Fiery Friday: Dragon on Tomb of Vlad Tepes?

Dragon on Tomb of Vlad Tepes? © 2015 Liz Vitale

Dragon on Tomb of Vlad Tepes? © 2015 Liz Vitale

Born in 1431, Vlad Tepes(aka Vlad the Impaler) was the infamous prince of Walachia who would become the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Part of a noble family who belonged to the Order of the Dragon, a group that was founded as a means of protecting Christianity in Eastern Europe from Ottoman expansion. His father was nicknamed Dracul, which means “Dragon,” so young Vlad became known as Dracula, or “son of Dragon.”

Vlad’s ultimate enemy were the Ottomans, and in 1476, Vlad Tepes disappeared in battle. No one seems to know what exactly happened to him; some sources have claimed he died in battle.Legend claims that Vlad’s decapitated body was found in the woods around Bucharest by the monks of the Snagov Monastery and took him there to be buried since both Vlad and his father had donated money to the church.

But in 2014, researchers discovered evidence that suggests the count was taken prisoner, ransomed to his daughter–then safe in Italy– and when he later died, was buried in a church in Naples. His daughter Maria was adopted into the Neapolitan court and eventually married to a nobleman.