January 31, 2011

Money Reactions: Transylvania Tours and Money

Below are a series of photos of one city Alba Iluia, which to me is one of the most fascinating places you can go to in Transylvania.  I would go as far to say that it is one of the more recognisable after Bran Castle.  It probably helps that It is the "heart" of Transylvania for many of the the peoples there.

Transylvania and tours a really popular these days. It is one of these things that people want to do.  The question is more "Why Not?"  It is a beautiful place and it is historically valuable.  The key point here is that for some cities like Alba Iluia, history makes the money that the tourists want to see.

Money reactions to this?: yes when I do go to Transylvania this is one of the main cities which you can spend some money on and still find a lot to do, there are a lot of places to see and a lot of history in this city.  Like Bran Castle it is vital to Transylvania and the people and culture.

January 29, 2011

Does Tourism Make Transylvania Money?

Tourism is a big deal to places such as Romania and it is an even bigger one talk about money.  Tourism in many places is a big money making thing.  People want to go and see many sites.  They want to see older churches and popular legends.

These pictures are all laces that do make money for Transylvania, and by default for Romania, Sibui, Bran Castle, and the Black Church  in Brasov all all sites that most people will look at and enjoy.

Tourism is a big issue, and planning is always required.  It is like with Bran Castle knowing what works with the tourism and with the past and culture of the area is also as important and making money.

January 28, 2011

A "Blood" Countess in Transylvania

Dracula has a distant relative... rather his right hand man had a distant relative who would be better described of as a "real" Dracula.

Her name was Elizabeth Bathory and she was a Hungarian noblewoman who married and then lived in Transylvania.  Her claim to fame was not whom she married (in fact according to most accounts in terms of nobility she married below her rank)  but what happened after her husband died.

The castle now lies in ruins, and is in a protected park, but its history, no matter how peaceful it looks is also bloody.  Bathory killed young girls, mostly village girls, but the number of girls and young women she killed is as high as 600.  Most of these girls were tortured before being killed, and this can only be described as a shameful part of Transylvania's history.  She was stopped only when she started to kill young women and girls of the lower nobility.

Due to these crimes, and as a Hungarian noblewoman with links to Hungarian royalty, as punishment for her crimes she was walled up inside a room of this castle.  There she died four years later.  While Vlad Tepes was indeed a warlord, she would fit the link to Dracula far better than him.

January 27, 2011

Money in Mines: Transylvania Gold

You can find more than Dracula and other legendary people in Transylvania.  In fact beyond the tourism and other money that Transylvania makes for Romania, there is a natural resource which has been around for centuries.

Transylvania Gold.  Queen Marie used this for her coronation crown, but before that time, the Romans created mines to get the gold from the land. Abrud, which is close to Alba Iluia was built for the purpose of protecting these mines.

Above see Gold Crown of Queen Marie, Made From Transylvanian Gold
 They proved to be one of the main reasons that the Romans stayed within Transylvania.

There are still many mines of Gold in Transylvania and this is something that has been passed down for centuries and is one of the reasons why Transylvania is so valuable.

January 26, 2011

Transylvania, and the Royal Connection to Hungary and Romania

Transylvania has many links to what is now, Hungary and Romania. We will begin with Dracula... rather with Prince Vlad Tepes of Wallachia, who was born int eh border so Transylvania.  Wallachia and Moldova would int eh late 1800s merge to become what would become Romania.  The Prince of Romania?  Prince Carol I. He would later become King Carol I of Romania.

Queen Maria of Romania, the woman who was so interesting in her own right and who most people viewed of as the power behind the throne of Romania. Ti was her influence that made Transylvania a part of Romania, during the Paris Peace Conferences in 1919.
 The entrance of Micheal the Brave into Alba Iluia, in 1599.  This was the one year when between 1599-1600 where what would become Greater Romania, in 1919, would be unified.  After this time, Transylvania was a part of the Kingdom of Hungary.
The coronation of King Ferdinand and Queen Marie of Romania in Alba Iluia.  This was after the end of the First World War.  They became king and queen of Romania in 1914, after the death of King Carol I.

January 25, 2011

Hungary and Transylvania and Romania.

There is always someone who knows a lot about the people or the places that they have family in.  There are also people who do not know as much about their family as can be expected.  The interesting thing about the land of Transylvania, is the fact that while there was not many civil wars, there was also not much "cultural knowledge exchanges."

Hungary, rather the Kingdom of Hungary, ruled over Transylvania for a long time, with some short break between.  Micheal the Brave being the main example of this.  He was an interesting man who united the Principalities of what would become modern Romania in 1599.  After he was killed in 1600 this did not happen again for several hundred years.

The princes of Transylvania after this had more direct links to Hungary than to Wallachia, but again, there are still many cultural links to Germany, Hungary and Romania within Transylvania.

