Vlad Tepes: The Historical Dracula

ogopogo3

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BUCHAREST, Romania -- A Dracula theme park in the heart of Transylvania has attracted enough investments for the project to go ahead, the government said today.

Tourism Minister Dan Matei Agathon told reporters that by today investors had bought 96 billion lei ($2.9 billion) worth of stock, comfortably more than 60 percent needed by law for the project to proceed.

The park is to be built in the medieval Transylvanian city of Sighisoara -the hometown of 15th century prince Vlad the Impaler, who inspired novelist Bram Stoker's ``Dracula'' novel.
Vlad earned his nickname because of his penchant for impaling captured Turks and other enemies on stakes.

The park plans have sparked concerns among conservationists who claim a medieval citadel in the vicinity of the park might be damaged by tourists. Religious leaders fear the park could draw Satanists to Romania. The park will include amusement rides, a golf course, a Gothic castle wired with spooky effects, a zoo, horseback riding, restaurants and shops, all encircled by a miniature train line.

The initial public offer of 155 billion lei (nearly $5 million) was launched in November, but the deadline was extended to April 3 after sales didn't meet the targets required by law.

The Romanian unit of Greece's Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Co. SA has agreed to invest in the park, as has Austrian brewer Brau Union AG in exchange for exclusive rights for the sale of drinks.

The park, to be privately funded, will cost about $15.6 million, with
another $19 million needed for infrastructure improvements. Some of the money will be used to restore the city's 15th century fortress and ramparts.

Sighisoara, which was named Schaessburg by German settlers, is located about 180 miles northwest of Bucharest.
 

Beakmoo

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No worse than the London Dungeon. Not that that's any justification. :mad:
 

harlequin2005

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Maybe I'm missing the point here.. Vlad Tepes was very much a man of his time, in someways no worse than our own dear monarchy of that period. We earn a steady tourist income off our own very bloody past, so what is wrong with doing a Dracula/Vlad theme park? After all he's only NOT a hero outside Romania, and if it is a Dracula theme park, then its no worse than what Whitby does...

But as I say, maybe I'm missing the point :D


8¬)
 

carole

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beakboo said:
No worse than the London Dungeon. Not that that's any justification. :mad:

Or the York Dungeon, which is one of the most depressing places I've ever been to (apart from a rather good re-enactment of the Roman legionary ghosts seen in a cellar by a workman).

I'm sure they won't have reproductions of the impalings . . . will they??

:eek!!!!:

Carole
 
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Anonymous

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Isn't there a Stalinist themed hotel somewhere in the former East Germany, complete with bad food, surly staff, and authentic era Soviet TV piped in all the rooms? Or is that just the German version of a Little Chef?:)
 

ninja_cat

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carole said:
I'm sure they won't have reproductions of the impalings . . . will they??

It'll make great animatronics :) bit like itchy and scratchy land from the Simpsons.
 
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Anonymous

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harlequin said:
Maybe I'm missing the point here.. Vlad Tepes was very much a man of his time, in someways no worse than our own dear monarchy of that period. We earn a steady tourist income off our own very bloody past, so what is wrong with doing a Dracula/Vlad theme park? After all he's only NOT a hero outside Romania, and if it is a Dracula theme park, then its no worse than what Whitby does...

But as I say, maybe I'm missing the point :D


8¬)

Your right on that harlequin, even to this day Vlad is viewed as a hero in his native land of Romania just as Ghengis Khan is viewed a hero in Mongolia.
I dont think there is anything wrong with this themepark as all it is viewed as is a themepark altho some goth looking teenagers may treat it as a sort of mecca.
I cant wait to test out the ghost train.
 
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Anonymous

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Yeah, good old Vlad. He wasn't all that bad, a man of his time as someone said.

Now Lady Bathory is another matter.
 
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Anonymous

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When I was in Prague in February, there was some major filming going on in one of the town's squares near the astrological clock. They'd brought loads of props to make it look olde worlde and changed the shops fronts to french names. We asked somebody what it was, and he didn't speak very good English, but we kind of made out that it was a Dracula film. Anyone got any ideas, what film was being made, who is in it, which country is the originator, etc ?
 
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Anonymous

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Well, there are one or two to choose from...
Prague is such a popular location, standing in for any european city from 1600-1900, it hasbeen used in hundreds of films.
From this list you can choose from Hellboy, Phantom of the Opera, Timeline, Ugly Americans, and...
AHA!
Van Helsing!
 
