Here are some facts about Vlad the Impaler.
- Vlad the Impaler was a ruler of the Kingdom of Wallachia in what is now Romania. He was a member of the House of Draculesi and a secret society, the Order of the Dragon.
- Vlad was the Prince of Wallachia three separate times during his life. He also married twice, and one of his wives supposedly killed herself by jumping in a river.
- He was born in 1431 and was taught literature, geography and science as well as horse riding and combat skills. Much of his life was spent fighting for, or against, the Ottomans.
- He was killed in a battle with the Ottomans in 1476. His head was taken to Istanbul as a trophy and he was buried in a monastery which has since been demolished and rebuilt.He called ‘the Impaler’ because he killed his enemies by impaling them on wooden stakes. He was probably responsible for the deaths of at least 80,000 people and often burnt down entire towns.
- Bram Stoker partly based his famous book Dracula on the life of Vlad the Impaler. The book was published in 1897 and since then the character of Dracula has been portrayed in over 200 films.
- Vlad placed a golden cup in the main square of Tirgoviste. The cup was borrowed and always returned, because of fear of punishment.
- Vlad the Impaler is seen as a hero in some parts of Eastern Europe, for trying to defeat the Ottomans. There is a statue of him in his birthplace, the town of Sighișoara.
- There are many similarities between Vlad the Impaler and Dracula. Both lived in a castle, and Dracula’s red and black cape was based on one worn by Order of the Dragon members.Several castles are associated with Vlad the Impaler, including Corcin Castle, where Vlad was once prisoner. There is a 30 metre deep well on the grounds, dug by Turkish prisoners.