The question of course can be asked which would be something like this: where does Transylvania belong?  should it be a part of one country or another?

The question which most people might not think of asking is should Transylvania be a country of its own?  After all it is large enough to be a country.  It has many cultural places and natural resources to provide for its population.  Yet, it is still within the borders of Romania.

The case for this might be due to the comfort of most of the large population of Romanians who have lived for centuries in Transylvania.

January 24, 2011

What Do Natural Resources Have To Do With Transylvania?

What do all these pictures have in common?  Yes they show castles, but what do you see around these castles?

Natural forests, and plains.  Plant and other things which were used when people built these castles and fortresses.  Some are legendary in their own right and others are now a part of the ever growing plains and terrain of the area.

Transylvania had and still has a lot of natural resources and it is an important part to the Romanian economy.  Not only does it provide tourism, but it has resources such as oil, and various other metals, gold, and copper.  These are valuable to the people of Romania and this is why it make Transylvania so important.

January 23, 2011

Books and Transylvania

As most of you know by now my book about Transylvania will be coming out by the end of this year. I am off and editing a few things before it goes out to a few select readers.

In a way, I have many people to thank, including those who have told me that there have been a few mistakes on my blog!

I thank you since you have made this book better.

I will be back about Transylvania more tomorrow.  I am off and editing on Transylvania today.

January 22, 2011

Dracula and Money?

I must say Bran Castle has its charm.  In fact it is a great tourist destination.  What with the links to the character Count Dracula, there is no doubt that it is a great way to make money for the country of Romania.

The other thing is that as a tourist destination, it can be an important part of the history of the land. 

Not to mention that there are some ties to Vald Tepes--- the man behind the character of Count Dracula.  In fact even his birthplace has a monument to a Prince of Wallachia there.

January 21, 2011

Blogs On Transylvania: A Few Points of View

There are many blogs out there, and there are millions of readers out there.  One of these blogs is about Transylvania.  What I have always wondered is who write blogs on Transylvania?  I am certainly not the only person.

It is a unique topic that is for certain.  Admittedly the people who do come and read blogs such as these are smart and well informed of teh area.  A writer in this place needs to know of many things.  In this case, blogs sould have a focus, and this one is about history and legends. 

Since politcs and this region are a resonably interesting idea, one must be prepared to pay some attention to that, but not focus on it.  Maps and the information they give are great visuals, and they do give a lot of information.

Then there is the ever popular Dracula and where this legend was born, and where teh person whom this legend was based upon is found.

Blogs are important and none more so about a place like this where information is ever changing and one can learn so much.

So in Asking this which blogs do you like to read?

January 20, 2011

Is Transylvania a Part of Europe?

Yes Transylvania is a part of Europe.  It has been a part of Europe, the continent since as long as there was a Europe.  At the same time, Transylvania has many identities.

Transylvania is a part of Romania.  This country, as it is now in the present day has had the same geographical borders since 1947.  Before this time, Transylvania was a part of Romania (Greater Romania) From the years 1919 until 1940.  Then the Northern half of Transylvania was a part of Hungary.

Either way it is important to note that Transylvania is a part of Europe which ever country it was in.  It suffered much of the same fates as the countries which it was a part of, for good or for ill.  It is a culturally interesting place, and that makes it valued by Europe.

There are not too many places where so many different cultures live, and work in reasonable harmony.  ( you can at least talk to others about their culture and be angry but there has not been a civil war because of that)  It is alive in many senses of the word. 

It is a part of a place where history has come alive.  It is a part of Europe and still has a role to play in it.

January 19, 2011

Bran Castle, And Queen Marie, Not Count Dracula

Bran Castle has been in the history books for a while.  In fact according to the history of Transylvania, (a book which I found in the library) it is mentioned in the history books in Hungary when Louis I of Hungary gave permission to the Saxons of Brasov (Kronstadt) to build a citadel there.

Before that time, the Teutonic Knights had built a wooden fortress in the area, which was burned by the Mongols around the year 1242.

It rose to fame again when it became a principal residence of Queen Maria of Romania.  The main links to Vlad Tepes is the fact that the castle was in the possession of Mircea the Elder, who was grandfather to him.

Now the castle is a monument (better still a museum) to the people and the area, and the descendants of Queen Marie of Romania.  In fact it is the use of photos that gave Bram Stoker some idea of how the castle looked, but for the inside, he based the castle upon the catacombs found in London, England.

January 18, 2011

Is Transylvania all About Dracula?

Dracula is one popular subject, at the same time, the more places know of the land of Transylvania the more likely that you will have money coming into the area, and this might help the exodus of trained workers leaving the Transylvania area to better job markets.

