countess of the Blood was Elizabeth Bathory, and she lived in Transylvania after her marriage to a minor Hungarian nobleman.

Now according to 100 Tyrants she ordered (or aided) the murder of 600 village girls and minor noblewoman.  The reason she was not killed was due to the fact that the Bathory clan was a powerful clan and she was a member and the King of Hungary needed the support of the clan.

October 29, 2010

The Names of Transylvania and Websites That have Links

Wikipedia has many useful things, but sometimes reading them can be even more interesting.

This one was about the name of Transylvania.  I read it and found it rather interesting, not so much the names or how they came to be but the fact that wikipedia does not really check for broken links, the last reference is in fact a dummy site (reference 15)

I was able to find the information about Transylvania and the Saxons and the name they use in the book Balkan Nightmare by Ann Wittman and the same information is given that is found there.

So, websites are one thing that you can see how people view mistakes.  Again, books can also be misleading but a bit of cross referencing never hurts!

October 27, 2010

Transylvania and Dracula and the Blood Countess

Transylvania is populated with some very interesting people and two actual historical people who made their mark on the land are: Vlad Dracul and Elizabeth Bathory.  Both seem to have lead very different lives, and yet in one book: 100 Tyrants, they are both listed due to their more infamous parts of their lives.

Vlad was know for killing his enemies by driving a stake through them, and Bathory was known as the blood countess for killing as many as 600 young women to keep her beauty forever.

So what makes these so entwined with Transylvania?

Vald was born in Transylvania and spent many years there, and Bathory lived there until her death ( walled up in her castle room (the castle is now in a par reserve where it ruins can be seen)