Searching for Dracula – The truth behind the legend
Sibiu, Bran, Brasov, Sighisoara
Bram Stoker’s character, Dracula, is a Transylvanian Count with a castle located high above a valley perched on a rock with a flowing river below in the Principality of Transylvania.
This character is often confused with Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler), sometimes known as Vlad Dracul, who was a Walachian Prince with a castle, now in ruins, located in the Principality of Wallachia. Because Bran Castle is the only castle in all of Transylvania that actually fits Bram Stoker’s description of Dracula’s Castle, it is known throughout the world as Dracula’s Castle.
Dracula – as he is perceived today – is a fictitious character whose name derives from the appellation given to Vlad Tepes, the ruler of Wallachia from 1456-1462 and 1476, and who, for largely political reasons, was depicted by some historians of that time as a blood-thirsty ruthless despot.
Stoker’s character, Count Dracula, first appeared in the novel “Dracula”, published in England in 1897, by the Irish writer Bram Stoker. But the name “Dracula”, far from being a frightening term, derives from the Crusader Order of the Dragon with which Order both Vlad Tepes and his father had been associated. The rest of the Dracula myth derives from the legends and popular beliefs in ghosts and vampires prevalent throughout Transylvania.
Stoker’s Count Dracula is a centuries-old vampire, sorcerer, and Transylvanian nobleman, who claims to be a Székely descended from Attila the Hun. He inhabits a decaying castle in the Carpathian Mountains. In his conversations with the character Jonathan Harker, Dracula reveals himself as intensely proud of his boyar culture with a yearning for memories of his past. Count Dracula appears to have studied the black arts at the Academy of Scholomance in the Carpathian Mountains, near the town of Sibiu (then known as Hermannstadt). While Stoker named his Transylvanian Count “Dracula”, he was careful not to suggest an actual link to the historical character of Vlad Tepes. While Stoker’s character Van Helsing muses as to whether Count Dracula might be the Voivode Dracula, he obviously is not since Count Dracula of Transylvania is plainly not Prince Vlad Tepes of Wallachia and Stoker was disinclined at all to make his character a real person of historic significance.
Visitors to Bran Castle should make the distinction between the historic reality of Bran and the character of the Count in Bram Stoker’s novel. Dracula exists in the imagination.
His name was linked to various myths and legends. Following the footsteps of Dracula, participants will have the opportunity to visit monuments and museums across the Transylvania related with his real life.
This 6-day course is addressed to teachers, school staff, graduated students and adults who want to enrich their theoretical background, as well as to obtain practical guidelines to integrate activities and implement programmes in museums and archaeological places. Discussions, site visits and group work will enrich sharing ideas and exchange of practice between participants.
During the course, participants will:
– be informed about the real prince Dracula and the political realities of that time
– be informed about the myth of Dracula
– explore archaeological sites, monuments, museums, monasteries… related to Dracula
– get in touch with educational programmes in museums and archaeological sites that are implemented by Ministry of Education in Romania
– discuss examples of activities/ programmes in museums, archaeological sites etc. from participants’ countries
– discuss practical guidelines to explore monuments, museums and artworks
– implement activities/ programmes across the areas of curriculum in conjunction with the school policy pupils’ age and abilities
• Participants introduce themselves; course programme overview (day by day).
• Introduction to the course VISIT
• Tour to the city center
DAY 2 – THEORY
• Legends about Dracula – the truth behind. Exploring the world of the Transylvanian Saxons, where we can find the origins of the mith of Dracula
DAY 3 – Tour
• The real Dracula and his connection with the Transylvanian world, on the route training on the way to Sighisoara, the birthplace of Dracula.
DAY 4 – THEORY
• Dracula and his connection with Transylvania. Visits to Sibiu History museum and ASTRA museum
DAY 5 – TOUR
• Visit to Dracula`s Castle from Bran and Brasov City
DAY 6 – CLOSURE OF THE COURSE
• Presentation of group work, review of the project, conclusions, certificates.
DAY 7 (optional)
TOUR on Transfagarasean Roud, to Poenari Dracula`s Fortress
07.10.2023 > 12.10.2023 (ID: 194952) Register before 20.09.2023
13.01.2024 > 18.01.2024 (ID: 194952) Register before 20.12.2023