Vlad Tepes was born in 1428 in the fortress city of Sighisoara. His father, Vlad Dacul, was the military governor of Transylvania and had become a member of the Order of the Dragon a year before. The Order, similar to the Order of the Teutonic Knights, was a semi-military and religious organization established in 1387 in Rome in order to promote Catholic interests and crusades.
The Order is relevant for the legend, mainly because it explains the name of Dracula.
For his deeds, the Order of the Dragon was bestowed upon him, hence the title Dracul (the Latin word for dragon is draco). While in medieval lure dragons served as symbols of independence, leadership, strength and wisdom, the biblical association of the devil with the serpent that tempted Adam and Eve gave the snake-like dragon connotations of evil. Thus, the Romanian word Dracul stands in English for both dragon and devil.
Dracula, the title of Vlad Tepes,translates as Son of Dracul.
”We Draculs have a right to be proud… I am the last of my kind ” – Dracula, from Bram Stoker’s Dracula
Some say that Transylvania sits on one of Earth’s strongest magnetic fields and its people have extra-sensory perception. Vampires are believed to hang around crossroads on St. George’s Day, April 23, and the eve of St. Andrew, November 29. The area is also home to Dracula, and it’s easy to get caught up in the tale while driving along winding roads through dense, dark, ancient forests and over mountain passes.
Tales of the supernatural had been circulating in Romanian folklore for centuries and continue still today….