After our small online Romanian lessons, now we decided that it’s time for a little bit of Romanian history! Don’t worry you will not have homework for today, our demanding from you learning a little bit more of the Romanian language through the words we usually provide from these articles, does not exist today. You can consider yourself lucky (norocos)! Well, except for this!
Anyway, let’s continue with our subject which is, as we said in the beginning, the Romanian history. Actually, a part of it. And who is one of the most famous figures of the Romanian history? Who else if not Vlad Țepeș more known as Count Dracula. Not much for his life as these things are more or less known to the most of us. On the contrary, we will see the castles that he spent his life or the three most important of them. Don’t forget to organize a visit to admire the architecture and the landscapes which surround all of them and of course to test your Romanian language skills!
To begin with, let’s say a few things about his life. He was born on 1431 in Sighisoara of Transylvania. On 1442, a diplomatic meeting was scheduled with sultan Murad II and Vlad brough with him his two sons, Vlad III and Radu. But this meeting was a trap set up by the sultan who demanded to keep as hostages his sons in order to free him. This would be another main reason of his hatred against the Ottomans. He managed to defeat them many times and he was considered since then a hero for the Romanian people. It is estimated that he killed over 80.000 people, most of them Ottomans. He was famous for the brutal kills he was performing that’s why he was given the name Vlad the Impaler, which is actually what Țepeș means. His death on an ambush on 1476 was a sad event for his co-patriots. Something important to be mentioned is that he was the figure that Bram Stoker was inspired of, in order to write the famous story of the vampire Dracula on 1897.
Regarding the castles, many people wrongly believe that he lived most of his life in the legendary Bran castle, the famous touristic attraction near the city of Brasov. Millions of tourists are visiting this castle every year, people who want to walk in the same grounds where Vlad walked. This castle is being promoted as haunted but it’s neither haunted nor the castle that Count Dracula lived as we said above. The truth is that this castle is the first house of Dracula. It is a castle with excellent architecture, many stairs and rooms, a big library and an exhibition with torturing instruments. There is also a souvenir shop and a restaurant.
Another one castle that Vlad spent some years of his life is Huniade or Corvin Castle in Hunedoara. In this castle, he was imprisoned by John Hunyadi, Hungary’s military leader and regent during the King’s minority for seven years after his dethronement in 1462. It is one of the largest castles in Europe and was built in 1446 in a Renaissance-Gothic style.
But the real castle in which Vlad lived in, is the Poenari castle. This one is located in an isolated and hard to get area in the region of old Wallachia. With an eerie atmosphere, this castle is the protagonist in all the “scary” stories about the infamous vampire. In order for someone to visit this castle, it is necessary to have a local guide as this place is considered to be dangerous. Transportation is not regular in the area, so get informed before you start your trip. When you get there, you will have to climb a really big amount of stairs in order to reach in the altitude of 1480 meters that is located. The view from there, though, will definitely pay you back! The canyons, the rivers and the lakes in that area are magnificent. The castle was suffered a major landslide in 1888 and a part of it fell in the nearby river Arges. But it still maintains its walls and towers due to slight repair.
We are sure you enjoyed this history article and learned a little bit more about Dracula and his castles. Next step is to schedule a visit but before, keep practicing your Romanian language, you’re doing great!
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