The legend of Dracula was inspired by the historic character Prince Vlad IV (1430-1477), Wallachia's voivod, who led a fierce fight against the Turks. His legendary ferocity and cruelty gave him the nickname of "Tepes", meaning the ?impaler', a technique he used at will to punish his enemies and insubordinate subjects. Dracula actually indicates that he belonged to the order of the Dragon knights, a title which was passed on to him by his father. Despite his devilish side, Vlad Dracula inspires great respect in Romania, because he is considered the original initiator of a nation not yet called Romania. Ceausescu would later create the identity of the whole nation, by keeping up his image as the defender of Romanian independence in the face of the Soviet big brother, raising Dracula to the level of national hero (which he was, in some way). Legend has it that Dracula's body was buried in Snagov's monastery, near Bucharest, a place where visitors could start their itinerary.
Contrary to popular belief, Vlad Tepes never lived in Transylvania but rather in the neighbouring region of Wallachia, at the summit of the Carpathian Mountains.© Easyvoyage.com
This castle belonged to the Hunyad family (or Corvin in Romanian), who were descendants of the lords of Wallachia and thus possibly of Vlad Tepes.© Easyvoyage.com
Built in the 13th century by the Teutonic Knights, today Bran Castle is associated with Vlad III the Impaler, even if it is unlikely that he ever actually stayed here.© Easyvoyage.com
This palace was built in the 15th century by Vlad Tepes (the Impaler), who also founded the city of Bucharest.© Easyvoyage.com
Located in one of the oldest parts of Bucharest, it is comprised of walls, vaults, gravestones and a column.© Easyvoyage.com