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.