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Among the rugged peaks that crown down upon the Borgo Pass, are found crumbling castles of a bygone age.
Traveling tourist

Map of Transylvania c.1462

Transylvania is a central region of modern day Romania and has become virtually synonymous with the horror film genre. Transylvania is known the world over as the birthplace of Dracula, the most famous vampire of all time. The historical Dracula, whose real name was Vlad Ţepeş III, was a monarch who ruled the kingdom of Wallachia during the mid 15th century (1448; 1456–1462; 1476). The most infamous setting in Transylvania is Dracula's castle, which (in film) was nestled deep in the Carpathian Mountains across the Borgo Pass. Historically, Vlad Ţepeş had many castles, but the most famous among them was Bran Castle, which many attribute as the inspiration for the film versions of Castle Dracula. Transylvania has been a provincial setting for every adaptation of Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula. The countryside was first featured in film in the first, and arguably the most recognized adaptation of Bram Stoker's work, Tod Browning's 1931 Universal Pictures classic Dracula.

Transylvania has also been presented in a humorous vein, as characterized in such films as Love at First Bite, Transylvania 6-5000 and Dracula: Dead and Loving It. Love at First Bite hinted at Transylvania's involvement in the Soviet regime when members of the Russian aristocracy evicted the vampire lord and his spider-eating assistant in order to demolish the castle to make way for a gymnastics camp. In Transylvania 6-5000, Transylvania is presented as a quaint, humble community filled with jolly, affable people who have turned the lore of Dracula into a cottage industry. Dracula: Dead and Loving It was comedian Mel Brooks' attempt to lampoon Francis Ford Coppola's work on the popular 1992 adaptation titled Bram Stoker's Dracula.

Outside of vampiric lore, Transylvania has since become known as the home for a wide variety of supernatural elements including ghosts and werewolves. In the 1985 werewolf sequel, The Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf, Transylvania was the home of a 10,000 year-old werewolf queen known as Stirba. From within her own castle, Stirba lead a coven of werewolves who terrorized the nearby villages.

Points of Interest[edit | edit source]

Borgo Pass
Also known as the Tihuţa Pass, a high mountain pass in the Romanian Bârgău Mountains (Eastern Carpathian Mountains) connecting Bistriţa (Transylvania) with Vatra Dornei (Bukovina, Moldovia). The pass was made famous by Bram Stoker's novel Dracula where, termed as the "Borgo Pass", it was the gateway to the realm of Count Dracula.
Carpathian Mountains
The Carpathian Mountains are a range of mountains forming an arc of roughly 1,500 km (932 mi) across Central and Eastern Europe, making them the largest mountain range in Europe.
Castle Dracula
Loosely based on the historical Bran Castle, this was the ancient fortress of the vampire lord, Count Dracula. It was located in the Carpathian Mountains and accessed via the treacherous Borgo Pass. In the late 19th century, solicitor R.M. Renfield, and later, Jonathan Harker were severely traumatized following their experiences with Count Dracula. The castle was also occupied by Dracula's brides, all of whom were vampires as well.
Also spelled Klausenburgh, this was a Romanian city not far from Castle Dracula. Featured primarily in the 1958 adaptation of Dracula by Hammer Film Productions, it was the home of Professor Van Helsing and the Holmwood family. Klausenburg was briefly addressed in Bram Stoker's novel, Dracula, and was one of the many stops that Jonathan Harker made on his way to Castle Dracula.[1]

Films that take place in Transylvania[edit | edit source]


Characters from Transylvania[edit | edit source]

People who were born in Transylvania[edit | edit source]

People who passed away in Transylvania[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • Contrary to popular belief, actor Bela Lugosi, while Romanian, was actually born in Austria-Hungary, not Transylvania.

External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Dracula (1897); Bram Stoker; Simon and Shuster paperback edition; 2009, page 1

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