Vlad Tepes The Impaler

You have probably heard about Vlad the Impaler before since stories about the time he ruled still travel all around the world. While some of the things you've heard are actually true, some of them are just exaggerations. But when it comes to this everyone seems to agree: truth or legend, Vlad the Impaler was a fascinating man who will always be an important part of Romanian history and culture.



Vlad The Impaler Stories


It's difficult to keep up with all the Vlad the Impaler stories but it's even more difficult to say who was Vlad the Impaler in just a few words. Vlad was a fearless three-time Voivode of Wallachia in the fifteenth century, in the incipient period of the Ottoman conquest of the Balkans. But most Vlad the Impaler stories revolve around his ruthless way of punishing his enemies through impalement, his taste for blood but also for being extremely creative and ingenious. And even after all these years he is still one of the most controversial and legendary rulers in the history who inspires books, movies and people all around the world.


There are many books on Vlad the Impaler or at least inspired from his life and even though many of them are purely fictional, it proves that the real Dracula can be just as fascinating as the fictional character, the legendary vampire who was created by author Bram Stoker.



Reality Behind The Stories


Vlad the Impaler real name was Vlad Draculea, which meant son of Dracul and that later led to the famous Dracula. “Dracul” is the Romanian definite form of the noun “drac” from the Latin “draco” which means “dragon” but in modern Romanian it translates to “devil” so people thought it was an epithet characterizing the devilish behavior of Vlad the Impaler.


Even though many people consider Vlad the Impaler real name, it was actually only attached to his name after his death and it identifies his favorite method of execution.


Those who are interested in a biography book on Vlad the Impaler and not in the Dracula novels and fiction should read Vlad the Impaler: In Search of the Real Dracula by M.J. Trow, Dracula, Prince of Many Faces: His Life and His Times by Radu Florescu and Raymond T. McNally or Dracula: A Biography of Vlad the Impaler by the same authors. These books about Vlad the Impaler talk about the real historic figure he was, the political situation of the fifteenth century, his rise to power, military contests with his enemies, his fall and also about Vlad Tepes descendants.


5 Facts About Dracula


Here are 5 facts about Dracula that will make you want to learn even more about him!


1.      How many people did Vlad the Impaler kill?

Even though it is hard to say an exact number, it seems that he killed approximately 40,000 people in the timespan of 1448-1476.

2.      How did Vlad Tepes die?

Vlad's death was just as interesting as his life. There are no less than five variants of his death. The most popular of them says that in 1476 he tried to reclaim his seat as ruler of Wallachia and succeeded but only for a brief period of time. He and his soldiers were ambushed while marching to yet another battle with the Ottomans and Vlad was killed.

3.      How tall was Vlad the Impaler?

Some sources say he was 5'4” while others say he was 5'9”. Here is a very good description of Vlad the Impaler: “He was not very tall, but very stocky and strong, with a cruel and terrible appearance”.


4.      Did Vlad the Impaler have a wife?

Vlad the Impaler was married twice. His first wife committed suicide and his second wife was Ilona Szilagy, the cousin of  Matei Corvin (Matthias Corvinus) who had imprisoned him. He gradually won back the king's trust, was released in 1466 and married Ilona.


5.      Was Vlad the Impaler a vampire?

Only if you want to believe so!


These are only 5 facts about Dracula but there are many more interesting facts about him. And you should come to Romania to find out more!