Dracula is more than 100 years old and still alive! Dracula is a fictional character inspired by the real historical character Vlad Ţepeş.
Vlad Tepes was born in December 1431 in the fortress of Sighisoara, Romania. Vlad's father, governor of Transylvania, had been inducted into the Order of the Dragon about one year before. The order — which could be compared to the Knights of the Hospital of St. John or even to the Teutonic Order of Knights — was a semi-military and religious society, originally created in 1387 by the Holy Roman Emperor and his second wife, Barbara Cilli. The main goal of such a secret fraternal order of knights was to protect the interests of Christianity and to crusade against the Turks. The boyars of Romania associated the dragon with the Devil and decided to call Vlad's father "Dracul," which in the Romanian language means "Devil;" "Dracula" is a diminutive, meaning "the son of the Devil."
In the winter of 1436-1437, Dracul became prince of Walachia (one of the three Romanian provinces).
Vlad's cruelty is well documented in historical texts, but what often goes overlooked is how he combined this cruelty with cunning to terrorize his enemies.
Vlad Tepes adopted the method of impaling criminals and enemies and raising them aloft in the town square for all to see. Almost any crime, from lying and stealing to killing, could be punished by impalement. Being so confident in the effectiveness of his law, Dracula placed a golden cup on display in the central square of Targoviste. The cup could be used by thirsty travelers, but had to remain on the square. According to the available historical sources, it was never stolen and remained entirely unmolested throughout Vlad's reign. Crime and corruption ceased; commerce and culture thrived, and many Romanians to this day view Vlad Tepes as a hero for his fierce insistence on honesty and order.