Romania Activity tours

A group of Wallachian noblemen bringing with them a princely scepter made most people living 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 rulership in Wallachia to Vlad who had been living at his court for eight years. That very day, emperor Sigismund gave his favorite a necklace and a golden medallion with a dragon engraved on it, the badge of knights of the Order bearing the name of mystical animal.


Waiting for the coronation, Vlad and his family wen to Sighisoara, Transylvania, where he set up a mint. For the first two monetary emission, Vlad used his signet emblem, the dragon. Therefore, the Romanians whose word stock is mainly Latin, nicknamed him Dracul-Dracula (from the Latin DRACO-ONIS). In Romanian Drac means Devil. This nickname turned into a surname for his descendants, Vlad, his second son being known as such. He 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 later married) becoming prince of Wallachia on August 22, 1456.

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.

The Ottoman historians nicknamed him Vlad Tepes, as he came to be known in Romanian historiography, but he used to sign with his father's name, Dracula. This is testified in Bucharest's first documentary mentioning, dated September 20, 1459 and in the portrait of Odhsenbach Stambuch from Stuttgart. Arrested 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)

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.

His tumultuous life as well as the harshness of his punishments entered long lasting legends 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


The touristic tours

can lead the traveler to the ruins of Dracula's palace in Bucharest (the Ancient Court) to the monastery of Snagov where Vlad Dracula was buried, to Bran Castle dating from the 14th century, as well as other interesting and worth visiting places. At Sighisoara, the best preserved 15th century city, the very pavement stones remind us of Dracula's childhood.

The tourist may have dinner at his house. Not far from there is the place where he used to raise the infamy pillar and the gallows scaffolding to punish the malefactors. In addition, for the traveler's more comprehensive image of the epoch, they set up a witch trial very common in Transylvania up to the 18th century.

Tempted to live Dracula's adventurous and restless life, the tourist will probably follow Jonathan Harker's traces. Through Borgo Pass he stepped into a country that Mina Harker described in her diary as: "a lovely county; full of beauties of all imaginable kinds and the people are brave and strong and simple and seem full of nice qualities". Up there, the tourist enters the castle that Stoker imagined; everything around reminds him of the famous character. The visitor can even dress up and take part in a carnival arranged by the organizers. The glasses, the coffee cups, the wines, everything makes you fell Dracula's presence.

 

More on Dracula and a very detailed and accurate information on the political situation and Dracula's role in 15th century Europe can be found here http://library.thinkquest.org/C0125971/media/english/Story/story1a.htm

A brief history with a lot of exaggerations athe following web address http://www.donlinke.com/drakula/vlad.htm9