July 30, 2011

The writer of Dracula is Bram Stoker-- Not Robert Browning.

I received an email asking me to clarify one thing: Was the writer of Dracula a poet-- like Robert Browning or a novelist?

Let me make this clear- Robert Browning did write a poem entitled The Pied Piper of Hamelin, which has an epilogue about Transylvania.  In fact it was about the Saxons of Transylvania.  he did not write the novel Dracula.

The person who did was Bram Stoker, who wrote this novel in and around the time of the novel Frankenstein.  Still, it was based upon a man by the name of Tepes... with a few plays at creative writing.  Both were published and both were successes.

Note: Bram Stoker wrote Dracula... not Robert Browning.

July 29, 2011

What Would You Spend Money On?: Dracula or Bran Castle?

There is a lot of questions that one can ask but here is a good one:  What would you spend your money on?  If you were to go and tour Transylvania, what would you spend your money on to go and see?

The birthplace of Dracula?

Bran Castle?

The cities of Transylvania?

Or Hotel Dracula?( Note that there was not such a place until tourists came along!  This is not where Dracula or any of the character from Dracula stayed.)

Most people might be quick to answer that they would go and see all of Transylvania, but there are always a few must see places.  It can be a city or a town, but it can also be something you simply have to look at to believe.  it is vital that people come to see the history of Transylvania... but...

Many people here are quick to say they would go and see Bran Castle, after all you might think it is a tourist place, but some will go and see it because of Dracula.

July 26, 2011

Is Transylvania History Vital? Or Is It Something Else?

Most do think that Transylvania has a history which is thousands of years long.  There are many key figures and people during this time, who would shape and build Transylvania.

The people were the Dacians, the Romans, the Knights Templar, the Hungarians, the Austrians, the Jewish community, the Roma, the Romanians and countless others.

Because of this, there are many versions of the history of Transylvania.  Some parts are better known than others, whereas some are mythical and fictional.

Is Transylvania's history vital?

Yes it is, to many people, and events, for a long time it was the way from the East into Vienna and the Romans fought for it because of its natural resources.  In other words the things that many might have wanted was money.

Queen Marie used gold from Transylvania mines to make her coronation crown in 1922.  Vlad needed people to support him.  So is it something else, not history but money?

July 25, 2011

Was browning Correct?: Saxons of Transylvania, Romania

This is a hard question but was the poet of Robert Browning correct when he wrote the ending to the Pied Piper of Hamelin that many years ago?

It is possible, there is a theory that the children of Hamelin joined the crusades and perhaps some stopped there, however this is a remote theory.

There was however, a more plausible theory, and that was that the King of Hungary invited people-- Germans to come and populate the area.  This is more likely where the Saxons came from, this invitation.  They were to leave only after centuries.

Still the theory of the Pied Piper is an interesting one with the addition of the Saxons of Transylvania living in the region.  This is similar to John Hyundai

July 23, 2011

A Start to Transylvania : The Dacians

This mural depicts the Dacians and Roman wars.  Now, for many people this doesn't mean much-- after all, for some Transylvania really comes into focus in and around 500 years ago.

The Roman Emperors wanted the natural resources which Transylvania had to offer to Europe.  The Dacians held the land, and there was a small war.

All for the Gold.  The Romanians today have made Alba Iluia a strong point for their history in Transylvania, and this was a Roman outpost.

The Dacians, were according to some, killed off.  According to others they retreated and became the Romanian peoples of today.  Both theories are plausible, as the Romans would need slaves to build and mine their resources.

At the same time, the Dacians are a strong part of Transylvania's history.  Later groups would shape the course of life in the area, such as Hyundai, but this is the starting point for many.

July 18, 2011

Hunyadi and Transylvania: Of Riches and Fame

John Hyundai is famous in his own right, and he is buried in Transylvania, but we do not hear much about him outside of either Hungary or Romania.  Hyundai is famous more so than Vlad Tepes, and had he lived might have even had a feud with him.

He did with his father, Vlad Tepes II.  The big difference is that unlike Vlad Tepes III he is not in a book, and this makes him less viable in terms of riches and fame.  of course, Hyundai made a huge impact on the Hungarian population of Transylvania.  In fact in Transylvania he is viewed in a very positive light.

But does fame really mean anything?

July 15, 2011

Brasov and Bran Castle: Vlad Tepes

Vlad Tepes might have never lived in Bran Castle, but he had a long history with Brasov and the Saxons who lived there.

There were many people who lived there, and many were Romanian and Hungarian and Roma, but during the time of Tepes, there were Germans, and it seems based upon documents, they didn't like each other.

Brasov had and still has much to offer from the close proximity to Bran Castle to the Black Church which is famous in its own right.  There is a lot of history in Transylvania, and it is all close together.

Still the biggest tourist attraction is Bran Castle and where it is in Transylvania is important, it was built like many cities as a means to defend and protect the people of Europe. There is so much to learn about Transylvania, and so much one can find out in a lifetime.

July 13, 2011

Bran Castle and Where It is in Transylvania.

