By Sandy Zimmerman (Photos by Transylvania/ Romanian Tourism)
If you are a vampire fan but don’t see enough vampires by watching movies and television programs, Transylvania is a place to satisfy your appetite for blood.
There is a little known, best preserved European medieval town called Transylvania, located in central Romania, the home of 15th century Walachian Prince Vlad Tepes later known as Count Dracula, named after his father, Dracula! He was a real person not a vampire yet the legends began and from his day to modern times the villagers and public still believe they were true.
The name Transylvania sounds ominous and mysterious as history accounts that Vlad Tepes tortured his victims impaling their heads and in one instance actually drank a man’s blood.
Throughout the years these stories build the framework for Irish author Bram Stoker’s Gothic horror novel “Dracula” (1897) when he researched information about Dracula at the British Museum.
Walking around Transylvania at night, the eerie atmosphere might bring back images of vampires around every corner depending on how much you believe in the legends.
Transylvania appears unreal actually looking like a setting for a vampire film while the villagers still engage in traditional lifestyles like tending sheep, as weavers, cheesemakers, winemakers, blacksmiths and carpenters.
More than just the vampire legends, you see the beauty of the mountains, forests and ancient buildings around Transylvania. One important stop in the tour of Transylvania is the Gothic Bran Castle (Dracula’s Castle), built in 1377 near Brasov. If you were choosing the castle home of Dracula, this castle fits the image and appearance of the perfect home for Dracula.
The nearby fortified churches at Harman are striking with 13th century Saxon towers, Prejmer, the largest fortified church in Southeastern Europe, the beautiful 15th century Corvinilor Castle, Hunedoara, towers and buttresses all from the medieval era. There’s also secret passages, a 14th century clock tower, hilltop citadel and shops selling local arts and crafts. Moving away from vampires, Transylvania offers ancient legends of mountain spirits, rare species of wildlife along with 4,000 caves, many of which can be explored and the Scarisoara Glacier, the second largest underground glacier on the continent. Other things to do include hiking, biking, camping, caving, climbing, fishing, nature walks, rafting, skiing, wildlife and bird watching.
I always suggest wherever you are traveling in the world, try to visit during one of their festivals to experience the culture, costumes of that country.
Visiting Transylvania is very different, a once in a lifetime vacation, a medieval village you will never forget. Romanian Tourism: http://romaniatourism.com/transylvania.html#fastfacts Romanian National Tourist Office:- New York Phone: 212-545-8484, firstname.lastname@example.org Brasov Tourist Information Centre, E-mail: email@example.com Sibiu Tourist Information Centre, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.sibiu.ro Alba Iulia Tourist Information Centre, E-mail: email@example.com Targu Mures Tourist Information Centre, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Miercurea Ciuc Tourist Information Centre, Email: email@example.com Transportation: www.romaniatourism.com/transportation.html#bytrain
Award winning Sandy Zimmerman is a syndicated columnist, Show and Dining reviews, travel, cars, health, luxury and more. Sandy is talk show host of the Las Vegas Today Show programs and Discover the Ultimate Vacation. If wish to suggest topics for articles or have SUGGESTIONS, call 702-731-6491. firstname.lastname@example.org