Vlad Dracul, Impaler or Tepes (1431-1476). Life, reign, story, attrocities and death of the famous Vlad Dracula. Story of medieval noble and the most famous vampire of all times.
Life of Vlad Dracul
Born into a provincial Romanian nobility, Vlad is probably most famous for being the central character upon which Bram Stoker based his novel “Dracula”.
Vlad the Impaler, a.k.a. Vlad III, Dracula, Drakulya, or Tepes, was born in late 1431, in the citadel of Sighisoara, Transylvania, the son of Vlad II or Dracul, a military governor, appointed by Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund. Vlad Dracul was also a knight in the Order of the Dragon, a secret fraternity created in 1387 by the Emperor, sworn to uphold Christianity and defend the empire against the Islamic Turks. Transylvania, along with Moldavia, and Wallachia, are now joined together as Romania. The name Dracul can be interpreted in two ways, the first translation from Romanian would be “Dragon”, but it sometimes also means “Devil”. Vlad was not called Tepes, which means “”spike” in Romanian, until after his death; instead, he was known as Vlad Dracula, the added “a” meaning “son of”, so essentially, throughout his life, he was known as the “son of the Devil”.
Vlad was venerated for centuries in Eastern Europe by Catholics as a saint for having stopped the advance of the Ottoman Empire westwards near the height of its power- an incredible feat for such as small region. A fact due in no small part for the nightmares and terror that the stories of Dracula caused his enemies.
The Ottoman Turks installed Vlad as their puppet representative in Wallachia after his father was assassinated by local ruling families. However, he was deposed, pardoned for his treachery at being a double-agent on account of his depth of knowledge of the Ottomans.
Impalement and other atrocities of Vlad Tepes
There are claims that thousands of people were impaled at a single time. One such claim says 10,000 were impaled in the Transylvanian city of Sibiu (where Vlad the Impaler had once lived) in 1460. Another allegation asserts that during the previous year, on Saint Bartholomew’s Day (in August), Vlad the Impaler had 30,000 of the merchants and officials of the Transylvanian city of Braşov that were breaking his authority impaled. One of the most famous woodcuts of the period shows Vlad the Impaler feasting amongst a forest of stakes and their grisly burdens outside Braşov, while a nearby executioner cuts apart other victims.
Impalement was Dracula’s preferred method of torture and execution. His method of torture was a horse attached to each of the victim’s legs as a sharpened stake was gradually forced into the body. The end of the stake was usually oiled, and care was taken that the stake not be too sharp; else the victim might die too rapidly from shock.
Normally the stake was inserted into the body through the anus and was often forced through the body until it emerged from the mouth. However, there were many instances where victims were impaled through other bodily orifices or through the abdomen or chest. Infants were sometimes impaled on the stake forced through their mother’s chests. The records indicate that victims were sometimes impaled so that they hung upside down on the stake.
As expected, death by impalement was slow and painful. Victims sometimes endured for hours or days. Vlad often had the stakes arranged in various geometric patterns. The most common pattern was a ring of concentric circles in the outskirts of a city that constituted his target. The height of the spear indicated the rank of the victim. The corpses were often left decaying for months.
Death of Vlad
Vlad Dracul was killed in battle against the Turks near the town of Bucharest in December of 1476.
Some sources state he died surrounded by the ranks of his Moldavian bodyguard. Other sources believe he was murdered by an unloyal nobles.
Another source reports claim that Vlad, at the moment of victory, was accidentally struck down by one of his own men.
Bran castle near Brasov in Romania
Vlad the Impaler is a hero for many Romanian people. He is a hero who resisted against the super power of the Ottoman Turks.
Vlad was an inspirational character for Dracula novel writen by Bram Stoker in 1897.