You don't have to be too deep into pop culture to have heard of Dracula, a nobleman who also happens to be a vampire. Count Dracula may be a work of fiction, but many believed that the character is actually inspired a real historical figure. It is none other than Vlad the Impaler.
Otherwise known as Vlad III or Vlad Dracula, the prince of Wallachia is one of the most important figues in Romanian history. He is even the national hero of the country.
So how exactly did one of Romania's most respected figures end up inspiring the creation of a fictional vampire?
Why Vlad III is Called Vlad the Impaler
The answer to our previous question has a lot to do with how Vlad the Impaler, who was born in 1448, chose to deal with his enemies. As the nickname suggests, Vlad III is known for having enemies captured and impaled.
It is a very brutal way to deal with enemies, and stories of these brutal acts did circulate during his lifetime. Such stories circulated even more after the prince was arrested in 1463. He was held captive until 1475 before he was released.
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Tourist Attractions in Romania Related to Vlad the Impaler
Due to the connection Vlad the Impaler shares with Count Dracula in popular culture, many fans of both Bram Stoker's novel and the 1992 film "Bram Stoker's Dracula" have flocked to tourist attractions in Romania related to the prince.
If you are one of those interested to visit Romania for some Dracula tourism, here are five tourist attractions you should visit.
No list of tourist attractions related to Vlad the Impaler or Dracula will ever be complete without Bran Castle. However, this castle is more related to the latter as it is commonly known as Dracula's Castle.
"Because Bran Castle is the only castle in all of Transylvania that actually fits Bram Stoker's description of Dracula's Castle, it is known throughout the world as Dracula's Castle," the official website for Bran Castle states.
Otherwise known as Hunyadi Castle or Hunedoara Castle, travelers know Corvin Castle as where Vlad the Impaler was held prisoner. This happened due to his capture by John Hunyadi, Hungary's military leader.
Corvin Castle is located in Hunedoara and is an example of Gothic-Renaissance architecture.
For those who actually want to visit a residence of Vlad the Impaler, the must-visit historical site is none other than Poenari Castle. Also referred to as Poenari Fortress, the prince had the castle fixed after first spotting its ruins.
Only parts of the castle remain standing today as a portion of it was ruined due to a major landslide in 1888. According to Romania's tourism website, tourists need to climb 1,462 steps to get to the castle.
Sighișoara is famous as being the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler. In fact, the yellow house where he was born and where he lived for a short period of time is still there.
Those interested to check it out can find his childhood home in the Citadel Square. Make sure to look for the Clock Tower as it is right next to it.
From where he was born, let's move on to where most historians believe he is buried. Located north of the Romanian capital of Bucharest, the Snagov Monastery can be accessed via a footbridge.
As of writing, there is no tangible proof that Vlad the Impaler is indeed buried here, but it has been that it is the prince's request to be buried here once he passed.
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