April 28, 2011

Hungary and Romania: Queen Marie and Transylvania

I got an email asking if Queen Marie's children married into any Hungarian royalty.

Here's the quick details:

Carol II:  Married a cousin int eh Greek Royal Family, but also married a Romanian Noblewoman.

Elizabeth: Married King George II of Greece.

Marie:  Married King Alexander of Yugoslavia.

Nicholas: Married a woman of Romanian origin.

Illena:  Married an Archduke of Austria.

Mircea: died at the age of Three.

So as for the Romania family there, the connection of Hungary and Romania is not there, but there is a lot of Ties with Transylvania and Queen Marie.

April 25, 2011

Two Pictures.. Which Gives an Idea of Transylvania and the Saxons

These two pictures are great reminders of the life that some people used to live.

One is a Saxons Church and the other shows a side of the Saxon Village.  Now, this village would often also have Romanians and Hungarian people who lived there, but like these communities, often the people did not associate too much with each other.

Still, these two photos give an idea of what the land was like.  Transylvania is indeed a wonderful land.

April 23, 2011

Natural Resources: Transylvania

Most often people think of Transylvania as having a huge tourism industry, after all they have so many historical castles and cities, many of which are still lived in.

Natural resources is still a important aspect in Transylvania.  There have been mines and other industries, such as forestry for centuries, all of which are natural resources.  It is this part of the land that most do not take into consideration.  The mountains, will hold more resources, and there is always the potential for these to be mined or more oil being found.

Still, the more Transylvania, and Romania focuses on tourism and technology the less important the natural resources will be.  That is the cycle of history-- which Transylvania has a lot of.

April 21, 2011

Hungary and Transylvania-- On Points of View and Politics

Great news my book on Transylvania is now out, and you can buy it here!

Below are some map of Transylvania and where it was before the First World war, this also shows Transylvania and the Banat. Note that the darker yellow is the area which most people will commonly call the Banat region.
Banat and Transylvania
This is the older map of Hungary and Transylvania. Although it is correct, in terms of where it is in Hungary what I find most interesting is that it is written in German. Look deeper and you will note that Hungary by the time of this map's creation was a part of the Austrian Empire.
I have to say that ever so often I do get people asking and wondering about who should have Transylvania.  In this it means that they are referring to Hungary and Romania.  Now, before I get people telling me whom the land should belong to, I will say that I am going to point this out.

Transylvania is a part of Romania.  Since 1919 it has been a part of Romania. (save the Northern part of Transylvania, which was a part of Hungary from 1940-1945)  It is a land where people are and always will have a interesting point of view.

From 1867, it was a part of the Austrian Empire, however after the Battle of Vienna, which was in 1683, it was under the ruler ship of the Hapsburgs, who were the Holy Roman Emperors of Austria.

Now, it is also interesting to look at census files on the population, but the key here, is that as far back as 1241, (you can find this on the Romanian government website, or it is found in most books on Transylvania.) the majority of the population were Romanians. (Since 1977 it has been around or above 70%)  So,, it could also be that since the land does have natural resources, in large qualities, this might be the reason for the points of view of many.

So back to the original question I asked with the map I had given: Can You Find Transylvania on this Map?

April 18, 2011

Toursim. Transylvania, and Money

These three photos show some very important tourist destinations which are found within Transylvania.  Alba Iluia, Bistrista, and Sibiu.

All of them have meaning to many cultures outside of Transylvania. In fact, most mean something to German and Hungarian people alike.  it goes into the myths of German people, in the form of the Pied Piper.

Still, the tourism does mean one very important and positive thing for Transylvania... money to provide jobs and educational institutes for the people who live in Transylvania.

April 13, 2011

Why Publish A Book On Transylvania?

Not a bad question, but why would I publish a book on Transylvania?

The question came up when one of my friends asked why not write about Dracula or one of the other more famous people who lived in Transylvania?

Well, for one thing it's been done before, and done to dead... or in Count Dracula's case, un-dead... ha ha sorry being a bit tongue in cheek.

So, why publish a book on Transylvania?

The simplest answer is that there is a market and I am certain that people are interested in a book which is not about myths or people who were famous for being royalty.  I am also certain that there is an untapped market for history of Eastern Europe like this.  That is why I think it is a good thing to publish a book on Transylvania.

April 11, 2011

Did Hunyadi Fight Vlad Tepes III?

Bust of Vlad Tepes III, the son of Vlad Tepes II
Vlad Tepes and John Hunyadi didn't like each other, and before one can suggest that I am referring to Vlad Tepes, also known as Vlad the Impaler, I am referring to his father.  He was known as Vlad Tepes Dracul II.  A Prince of Wallachia, at the time of his younger son's birth, he was exiled to the principality of Tranyslvania.  His contemporary was the nobleman Hunyadi.

