Vlad Tepes (or Vlad III the Impaler was born in November/December 1431 in Sighisoara, Romania and died in December 1476. He was voivode and one of the greatest rulers of Walachia.
Biography and Career :
He is also known as Vlad Dracula and his father was Vlad II Dracul. The story of his reign in Walachia starts in 1436 when his father was named ruler of the region. Vlad had two brothers, Radu and Mircea. In 1442 together with Radu, he was taken hostage by Murad II due to political reasons. He remained a hostage until 1448 and his brother until 1462. The day of his release was marked by his father's loss, who was killed by Vladislav II. His father wasn't his only loss, Mircea was also dead. When he was 17 years old he tried to become ruler in Walachia, but after only two week
s he was defeated by Vladislav. On August 20, 1456 he managed to kill his enemy and after becoming voivode, he gathered all the noblemen responsible of his father and brother's death and gave them a punishment. The older ones were impaled and the others were taken to Poenari by foot to build a fortress on the ruins of an outpost on the Arges River.
He remained in the history as Vlad the Impaler because of his methods of torture. At the beginning of the year 1462 he launched a campaign against the Turks on the Danube River and he killed over 38,000 people. He also killed the two emissaries of the sultan and this fact made Mohamed II desire revenge. So he ordered a campaign against Walachia with the purpose of transforming it in a Turkish province. Vlad had to retreat to Targoviste and he burned all the villages and poisoned the fountains so that the Turks would die of starvation and thirst. In the winter of 1462 our ruler obtained important victories, but the most important one was the one near the capital when Mohamed saw 20,000 Turks impaled, horrifying view. The place was then called "The Forrest of the Stakes". The scene had a great impact and Mohamed recognized the defeat, returning to Istanbul. After the retreat, he named Radu, Vlad's brother, ruler in Walachia.
The voivode was married to a nobleman's daughter and they had one son, Mihnea cel Rau. The second wife was a relative of Matthias Corvinus of Hungary and they had two children. To avoid the Turkish prison his wife killed herself and Tepes managed to escape after he ran to Transylvania where he met Matei Corvin. Still, he was sent to prison in Visegrad, Hungary's capital. In 1475 he was recognized as Walachia's ruler for the third time, but for a short period of time. He was killed in the winter of 1476. His body was decapitated and the head was sent to the sultan, who put it in a stake. Many movies have been done after the story of this great ruler. They all show how brave and sometimes cruel he was.
Vlad Tepes Image : snagov.ro