Vlad the Impaler


1499 German woodcut showing Vlad, the Son of the Dragon dining among the impaled corpses of his victims.

1499 German woodcut showing Vlad, the Son of the Dragon dining among the impaled corpses of his victims.

History has condemned Vlad the Impaler (known as Vlad Dracul, the Son of the Dragon, as his father was a knight of the Order of the Dragon) for killing many (about 500) of the nobility who did not like or agree with him. He was also reputedly trying to eliminate the povertry-stricken from society. He invited all the blind, handicapped, elderly, poor, etc. to a party (similar to a charity dinner) in a special house. All those invited entered the house, ate and drank. Afterward, Vlad asked them if they wanted to cease being a burden to their loved ones and end their poverty. All the people present agreed. When he heard that, he ordered the house locked, set on fire and all the people within burnt alive.

His first major act of revenge was aimed at the boyars of Tirgoviste for for not being loyal to his father. On Easter Sunday he invited all the boyar families who had participated to the royal celebration. He asked them how many princes had ruled in their lifetimes. They said they had lived through many reigns. Shouting that this was their fault because of their plotting, Vlad had them all arrested on the spot. He impaled the older ones on stakes while forcing the others to march from the capital to the town of Poenari. This fifty-mile trek was quite grueling and no one was permitted to rest until they reached destination. Vlad then ordered boyars to build him a fortress on the ruins of an older outpost overlooking the Arges River. Many died in the process, and therefore Vlad  succeeded in creating a new nobility and obtaining a fortress for future emergencies. What is left today of the building is identified as Poenari Fortress (Cetatea Poenari).

A German story about Brasov describes a masacre of 30,000 on August 24, 1460, says that Vlad the Impaler was sitting at a table filled with food and drink. In front of him, on a hill, some of his soldiers began to impale a number of the Saxon traders simply because of his dislike for them, and because of their attempts to remove him from the throne of Walachia. Another story describes the impaled bodies looking like a forest.

(Click here for a detailed article on Vlad the Impaler’s life.)

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