John Hunyadi would have probably not be against fighting against the Ottoman Turks but I do not think that he would have trusted Vlad any more than he did his father in the end.  Both men would die in battle, but unlike the elder Tepes, Hunyadi is viewed as a hero to many who lived in Hungary for is commitment to the defence of Transylvania and Hungary in the fight against the Ottoman Empire.

Vlad Tepes III was sent to the Ottomans along with his brother, Radu, and like his father became a Prince of Wallachia, although he was born in Transylvania in a Saxon city.  He also, like his father, changed sides between the Ottomans and the Hungarian Crown.  Because of this fact, it is likely that had Hunyadi and this Tepes been contemporaries, they would have fought each other at some point on the field of battle.

April 9, 2011

Publishing My Book on Transylvania

 What does it take to publish a book?  A lot of work has gone into writing about Transylvania, and there is more to go when dealing with historical facts and oral history.  I had planned that by this time this year, my published book, In Search of The Lost Ones, would be out to the general public.  Like all dreams this hasn't happened as yet, but I am hopeful that it will in the near future.

Transylvania, and the Saxons have a lot of potential as a niche market book.  There are a lot of self-published, limited run books out there, and people have access to them, but there aren't many that have a huge reach beyond a small community.  It is possible that writing and publishing this book about the German Saxons of Transylvania will make a difference to readers.

It will give them an idea of what life of the community of Germans who lived in Romania before and during the Second World War faced.  Like most people in Eastern Europe, there was always challenges that many people of Western Europe did not face.

Publishing my book on Transylvania is only the first step.  The next is building on that and working towards another book on the same theme.  I plan to have it co-authored, and work with more readers who have a different point of view.

The start is getting readers, and this means that I have to publish this book. Now that the edits are underway, there is a strong momentum towards having more people learn about Transylvania.

April 8, 2011

No, Dracula DID not live There... Or at Least Not This Dracula.

No, the fictional character Dracula lived in the walls of this castle.  This castle is more famous for being a part of the the mountains of Transylvania.

Bran Castle is high up in the mountains, and it borders Wallachia, and Transylvania.  Most people know where Bran Castle is in comparison to many cities in Romania.

The funny part to this is that the Saxons and the Teutonic Knights were the ones who built this Castle, and Vlad Tepes, who never lived there, but was born in Transylvania, was said to have killed many of the Saxons for their support of his enemies.

This Dracula, probably did not own much in Transylvania, but rather as a prince of Wallachia had castles and other homes in the land he would one day reign in.

April 4, 2011

Two or Three in 100 Tyrants: Transylvania and People Who Made it Famous

In the book by Nigel Cawthorne there are two people who have direct links to Transylvania who are listed as history's most evil (insert type of person.)

I am not sure but when I mentioned the names to a few friends they wondered why certain people where added or not.

Vlad Tepes, also known as Vlad Dracula (or Dracul) was added, but he was not a despots or dictator as many of the others so named were.  In fact he was a prince.. of Wallachia a neighbouring princedom.  ( This along with Moldovia would become what would be the Princedom, Later Kingdom of Romania pre-1914.

As for Elizabeth Bathory, a serial killer in my mind is not a tyrant, merely a serial killer.  I suspect she was added since she was of noble birth and her relations had connections to many of the Hungarian and Wallachian royalty.

Granted they do a lot ofr Transylvania, in terms of tourist money, as who doesn't want to go to Bran Castle and take pictures?

So, with these two names included in this book, who would you personally add as a tyrant?

April 2, 2011

Do You Write a Blog Such As This To Make Money?

I got a very interesting email, and the writer of this email asked me a very good question but it is worth a bit of commentary on it.

"You have been writing this blog for a long while, and I am starting a blog about my hometown, and I want to know since you write a blog which is about travel and history do you write this to make money?  I want to be able to make money in the first year of my blog, and it is like yours, so can it be done?"
Yes, I do write a blog on Transylvania, and I am not sure exactly if it is a travel blog, but I can say it is a history blog.  As for money, well I certainly would not suggest that you go into blogging thinking you will make money on your work.

What makes me continue to write this blog and improve on the writing is the passion for your subject.  I mean you can write all about your hometown, or the history of your hometown but to make money on that blog?

Probably not.

I write about Transylvania because I am passionate about it, and of course want to learn more about it as I go.  There is a lot of information out on the Internet, and I am one of many people who do blog.  This means that I have only one advantage as to why I continue to blog on Transylvania-- I love writing about the land where my family came from.

So, beyond that, why would you continue to write on your blog?  I would suggest that if it is for the money your blog would soon be "non updated" you'd be making more excuses to not update it than you would to update it.  The blog is in and of itself a reason to write, but it is also a reason to show where your heart lies.

There also have to be another reason for writing your blog, your readers, or you are writing a book, but I do not believe it can be entirely about money.

After all that, yes after many years, I do make a bit of money with this blog, but nothing to suggest I am 'big time."  I write for the pleasure of communicating Transylvania, and my thoughts about this land to others.  So, if you are in this niche to make money, you will have a harder time doing this, especially if that is your only reason for writing a blog such as this.