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Vlad the Impaler: The Real Dracula’s Dark Secrets

Count Dracula might be a fictional character who makes the blood curdle on Halloween, but his historical namesake is not. Vlad III, known in his heyday as Dracula — or Drăculea, in old Romanian — was a medieval prince with a figurative thirst for blood. As his other nickname, “Vlad the Impaler,” suggests, Vlad had a penchant for brutally punishing his enemies. Many historians have implied that fictional Dracula was inspired by Vlad III, and some have even gone as far as to suggest that Vlad himself drank human blood.

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THE LEGEND

The only castle that might be considered the actual Castle Dracula was the castle built and inhabited by Vlad the Impaler during his years as Prince of Wallachia. This castle overlooks the River Arges near the town of Poenari, in the foothills of theTransylvanian Alps. It is located approximately 20 miles north of Curtea de Arges, the original capital of Wallachia.

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# DRACULA’S CASTLE

Built in 1212, the Bran Castle owes its fame to the myth created around the legendary Dracula

# PELES’S CASTLE

One of the most stunning castles in Europe, Its 160 rooms are adorned with the finest examples of European art,

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