As you can see it is Bran Castle is a touristy draw for many who visit Transylvania.  This is highlighted by the fact that the family of Queen Maria of Romania wanted to make it into a more "tourist friendly" castle.  By this they wanted to focus on Dracula-- not Vlad Tepes but rather Count Dracula.

Bran Castle doesn't need that-- Bran Castle is "cool" as it is.

Yet, for all that, we always have in our mind the place where Bran Castle is: Somewhere far North, near Bistritsa. Which is as you can see below incorrect.  While Bistritsa is further north, Bran Castle is not.  Still it is in Transylvania.

To put this correctly, Brasov is the nearest city to Bran Castle.

As you can see it is closer to the border of areas of what were Wallachia and Transylvania.  Perfectly located to defend against incoming invaders from the East.

July 11, 2011

Count Dracula and Vlad Tepes: Money Means More Of Transylvania

Vlad III Tepes was a prince of Wallachia, which is found in yellow on the map to the right. This is where the principality of Wallachia is located- and it along with Moldavia would become the nucleus for the country of Romania. The land is found just below Transylvania, and Vlad's father used it as an area to spend some part of his exile there. This would be the land that Vlad Tepes would one day rule.  He would not rule Transylvania, but he would have many dealings with the people there.

To get a better idea of why Transylvania was so important to Europe, and to Romania, simply look at the map of about 1600 year that Micheal the Brave unified the three principalities together- before he was killed by enemies. This would be the only time it was unified with Wallachia until 1919.  No, Vlad Tepes did not rule Transylvania, he was born there during the time his father had lost his throne.

This map is an outline of Transylvania and the Banat and a few other smaller areas, which today are sometimes known collectively as "Transylvania." Although Count Dracula never existed it is within Transylvania that he has made his mark, with many statues and tourist attractions, which have allowed Transylvania to profit-- on a prince whose major contributions to the area was killing men and women there.

As for Dracula, he's a money maker, and if this leads people to learn the real history, then this is a good thing. No, vampires do not live in Transylvania.

July 10, 2011

Dracula Might be Interesting--- But He Certainly Makes Money

After re-reading Dracula and Dracula un-dead, I've come to the conclusion that there is something good to come out of Dracula and the industry which he has produced.


He certainly make money now for the many people of Transylvania. and this has helped improved tourism there, but you need to wonder about the historical influence on Transylvania Vlad Tepes has had.  Still one must admit, historically important to Transylvania or not, he does bring in money.

After all Dracula Un-Dead, was a pretty hot seller, and it does follow the tradition of Dracula.  Which means hopefully the trickle down effect of tourism money to Transylvania.

In a way, the Romanian royal family might make money for Transylvania, and for Romania.  of course, Dracula, the characters is much more interesting.  Except for maybe Queen Marie of Romania.  She was a historically important character, as many will admit.

July 8, 2011

Trajan: The Roman Empire and Transylvania

The Roman Emperor Trajan was a man who wanted to expand the Roman Empire.  He did this by conquering many other tribes and kingdoms.  One such kingdom was the Kingdom of Dacia.  They would have a long protracted war until Dacia was eventually conquered.

Other than expansion of territory, the other reason was money-- or rather gold in Transylvania, which was used as money and other things.

According to many sources Alba Iluia was developed as a Roman outpost, mostly to provide a route for the gold and other primary material Transylvania had to offer. However, in time the Empire would pull back, due to many rebellions of the Dacian people, and strain within the Empire.

So there was Roman influence  in Transylvania in the ancient and noble history of the land.

July 6, 2011

Dracula, Writing and Transylvania, Romania.

I was asked to list a positive thing about the many books written about Count Dracula and the many ways in which it has helped Transylvania, Romania.

I will begin by saying that Dracula has helped Transylvania, it has increased tourism.  While this might seems like a not so great thing, money to a country which will improve the lives of others is a powerful motivator. As it stands many people who are working have left Romania-- more specifically Transylvania in search of better money elsewhere.

Hence, this list of good things which have come out of the writings about Dracula.

1) People know of Transylvania.  They will also learn of the people who lived in the country, the real Dracula and other infamous people.

2) Tourism will increase to famous places such as Bran Castle which is associated with Count Dracula.

3) more tourism means more jobs, which means a growth of GDP for Romania.

4) It provides a reference to history and might make people want to learn more about Transylvania.  yes, they know that there is a place called Transylvania, but they will learn so much more than that.

5) It encourages the arts.  This might lead to someone who is from Romania to write about their country to the Western world.

July 3, 2011

Some Things Are Meant To be Published

Like my book which is almost done, I've been talking about it for months now, and with just a few more edits, it's going to be out on amazon, and the topic?

Transylvanian Saxons.  The history of the end of the majority of the Saxons living in Transylvania.  There still are Saxons who live there but not as many.

So, I am excited.  I think my next book after all of these are done, then I think a bit on the Pied Piper is in order.  That would make a good book.

July 1, 2011

Like It or Not Dracula is a Money Maker

All over Transylvania, it seems, the big hit for tourists is seeing all the sites of Dracula. The problem is that there is more, much more, to Transylvania than Dracula.

Yet, at the same time many of the castles and villages have links to the person called Vlad Tepes, and this makes them money, and in this economy, money to a country is a good thing.