Transylvania is not all about Dracula, but it is a good portion of the tourism industry in the area.  In fact Queen Marie of Romania's descendants wanted to make Bran Castle into a "Dracula" site.  The thing was that Vlad Tepes probably never set foot into the castle.  Yet, Queen Marie used the Castle extensively, and renovated it a lot.

So, that brings back the question, is Transylvania all about Dracula?

I would think not, I believe it thinks about the monetary potential that a fictional character has on the land.  For some Vlad Tepes was a minor warlord and to others a dangerous person with a lot of power.

January 17, 2011

You Tell Me

Check out these two Lenses: And tell em what the difference is

Making Money Online:Squidoo vs HubPages  an older lens I know, but one which people say is okay.

How can it be made better>

or two,
Should I Hate Self Publishing? which is equally as popular.  Any helpful suggestion would be great!

January 15, 2011

Poltics and Transylvania, Romania

This I have to wonder about, what are they teaching in schools these days.  I was at a friends house, and they are from Transylvania, but they originally came from Bucharest.  Bear this in mind, we have three points we normally do not ever talk about.

1) The European Union:  For some reason, the topic has never come up, and for the most part since we don't live in the area anymore we don't talk about it.

2) Politics, and for good reason.

3) Money. (Just bad manners to talk about that!)

At any rate they speak a bit of English and my Romanian is poor, I don't speak it as often as I'd like, but I am learning, my family speaks Saxon, which is a German dialect found in Transylvania, and southern part of Germany, but politics we talked about.

I found a love book on Transylvania, a history book on the shelves at their home, after they had shown it to me, it was published in Bucharest, but even then there were a few dates and facts which didn't seem right.  It didn't cause any arguments, just a comment that everyone has their points of view. (one such fact was that Micheal the brave-- a great man who united the three principalities which became Romania in 1919, lived on until 1610.  He was killed in 1600.  Another Queen Marie of Romania, who died in 1938, was the child of Edward VII (Queen Victoria's son-- she was a granddaughter of Victoria, but the daughter of Alfred, the second son) 

Fact: Transylvania is a part of Romania since 1919.  Current history. 

Fact:  The majority of the people of Transylvania were... of the Romanian Orthodox Church.  As for being Romanian, my friend pointed out that dependant upon census reading and who wanted money, (that issue number 3) they might say they were more "Romanian" or more "Hungarian"  the point was while Transylvania was in Hungary it was better to be more "Hungarian" so the numbers are as such this way.

Fact: Transylvania was a part of at some point in time: Hungary, Its own Independent Principality, a part of the Grand principalities of Wallachia, Moldovia, and Transylvania (for a year), and then the Dacian Empire, The Roman Empire, The Austrian Empire, the Holy Roman Empire, and countless other permutations.  So, Transylvania as "been on the move."

Fact: Transylvania is a place where there are more Romanians. However, this is where my friend and I put on our thinking caps, and offered a few suggestions:  1) That there is a mass immigration of Romanians from other regions not Transylvania. 2) That with people leaving Transylvania during the 1940-1980s (IE) Saxons, Hungarians, Jewish, Roma) the numbers were then certain to go up in terms of there being more Romanians 3) See number 1.

It was a good evenings, and talks like this add to my understanding of the harsh politics which Transylvania still faces in the area. Things aren't as cut and dry, and of course history can be altered, but again, a discussion where asking about facts should be exactly that, a time to learn.

January 13, 2011

The Man Who Made Count Dracula

This is the writer of the original novel Dracula.  Now his name is Bram Stoker, and he lived in both Ireland and England.

Seems like a very unlikely person to write a novel where the main character is based outside of your countries.  Stoker in fact was more of a romance novelist 9 or gothic romance).  Yet, his greatest claim is the novel Dracula. After writing Dracula in 1897, he went on to write more horror novel, and Gothic style novels.

Legend has it that he wrote Dracula on a dare, and this also included other famous writers.  However he had no contact with these writers some of them being dead by the time he wrote Dracula. 

Upon looking at one of his original manuscripts, it was found that the original title was "un-Dead'  when his great-grand nephew Dracre Stoker wrote the sequel to Dracula there was a nod to this title when he entitled his novel "Dracula: The Un-Dead"

January 11, 2011

History of Transylvania and Readership

I am busy working on a fun little project but it is about Transylvania so have no fear.  The idea is to have a series of smaller pages that people can follow about Transylvania and the history of the land.  it is short and is very general.  The idea is to expose a few people to the land.

Part I is up, and feel free to check it out.

The next part will be coming out soon, but I am also planning to do a bit of politics on Romania and Transylvania, and not only that add a few more notable personalities.

The question is who should be there first? 

Would writing about legendary people be more interesting than historical figures?

