Transylvania: the home of Dracula

A View of Peles Castle in Transylvania

Just by way of a break from the painting of Grand Canal, on which I haven’t worked for a while because of Christmas and the New Year Break. Happy New Year everybody by the way

We spent the New Year in Romania, in Transylvania to be precise, looking at sites associated with the Dracula legend, amongst other things. The topography looks like the sort of backdrop that you would expect, mountains, forests, snow, but I didn’t hear any wolves. I was brought up on the Hammer Films from the 1960s starring Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. The dialogue was very serious. Nothing was done for laughs unlike some modern adaptations. You did not mess with these guys

In the background of the photograph is Peles castle, which had nothing to do with Dracula although it looks as though it should have. It was built as a summer residence under the direction of King Carol I and his wife Queen Elizabeth, and was finished in 1914

The castle associated with the legend of Dracula, is Bran. We went there later that day. Two of our party went awol and wasted more than an hour whilst we looked for them. We were late getting to Bran, and it was getting dark. Our coach driver didn’t say “This is as far as I will take you”, but I was waiting for him to do so. It was a very steep climb up to the castle and I attach a picture to give you an idea

Bran Castle

Romanians are always mystified by the legend of Dracula, who to them is Vlad, and known as the Impaler because of the way he put his enemies to death. To them he was a hero, because he gave them years of stability and good rule. he also protected them from the Turks. As far as I can see, there is no cult of the vampire coming from Transylvania. That was fiction from the pen of Bram Stoker, although they were grateful for the flood of American tourists that came looking for Dracula

We ended our tour in Bucharest, with an excellent city tour. It is 30 years since their revolution when the two dictators Ceausescu were executed by firing squad, after the fall of the Communist regime in Europe. We saw their newly completed palace, bigger than any building I have ever seen. It was a symbol of their greed and power which they had now had taken from them. Small wonder that Romanians said “Enough is enough”

A really enjoyable trip, although tiring towards the end, and both of us have heavy colds

7 thoughts on “Transylvania: the home of Dracula

  1. I don’t know why this didn’t appear on my feed after repeated checks.

    Typical English humour can be felt and enjoyed throughout the article, especially about the coach driver. Chris Lee is the best Dracula and the bestest of best Saruman (of LoTR) ever possible; he has a deep poetic voice and speaks with deliberate pause and presses; he narrated many of Poe’s stories and both Poe and Tolkien would have been proud of him.

    East Europeans I think love a strong authoritarian government which gives them a sense of law and order. No wonder they’d love and dislike Vladislus and their other dictators.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Certainly agree about Christopher Lee. Easily the best Dracula, the voice and his physical height were very imposing.
      The Ceaucescus were deposed and shot by firing squad in 1989, which really was not that long ago. I am prepared to be corrected but I think they were the only political execution that happened in Europe during the revolutions following the removal of the Iron Curtain. Some very nasty war criminals in Bosnia and Serbia but they were arrested and tried in the Hague


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