Dracula legend and reality
Vlad-Dracul the father

Dracula's father 

A group of Wallachian noblemen bringing with them a princely sceptre made most citizens of Nuremberg, the city of imperial diets, defy the cold weather and take part, on February 8, 1431 in an important historic event.

Emperor Sigismund of Luxembourg conceded the ruler-ship in Wallachia to Vlad Dracul ( the father ) who had been living at his court for eight years. That very day, emperor Sigismund gave Vlad a necklace and a gold medallion with a dragon engraved on it, the badge of the Dragon Knights

Waiting for the coronation, Vlad Dracul (the father) and his family settled in Sighisoara, Transylvania, where he set up a mint. Vlad used his signet emblem, the dragon on the coins he printed. His family crest his flag and his royal seal incorporated the Dragon

Dracula legend and reality
Symbol of Dragon Knights
Dracula legend and reality
Iancu de Hunedoara

Dracula's Name

In the Romanian mythology the Dragon represents the evil, the beast and ultimately the Devil. Therefore the locals saw the devil on the coins, and flags of Vlad Dracul and nicknamed him "Vlad Dracul" which literally means"Vlad the Devil" 

His son Vlad Dracula was born here in Sighisoara in November 1431

Vlad Dracula spent his childhood in Sighisoara, was taken hostage by the Turks, then went to his uncle in Moldavia, and to the Hungarian regent's court Iancu de Hunedoara, a Romanian nobleman (whose daughter Vlad the Impaler later married) becoming prince of Wallachia on August 22, 1456.

Vlad inherited the name from his father and called himself Dracula or Draculea. This actually means the son of Dracul in the same way Johnson means son of John, or Davidson son of David. 

So without any exaggeration we can say that Vlad Dracula signed his official documents as Vlad son of the devil. We will soon have a blog post where we will explain how he got the "Impaler" name, because that is far more interesting. By the way, the Dracula that you know from movies is an innocent baby next to the real Vlad Dracula.  We invite you to discover the real Dracula on our 6 day historic tour

Dracula legend and reality
Vlad Dracula next to a forest of impaled Turks

Dracula's Life

Known as one of the most dreaded enemies of the Ottoman Empire, Vlad Dracula started organizing the state, the army, the law, applying death penalty by impaling al those he considered enemies: highwaymen, robbers, beggars, cunning priests, treacherous noblemen, usurper Saxons, who tried to replace him either by his cousin Dan the Young or by his natural brother Vlad the Monk.

Vlad is arrested in 1462 by his coming bother-in-law, Matei Corvin, because of a treacherous malevolent, Vlad Dracula spent more than ten years in prison, at Visegrad near Buda (today Budapest)

Dracula legend and reality

Back to the throne in 1476 with the help of Stephen the Great, prince of Moldavia, of the Senate of the Republic of Venice and of the pope Sixt 4th, Vlad resumes his fight against the Ottomans but towards the end of the same year he is killed at Snagov by Laiota Basarab who followed him to the throne of Wallachia.

The legend claims Dracula was decapitated and his head was taken to Istanbul to prove that he was killed. Newer discoveries point to a different story, in which Vlad was billed by mistake in a battle.

He often dressed up as a Turk to get behind enemy lines and create diversions. During a battle, he detached from his troupes and went up on a hill for a better view of battle ground. Something that any war tactician would do. But being dressed in Turkish officer costume and without his personal guards some Romanian soldiers thought he is a Turk trying to get away and followed him on the hill and killed him. 

In that battle Vlad had under his command Moldavian troupes, send by Stephan the Great, Vlad's cousin and ally. The above story was reported by the Moldavian captain to Stephan the Great, and the report was written in the Moldavian Chronicle. 

His tumultuous life as well as the harshness of his punishments created the Dracula legend, that were immediately spread all over Europe, first in Romanian and Slavonic and then in German, the latter being the most exaggerated. The name of the already well-known Wallachian prince became even more famous after Bram Stoker from Dublin (1847-1912) had published his novel "Dracula" in 1897

Bran Castle - Dracula legend and reality

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The Dracula Tour

Dracula legend and realityOur Dracula tour follows the footsteps of this unbelievable but so real Vlad Dracula. This legendary prince defeated the Turkish legions solely through fear and intimidation. The same Turkish legions previously conquered Constantinople (today's Istanbul) and crushed the crusaders sent by the Pope. That's why Vlad's victory against the Turks was such an amazing achievement for the Christian world.

Come with us to the very house where Vlad was born - yes the house still exists - we will explore his castles and we search for his grave on the Snagov Island. We will uncover the legends and the facts of his tumultuous life.  If you have a friend you can start your tour any time as 2 persons is the minimum required to start a tour.

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