Romania has returned Castle Dracula to the descendants of the family who owned it since Wallachian times, and it’s good to see one more confiscation of the Communists rolled back.
UPDATE: 7/2 — Castle Dracula for sale to the right buyer.
From the AP story:
Romania’s government on Thursday defended its decision to return “Dracula’s Castle” to members of the former royal family, denying allegations that the decision was illegal. The castle, famous for its links to a 15th-century medieval ruler who inspired Bram Stoker’s “Dracula,” was confiscated in 1948 by the former communist regime.
“When it comes to property confiscated by the communists, I as a prime minister don’t have any problems with returning it,” said Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu. Culture Minister Adrian Iorgulescu said the castle was legally returned last year to heirs of Princess Ileana, its last owner. He noted that it was approved by the Justice Ministry and a national agency for returning confiscated assets.
The legend of Dracula, or Vlad Tepes, is much obscured by history as well as some blood-libel I suspect. Similar to today’s Islamist stories of Jewish atrocities, we see a Christian member of the Draconists historically defamed. Who wrote and rewrote the tales leading to Dracula’s current infamy? Who tells tales of Jews drinking Arab babies blood, and stealing organs today?
In reality he was a staunch defender of Christian Europe, and firmly planted against the Islamist Expansionism of his day from the Ottoman Empire and the Turks. There is no doubt that he was brutal, but the tales of his opponents at that time were just as bad.
The Draconists were nobles set to defend against Heresy, and included the Order of the Garter in England, the Order of the Jug in Aragon. Here’s more detail on them from Wikipedia:
In the second half of the fourteenth century, many kings founded their own orders of knights to support their thrones. Notable examples are: the Order of the Garter in England, the Order of Jug in Aragon, the Order of Scarf in Bohemia etc. Unlike the famous military orders of the Templars or the Hospitallers these orders were secular in nature.
The Order of the Dragon (Lat: Societatis draconistrarum) was an institution similar to other chivalric orders of the time, modeled on the Order of St. George (1318). It was created by the Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund (then the king of Hungary – Zsigmond). According to its statute, which survives in a copy dated 1707, the Order required its initiates to defend the Cross and fight its enemies, principally the Turks. The original Order had twenty four members of the nobility. The members were important political allies and vassals, the pillars of Sigismund power. The name of the order refers to St. George. The sigils of the order were an ouroborus and the flaming cross.
On December 13, 1418, the charter for the Order was publicly announced, dedicating the Order to the defense of the cross from its enemies, particularly the Ottomans and Hussites. The founding twenty-four members were inducted in 1418, including:
- Sigismund of Luxembourg, King of Hungary
- Stefan Lazarevi of Serbia
- King Alfonso of Aragon and Naples
- King Ladislaus II of Poland
- Grand Prince Vytautas of Lithuania
- Duke Ernst of Austria
- Christopher III, Duke of Bavaria and King of Denmark
- Pipo of Ozora