March 8, 2016

Dracula and His Power

Dracula is one of the more famous gothic characters most people know of, besides Frankenstein's monster.

Which is all well and good, and the fact that Dracula brings to Transylvania the all important tourist dollar, it's wise to begin to think about the power of the Dracula myth on Transylvania.  After all there is no doubt that although it was the home of Queen Marie of Romania, Bran Castle is commonly known as "Dracula's Castle."

For a small fee, tourists can go inside the castle and see what life was like for the Romanian Royal Family between the wars.  There is a bit of the gothic history, and a mention of the Teutonic Knights who were the original builders of the castle.

However,  Transylvania, and Romania do not get income from the castle, the descendants of Queen Marie and King Ferdinand of Romania, through the Princess Ileana of Romania, are the ones who receive the income, since the castle reverted back to their ownership.

This being the case, how the Dracula and his power help Transylvania?
 
Simple, the extras and the area around Bran Castle.  A tourist can go and see the castle, then can go explore the cities around it.  For example, the city of Brasov, is a popular tourist destination, and it main drawing power outside of the Black Church is the man known as Vlad Tepes, who was the person used by Bram Stoker as the idea, and the character of Count Dracula. Tepes was a brutal warlord who would show no mercy to his enemies and his countrymen.

Vlad, for all is supposed extensive power, he would ultimately lose his life in battle having never really had the power of his title in Walachia- he was born in Transylvania, but was a prince of Walachia- he might have fallen through the cracks of history.  

The key to his power is simple: if he had not been "found" as the idea for the main character, of Stoker's most famous novel, I am sure that Queen Marie of Romania and her writing, and hard work on behalf of the Romanian people might be better known.  She was passionate and accurate about the land, but had a flair for the dramatic.

Dracula's power, however is more concrete these days, he holds the power and the passion of many people who have read the book, or have seen the movies which made him famous.  Ironically, for example, Van Helsing, filmed in 2004, was filmed in Prague, whereas many assumed it was in Transylvania, but that is the power of Dracula, and Transylvania.