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Anonymous

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Prague movie

Hi dudes

I was going to say that it could have been filming for The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen which is a film adaption of an Alan Moore comic book (a bloody good one too). The story does include the character of Mina Harker, so I was thinking that was where you could get the Dracula thing from. However, that Van Helsing movie does seem as equally likely.

All The Best
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Thank you for that - it's definitely Van Helsen, 'coz that's what it said on the security staff's lables. We just thought that was the production company or something. Anyway, we will be watching the movie !
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Hellboy

Very much looking forward to Hellboy. Love the original comic book and also loved the Devil's Back Bone. Have you seen that directors earlier film Cronos. Pretty unique take on vampirism.
Also I'm told that the director is going to take on Lovecraft's At The Mountain's of Madness.
Can't Wait!
 

Yithian

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Only just stumbled across this seemingly innocent piece of trivia:

Charles visits 'relative' Dracula's home

Prince Charles visited myth-steeped Transylvania - amid suggestions that the blood-drinking Dracula may be among his forebears.

The Prince - on a tour of eastern Europe - spent a day in the heart of the region in Romania, where the Dracula legend was born.

There he visited an old people's home in Sibiu, where he was presented with a book of poems written by one of the residents, and a school.

The Prince was then driven 40 miles through the Transylvanian countryside to visit a Saxon village at Mosna.

Prince Charles is apparently aware of the potential relationship between his family and Transylvania's most infamous son.

It is believed that Queen Mary, consort of George V was related to the 15th Century slayer prince Vlad the Impaler who inspired Bram Stoker's Dracula.

And it is known that porphyria, an iron deficiency, which is thought to lie behind the vampire myth, has run in the Royal Family.


Thousands of visitors come to see Transylvania every year
Vlad Drac-ula, as he was known, is said to have dispatched with more than 100,000 Turkish warriors in battle.

The vampire legend was fed by Vlad's own predilection for eating bread dipped in his victim's blood.

But it wasn't until an author of the Victorian period, Bram Stoker, became interested in the myth of Vlad the Impaler, that Count Dracula was born.

Dracula means "son of the devil" in Romanian.

Now thousands of tourists visit the Transylvanian town every year where Vlad lived in Castle Bran.

Prince Charles arrived in Romania on Tuesday

On Thursday, he will visit several charities caring for the elderly and homeless in Bucharest, and he will watch a pantomime at the city's National Theatre.

He is due to leave for Sofia, in Bulgaria, on Friday. The tour also includes the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/208045.stm (my emphasis)
 

filcee

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Prince Charles is apparently aware of the potential relationship between his family and Transylvania's most infamous son.
Wouldn't be surprised if they were related, they're all a bunch of incestuous buggers.
Dracula means "son of the devil" in Romanian.
I was always lead to believe it meant 'Son of the Dragon'? Any Romanian speakers clarify?

Useless information: For all his bloodthirsty ways, and his liking for impaling enemies, fighting in Vlads armies had the bonus of a health service for his soldiers and their families, along with pensions for surviving families of dead soldiers. Don't know whether this is actually true (and as usual, can't remember where I picked it up) or not, but shows Vlads 'caring, cuddly side';)
 
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Anonymous

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Prince Charles is apparently aware of the potential relationship between his family and Transylvania's most infamous son.

i thought all his relatives were 12 foot lizards?
 
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Anonymous

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Filcee said:
Useless information: For all his bloodthirsty ways, and his liking for impaling enemies, fighting in Vlads armies had the bonus of a health service for his soldiers and their families, along with pensions for surviving families of dead soldiers. Don't know whether this is actually true (and as usual, can't remember where I picked it up) or not, but shows Vlads 'caring, cuddly side';)


Yeah, but 'Vlad The Cuddly' is a crap name if you're in the Ruling/Conquering trade.
 

TheOriginalCujo

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Filcee said:
I was always lead to believe it meant 'Son of the Dragon'? Any Romanian speakers clarify?

Vlad's father was a knight of the order of the Dragon. Hence 'son of the dragon'. However Drakul (dragon) is also a eupemism for Satan. Thus also 'son of the devil'.

Dracula may have been one of those nicknames which sounds polite and respectful but is actually not. After all, with someone who will nail your hat to your head if you refuse to remove it in his presence or impale you on a specially long pole if you can't stand the stench of rotting human flesh, saying dragon but meaning devil is as close to an insult as a prudent person will get.

