April 30, 2012

Dracula, Transylvania and The Hungarian Kingdom.

Depending on which historical records a person reads, they might find a lot about Dracula.  Unfortunately there is no historical account of a Count Dracula; he was a character in a novel.  Transylvania is a real place, but the Transylvania that most people call to mind is the one with a vampire.


The history of the Bathory clan does come up with one person who might fit the "vampire" ideal:  Elizabeth Bathory.  Although not directly related to Vlad Tepes Dracula, she was known to have killed hundreds of young women, all in an attempt to keep her youth.


At the time when Vlad Tepes lived, Transylvania was a part of the Kingdom of Hungary.  When Bram Stoker wrote his famous book, Transylvania was a part of the Empire of Austria.  Vlad Tepes was dead, and Bran Castle and many other castles were falling into disrepair.



The Kingdom of Hungary shaped the person Vlad Tepes would become, but he was a Prince of Wallachia.  His name was recorded in the history books, and it was in these records that one Mr. Stoker found that name, and made Transylvania and vampires immortal.

The most interesting part of the Dracula and Transylvania connection is that there are still people who are direct descendants of Vlad Tepes.  Some, are even Royalty.  The Kingdom of Hungary and its rulers and nobility were never too happy with Vlad Tepes, and they would have been pleased to see him as a vampire.

There is more to this story. The Saxons of Transylvania wrote quite negatively about Tepes, and this lead to many myths about Dracula and Transylvania.  But sometimes facts are not as good as fiction.

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