October 6, 2009
Archaeologists believe to have discovered a cellar owned by the Wallachian Duke Vlad III, commonly known by the name of “Dracula.” The cellar was discovered in the university town of Pecs in southern Hungary.
According to reports, Tomas Fedeles, tutor of medieval and early modern history at the University of Pecs pointed out that his research showed that Vlad III or Vlad Dracula lived in a two-story house located today in the city’s central square.
Fedeles found a document containing a detailed description of the house and its owners, among which the name “Drakulya” appears. The researcher believes that the cellar most likely belonged to “Dracula.”
A local archaeologist, Oliver Gabor, said that the cellar was one of the most impressive medieval cellars found to date and considers that further excavation could reveal important information.
Cellar to be filled
The recently discovered cellar believed by researchers to have belonged to Vlad III Tepes will be closed. Authorities plan to fill in the site.
The decision comes after Zoltan Karpati, the official archaeologist of the Cultural Heritage Protection Service said that “the excavations did not find items that might point to an individual owner”, ANI writes.
Karpati disagrees with the position of the house indicated by the medieval document researched by Tomas Fedeles, saying, however, that it is possible that the cellar could have belonged to the “Dracula House.”
If the decision of the Cultural Heritage Protection Service is final, there will be no further scientific research on the matter and the cellar will be filled.
Vlad the Impaler
Vlad III “Tepes”(the impaler in Romanian) was born in 1431 in Transylvania as the second son of Vlad Dracul, a member of the Order of the Dragon, a secret society founded by Sigismund and queen Barbara of Celje in a order to unite wealthy individuals and high ranking society members in the fight against the Ottoman Empire. At a fragile age, Vlad was also introduced to the Order.
He spent most of his life in exile in Moldova and Hungary. However, in 1456 he became Voivod (Duke) of Wallachia, now the southern part of Romania, and remained loyal to the Order initiating a tireless campaign against the Ottomans. In 1461, Vlad campaigned south of the Danube and unleashed havoc in the region between Serbia and the Black Sea. Vlad later said: “I have killed men and women, old and young… 23,884 Turks and Bulgarians without counting those whom we burned alive in their homes or whose heads were not chopped off by our soldiers.”
During his reign he acquired the reputation of a cruel and bloodthirsty ruler. His favorite method of execution was by impalement. Vlad tried to eliminate all those who opposed him.
Vlad III Tepes became popular after Irish writer Bram Stoker published his novel Dracula. Inspired by European folklore and vampire stories, Stoker creates a fictional character based on the reputation of Vlad. The Impaler was portrayed as the vampire Prince of Transylvania.
In reality, Vlad Tepes was only born in Sighisoara, Transylvania, and became the ruler of Wallachia, south of the Carpathians. The time Vlad spent in his adult life in Transylvania was brief and documented by the raids against the Danesti clan who posed a constant threat to his rule.
Vlad spent more than 10 years in captivity in Hungary, imprisoned by Matthias Corvinus. The Wallachian Voivod was assassinated in late 1476 and believed to have been buried at the Snagov Abbey. However, recent examinations of Vlad’s tomb have discovered only a few horse bones dating from the neolithic age.