Cujo
 

ramonmercado

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Son stakes Dracula castle claim

Restoration work began on the castle in the 1980s


See Dracula's Castle
One of Romania's most popular tourist attractions, Dracula's Castle, is to be returned to its ancestral owners 60 years after being seized by communists.
The castle in Transylvania will be handed back to the Habsburg family in a special ceremony on Friday.

US architect Dominic von Habsburg, who inherited the castle, was forced to leave with his family in 1948.

The 14th-Century fortress - whose real name is Bran Castle - has appeared in dozens of Hollywood Dracula films.

It was owned by the late Queen Marie who bequeathed it to her daughter, Princess Ileana, in 1938.

When the communists took power in Romania, the castle was confiscated and fell into disrepair.

The castle has since become one of Romania's most popular tourist attractions.

It has always had associations with the prince, Vlad the Impaler, famed for his cruelty and who inspired Irish author Bram Stoker's Dracula character.

Although he did not live there, the prince is thought to have visited the fortress several times.

"Going home"

The Habsburgs, who will now own the castle, ruled Romania in the late 17th Century.

Dominic von Habsburg, now based in New York, was 10 years old when his family was put under house arrest and then made to leave.

He told the BBC he had never given up hope of getting the castle back and said he was finally going home.

"I felt like I was a misplaced person. I felt like I was at home everywhere and at home nowhere," he says.

A new law passed in Romania in 2005 made it possible for former owners to claim property seized during the communist era.




http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/5016898.stm
 

ramonmercado

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'Dracula Castle' put up for sale

The castle is one of Romania's top tourist attractions
The descendants of the Habsburg monarchy have confirmed they want to sell a Transylvanian castle mythically linked to the fictional Count Dracula.
The family were turfed out of Romania's 14th-Century Bran Castle by the communists after World War II.

It was returned to them in 2006 after a long legal battle.

But now Dominic Habsburg, a New York architect and son of the late Romanian Princess Ileana, says he is willing to sell it back for $78m (£40m).

The local council has said it is willing to buy the castle, one of the country's top tourist attractions.

It wants to prevent the castle being turned into a hotel or theme park, and is in the process of investigating a bank loan.

However, Romania's culture minister said the local authorities would be "stupid" to pay such a hefty price.

'Best for people'

Mr Habsburg insisted the family was "trying to find the best way to preserve the castle in the interest of the family and the people of Bran".

He said while the family welcomed the restitution of their asset, it had come with a "financial sacrifice" - the huge cost of upkeep.

"We would like Castle Bran to remain a symbol of everything that is honourable and good in Romania," he told the Associated Press.

The castle rises dramatically from the forests in the foothills of the Carpathian mountains, 170km (105 miles) north of Bucharest. It has been associated with novelist Bram Stoker's vampire Count Dracula because it is thought to have hosted the infamous Prince Vlad "the Impaler", on whom Dracula was based.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6248537.stm
 

JamesWhitehead

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"We would like Castle Bran to remain a symbol of everything that is honourable and good in Romania,"

Kelloggs are left wondering why their offer was rejected.

All those "Win a Trip to Castle Bran, it will make you shit!" packs have been shredded and thrown back into the contents vat. :?
 
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Anonymous

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JamesWhitehead said:
All those "Win a Trip to Castle Bran, it will make you shit!" packs have been shredded and thrown back into the contents vat. :?

Pity. The box is the most nutritious part of the cereal product.
 

Xanatico

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They tested that on Myth Busters. They found the box per weight had about 20% the nutritional value of cornflakes, if I remember correctly.
 

rynner2

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Buy a stake in Dracula’s castle
Transylvania’s most famous fortress is for sale. Previous occupants: one vampire, one queen and an Impaler
By Christopher Middleton
7:00AM BST 11 May 2014

Whisper it quietly, rather than shout it from the rooftops, but Dracula’s Castle, in Transylvania, is on the market.
Not in the conventional fashion, with estate agents staking their For Sale signs in the ground, but in a quiet, offers-are-invited-from-the-right-people sort of way.

“If someone comes in with a reasonable offer, we will look at who they are, what they are proposing, and will seriously entertain the idea,” says Mark Meyer, of Herzfeld and Rubin. The New York law firm is handling the sale (he’s also the honorary American consul for Moldova).

