Ten historical facts about Dracula
The prototype of one of the most famous vampires in world-wide literature, the character that was described in Bram Stocker’s “Dracula”, was a real person. His name was Vlad the Impaler, but he was most known by his nickname – Dracula. He was the prince of Wallachia, known now as Rumania. There a lot of historical facts known about his life, but even historians wonder what the reason of his wild and cruel temper was. At the age of twelve, Vlad Dracula, who was the son of Wallachian general, was taken a prisoner together with his little brother and spent four years captivated in Turkey. Probably it played its role in forming his strange temper and passions.
Dracula liked to dip bread in pans with blood
Scarcely the real Dracula was a vampire, as they are just mythical creatures. But the legend has real grounds: prince Vlad definitely liked to drink blood. That was the blood of people he killed. As he ordered they gathered the blood of killed people, just like a delicacy, and poured in buckets. The prince used it as sauce for bread. According to Michael Behaim’s chronic, dated from 15th century, one of the most famous Dracula’s feasts happened like that: the prince invited a few guests and after dinner just at the table he ordered to impale them. Underneath the picks were placed buckets for blood where Dracula dipped his bread. There were also a lot of dreadful stories told by the chronic, devoted to the life of one of the most scaring people who ever lived.
Name Dracula can be translated as “ dragons’son”
Name Dracula was not just made up. Prince Vlad III preferred to be called Darcula. In thing is that his father, Vlad II was a member of secret society called “Dragon Order”. Being proud of that fact in the beginning, the son changed his name to Dracule (which meant Dragon), later he decided to call himself Dracula. The name meant dragon’s son in Romanian. Later the prince also became a member of the organization, but remained his nickname. However, his contemporaries, especially those who lived in Wallachia, considered his name to have another meaning: devil’s son. Anyway, Dracula sounded very horrifying those days and the prince’s reputation just magnified the effect.
Dracula killed a few thousand people to avenge his father
After Vlad escaped from captivity in Turkey, he found out that people gave out his father to Hungarian forces. Dracula learnt that many noblemen took part in the conspiracy and got furious about the fact that so many people who were close the governor and swore allegiance to him, dared to betray him. However, Dracula didn’t manage to find out who exactly among the nobility was mixed in the case. But the uncertainty didn’t stop or confuse him, without showing his intentions; he invited all the noblemen to a feast to his estate. Totally there were approximately five thousand people present. Vlad didn’t plan to know who was guilty and who wasn’t; soon after the dinner was finished, he ordered to kill all the guests. Not just kill them but use blunt knives to cut their stomachs and make them died slowly and miserably. Dracula used such kind of execution many times after.
Dracula had sense of humour
But naturally his humor was black. Evidently few people could share his jokes mostly because he made fun of his poor victims who screamed with pain instead of laughing with him. For example, in book “Looking for Dracula” was described a case when Dracula ordered to execute a few people, impaling them and as he looked at their convulsive movements he mentioned that the moved amazingly graceful. Once a guest came to Dracula’s estate’ he was shocked by the number of rotten bodies and the horrible putrid smell. The prince asked him politely whether the guest liked the smell and the poor man answered that he didn’t. Then Dracula pierced the man with his knife and hanged at the ceiling. He explained that it didn’t smell that bad from the height of ceiling.
Dracula preferred one way of execution – impaling.
Almost all the executions connected with Dracula, included impaling. That was the favorite way of execution of the prince; he used in in various situations. Of course Dracula didn’t impale just everybody, as if he was a maniac, otherwise he could simply execute all the people of his province. Mostly, his actions were explained as a punishment of braking laws, and as long as Dracula was the governor, he could choose the punishment for a criminal, no matter whether the latter killed a man or simple stole a piece of bread. Although, from time to time Dracula used more refined ways of execution, just to try something new. For example, when a Gypsy, who travelled along Wallachia with his camp, stole something, Dracula ordered to boil the man in a tank and made all the other Gypsies eat him.
Dracula burnt sick people and beggars alive
Vlad III cared about his kingdom as the leader and tried to keep streets of the cities in order. He found the following decision of the problem of beggars and sick people: he gathered them all in one place and made a celebration and feast in one of his houses. People eat and drank enough, after that Dracula made an excuse to leave; as he walked out he ordered to block all doors and windows and burn the house. According to the chronic of those times, nobody survived in such a fire. But, as the leader thought, the streets were in order. Dracula liked to burn whole villages and camps in Wallachia, almost the same as impaling people. There were a lot villages in Wallachia burnt according to the prince’s will, almost for nothing.
Testing people with gold cups
It was not difficult to imagine how frightened the people of Wallachia were after such cruel executions and murders. Nobody dared to say a word against the leader, by that means Dracula had total control upon his people. But knowing that was not just enough for him, he wanted to make sure that his people were scared to death. In order to do that, the prince made the following trial: he placed gold cups full of water at the main square and announced that everybody could drink, but it was not allowed to take the cups away from the square. By that moment there were approximately sixty thousands citizens in the city, but as long as the cup were in the square (some sources say during all the years of Dracula’s ruling) no one even touched them. Everyday thousands of poor people passed the golden cups and none of them dared to think of drinking out of them.
Dracula ruined his own villages and poisoned wells, so that they didn’t pass to Turkish.
The 15th century was not easy for Wallachia; the citizens leaved in constant fear of Turkish assault. But Dracula didn’t want to get in Turkish captivity again, so when they attacked Wallachia he decided to beat off by all means. He sent his forces to drive out Turkish from his territories. But the Turkish army was stronger and soon the prince’s forces started to step back. Accepting his defeat, he sacrificed his property, not letting Turkish captivate them. Stepping back he burnt his villages, so that Turkish soldiers could find no food or place to have rest. He killed people of Wallachia and poisoned all the wells, so that they didn’t pass to the invaders.
During his life Dracula killed approximately 100000 people
Historians counted that during his life, Dracula killed thousands of people, begging with the number of 40000 at least and 100000 at the high. Most of the victims were from the capital of Wallachia, Targoviste, the city where the prince himself lived, according to the chronic, when Turkish finally reached the capital; they found the famous Stake Forest, rows of bodies of Turkish soldiers picked at pikes.
Dracula’s body was never found
As it was known, the leader died during the war with Turkish. Only y the end of Dracula’s life his reputation damaged him and Rumanian soldiers dared to betray the leader. They noticed that Turkish impaled people very seldom rather than their leader and switched the sides. Probably Rumanian soldiers killed Dracula and brought his head to the Turkish sultan. The latter pierced the head and hanged it in one of the rooms of his palace. People said that the body of Dracula was buried at the cemetery near a monastery of Bucharest. According to other rumors, his body was never found. People said that the body was buried but soon the remains mystically disappeared. Even if it was true, there was absolutely nothing surprising about the fact, the prince was evidently buried with treasures and the grave could be easily robbed.