January 9, 2011

Some Times Writers Get Transylvania

I was able to read a very interesting book about teh future of Transylvania.  In fact it was published in 2008.  Still it has been enlightening.

A few of the points that come to mind that I want to share:

-- Transylvania will re look its role in the history of its land.  This has already begun especially with many of its cities becoming UNESCO heritage sites.

-- It will end up being a strong tourist destination.  Count Dracula and Bran Castle, need I say more?

-- Its politics will stop being so divisive.  I believe that as more of the people of Romania, and Transylvania, come back to Transylvania from other European countries there will be a change.

It is interesting to read this and how the culture has changed over many years.  Still I would say some times writer get Transylvania.

January 8, 2011

The Countess of the Blood and Bram Stoker's Dracula

The history of Transylvania is impressive and rich.  The peoples are unique and fascinating.  Yet, there are so many links to both Hungary and Romania.  One person who made the writing of Bram Stoker so interesting was a prince of Wallachia (he was also considered a warlord)

Yet, There is another person who without many knowing had an effect on  Stoker's writing.

Her name was the countess of Blood, and she was of Hungarian origin ( a Hungarian noblewoman)  and she probably had some effect on Stoker's writing.

Yet it is not Bram Stoker who puts Elizabeth Bathory into the Dracula story, but another Stoker, who wrote Dracula the undead.  I suspect that it is because of the legend that his great-uncle wrote a bit of Count Dracula into her.

Yet, for all the writing about a fictional character, the real man (Vlad Tepes Dracula) was as interesting as the Countess of the blood.

Writing about Transylvania is Enjoyable

I write.  This is true and often I write and enjoy what I do, and the same holds true for much of the writing which I do.  When it is about Transylvania all the better.

In fact now I have stats on my blog, this has given me a few surprises.  One of them is how passionate people are about topics that interest them.  One post which comes to mind seems to be getting a lot of hits, and I always felt it was not my greatest, and yet it is popular.

Interestingly, it is about politics, and still, I did this post in response to some one's email.

So, writing about Transylvania is interesting, so maybe I should put a bit up on some other sites.

January 7, 2011

Dracula or Harry Potter?

After so long I have to admit I have a soft spot for Harry Potter.  Mostly because I am busy re-reading the Deathly Hallows ( okay the fourth time) but I still get a kick out of reading the section about the break-in to Gringotts.

Mostly because they mention Transylvania.  I love that part.

I suspect the best is the mention of vampires in the first book, and then the mention of Transylvania.  I suspect many have a spot spot for that. 

Which brings us back to the question:  Dracula or Harry Potter?

Which character would you like better?  I know this is asking a lot but really, for me, I would say that while the mention of Transylvania is great, I would still go for a reading of Stoker's Dracula.

My reason?  Because it is one of the few books which I did enjoy, but also found several of the movies just as enjoyable.

January 6, 2011

Dracula and Popular Culture about Transylvania, Romania

Vlad Dracula, or better yet, Count Dracula, seems to be a big topic on television these days.  In fact there are many versions out there.  I have had many a chance to read the novel Dracula, but also the next version called Dracula, the Undead.

What struck me was seeing Francis Ford's Bram Stoker's Dracula.  One of the better movies I might add.  I think after seeing Van Helsing, I am more inclined to see Dracula again.  Mostly it followed the novel better than anything else I've seen in a while.

Still, I would love to see one where the focus was on the real Vlad Tepes rather, not Count Dracula, than a book written more than 100 years ago.  this is a part of popular culture, a myth of Dracula, and not about Transylvania Romania.

January 3, 2011

What is Transylvania? Royalty, Dracula and Politics

When I asked a few people what isTransylvania?  The answers were intresting.  There is a point where people mistake facts and myths.

Answers ranged from: Dracula, to royalty to politics.

Politics I suspect define what Transylvania is about to many people who lived in Europe.  They view Transylvania as a place where people have different points of view.  For example, they point to the fat that the Romanian revolution of 1989 would not have happened without Transylvania.  (In fact, it was in the Banat region where the first city protested) 

Dracula.  This myth has had a profound influence on North American perceptions of Transylvania.

Royalty:  Queen Marie of Romania, King Micheal of Romania, the many grand Princes of Transylvania, the Kings of Hungary.  These people all helped to shape the land as it is now.

January 2, 2011

Journey To Transylvania....

Are you ready to go on a journey to the past?  To the Present? or to the future?

This is a journey of Transylvania to Transylvania and about Transylvania.

The people are vital to Transylvania, and as a part of this there are people of Hungarian and Romanian and German and Russian and Jewish origin which we will journey with.

So, let us take a journey... to Transylvania.

This land has a long and powerful history and it is something people need to learn where it is an why it is important to the people around it.