Transylvania – the land "beyond the forest" often known best through Bram Stokers "Dracula" and Patrick Fermors "Castles of Transylvania"- is not a fictitious location. Bound on the east and south by its natural borders, the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended westward to the Apuseni Mountains.
Deep within Transylvania , there is the forbidding old fortress of Bran Castle, notably the inspiration for Bram Stoker's 1897 novel "Dracula". The castle is placed high on a steep, rocky cliff and closely resembles the description from Stoker's Dracula: "On the very edge of a terrific precipice . . . with occasionally a deep rift where there is a chasm [with] silver threads where the rivers wind in deep gorges through the forests."
The Bran Castle, built in 1382 has had plenty purposes, been many things besides being a famous Transylvanian Castle. It's gone from representing a fortress, built to protect the border between Transylvania and Walachia, to a castle used in defence against the Ottoman Empire (1438-1442) and to a royal residence for the last Queen of Romania (Queen Marie).
Today, the Bran Castle is a museum that shares ghost stories, has 60 old timbered rooms, underground passages, secret tunnels, and collections of furniture, weapons and armour dating from the 14th to the 19th centuries.
Rumours abound that the Bran Castle is haunted, with Vlad the Impaler and Queen Mary being referenced as the spirits present, as the Queen’s heart is said to have been buried in the castle grounds.
Legends place the Count as being based on a historical figure: Vlad III.
The original name of Stoker’s count was to be "Count Wampyr". He changed this to "Dracula", after reading the Account of the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia with Political Observations Relative to Them in the Whitby library.
Dracula's father had the nickname "Dracul" from being a member of the Order of the Dragon – Societas Draconistrarum – a Christian group opposed to the Ottoman domination in Europe. In Romanian, the word “dracul” can mean "the dragon" or "the devil".
Dracula (Vlad III) was born in a house in Sighisoara, a medieval town in the heart of Romania. The house where he spent the first four years of his life is located near the clock tower, on Cositarilor Street no. 5. On the spot of the old building, there is now a restaurant named Vlad Dracul House.
During his reign (1456–1462), it is said that he had killed thousands of people (ottomans, liars, thieves etc.) mainly by impaling, in order to serve as an example for anyone who would plunder and subdue his land, Wallachia.
In the novel, Stoker mentions that Dracula fought against the Turks, and was later betrayed by his brother, historical facts which point to Vlad III.
In 1462, the Turks finally succeeded in forcing Vlad to flee to Transylvania. The Turks cut off Vlad’s head, preserved it in honey, and sent it to Constantinople. However, no one knows exactly what happened to the body … or the head.
Some historians say that his remains could have been buried either in the Snagov Monastery (42 kilometers North from Bucharest) or in the Comana Monastery in Giurgiu county (36 kilometers South from Bucharest). However, there is no irrefutable proof in either of these monasteries that his body would be buried there.
Date: 15 March 2019
Time: 19:00 -02:00
Location: JRC Mensa Nuova
Full price: 20€ | Reduced price (5-12 years old): 10€ | Free admission for children under 5
Best costume will be awarded!
Remaining amount after covering costs will be donated to ETM.
In collaboration with Comitato Culturale Ispra