The property comes with a long list of previous owners: everyone from Saxons to Hungarians to Teutonic knights. And although the facilities may not be exactly state-of-the-art (the plumbing is reported to require some work), there’s no questioning the detachedness of the property. It stands on top of a hill, and is most definitely not overlooked by neighbours.

The views are similarly uninterrupted. The original property particulars don’t survive, of course. But you can bet that the estate agents in the nearest town (Brasov) would have put plenty of emphasis on the number of miles away from which you could spot an advancing army.

As for the number of bedrooms, there are enough not just for a few dozen archdukes, duchesses and their offspring, but a sizeable retinue of servants and soldiers.

There’s no doubt, either, that the structure (real name Bran Castle) comes with several centuries’ worth of history clinging to its sheer walls (proven to be cannonball-resistant, no surveyor’s report required). First records of a fortress on this spot date back to 1211. Since then it has been through numerous fortifications and invasions (for many years, it stood in the path of invading Turks).

And yes, we all know that the bloodsucking vampire Count Dracula was a purely fictional character, invented by the British writer Bram Stoker, and made famous in films starring sharp-fanged Christopher Lee. But the fearsome real-life Vlad “The Impaler” Tepes famously operated in this area in the 15th century. Indeed, he is said to have been imprisoned in Bran Castle for a couple of months. On top of which, Transylvanian legend and folklore are full of characters called strigoi. These ghostly beings leave their corporeal bodies when darkness falls and roam the surrounding valleys searching for sleeping villagers to terrify.

In the real world, too, the castle has a whole dungeon full of gripping stories. In 1920, back in the days when Romania had a royal family, the fortress was given to Queen Marie, the granddaughter of our own Queen Victoria. When she died, in 1938, she bequeathed the castle to her daughter Princess Ileana, who in 1944 set up a hospital at Bran, to treat soldiers wounded in the war. The royal tenure came to a sudden end, though, when the communists came to power.

“In 1948, the entire royal family was given 24 hours not just to get out of the castle, but out of the country,” says Meyer. “They were packed off in a train.”
Before they left, though, one of the princess’s six children, 10-year-old Dominic, ran into the village, to give his bicycle to his best friend. Naturally, he did not expect to return, but 58 years later, following the fall of the Ceausescu regime, Bran Castle was restored to the royal family, and both Dominic and two of his sisters (Maria Magdalena and Elizabeth) have been running it ever since.

With some success, too. Each year 560,000 people pay £4 to visit the fortress. The trouble is, all three children (their surname is Habsburg) are now in their 70s, and unsure whether they can put in the time and energy required to bring the castle into the 21st century.
And the biggest problem is the lack of lavatories and bathrooms. These are provided for the visitors, but were ripped out of the residential part of the castle by the communist regime. A busy main road running through the village is another potential disadvantage.

“Archduke Dominic and his family care very much for the castle, and it’s in far better shape now than it was when run by the government,” says Meyer. “The aim, though, is to take the whole thing a stage further, re-route the road and make Bran a destination, the kind of place people will stay for two or three days.”
There’s enough land to build a small hotel, he adds. “And we’re also installing a glass elevator that will lead to a tunnel in the mountain, with a light show featuring Dracula and the whole history of the place.

“That’s why we’d like whoever buys the castle to continue running it as a tourist destination. This isn’t just a national monument, it’s the largest and most significant attraction in Romania.”
What the Habsburgs are hoping, therefore, is that the castle will attract investors who want to increase the current drip-drip of Dracula-related income into a steady flow.

The question is, of course, how much will the castle cost? It’s been reported that Archduke Dominic offered it to the Romanian government for $80 million (£47 million), but Meyer is not prepared to quote a figure.
“What you have to remember is that this castle is the real thing. We don’t need men going around dressed up in old-fashioned costumes; the place speaks for itself.
“At present, it makes a tidy profit, but in the right hands it has the potential to generate far more revenue than we could ever imagine.”

On top of which, the castle has already proved itself as a regal residence. And if it’s good enough for queens and princesses, it should be good enough for non-royal families, too.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/lux ... astle.html

If we all club together, how much would £5 each raise? ;)
 

JamesWhitehead

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It's back on the market,

Is it ever off the market? The asking-price is $66 million but, according to this article, it "could go for as little as $13 million."

It's curious that Dracula, a famous tale of blood-suckers, is one of the few novels to have an estate-agent as hero! :p
 
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