dr. marius crisan
An interpretation of the Dracula myth which sheds light on Romanian spiritual values
en ro ro

Photo Gallery

Group of Dracula Researchers
in Transylvania
Several Dracula researchers have visited Romania in order to see the Transylvanian places described in Bram Stoker's novel. Taken in the Bârgãu Pass (Borgo Pass in Dracula), this is a photo of the participants in the International Symposium "Dracula - Blurring the Boundaries between Truth and Fiction" (organised by Transylvanian Society of Dracula, Sighişoara, May 2007) who participated in the Dracula post-conference tour. Some of the main participants were Professor Elizabeth Miller (second row, the fourth on the left), Dr. Jason Nolan (second row, the first on the right), Professor Donatella Abbate Badin (second row, the third on the left), Dr. Leslie Klinger (second row, the fifth on the left), Professor Carol Senf (first row, the second on the right).
The photo is taken from the terrace of the hotel Castel Dracula, built in the 1980s in the region where Bram Stoker placed his famous Transylvanian castle. An orthodox monastery is built on the summit opposite to the hotel. This image reminds me of the way in which I have interpreted Dracula: Stoker's Transylvania is a mythical space which offers a reflection of paradise and a mirror of hell, on the background of a continuous fight between Dark and Light. In Dracula, God's Seat is on a peak of the Carpathians, and Dracula Castle is also perched on a mountain top. The rainbow is an important symbol in the novel, and for Jonathan Harker, prisoner in the Dracula Castle, it is the sign that the forces of Light will win.

Black clouds and rainbow
in the Bârgãu Pass

in the Bârgãu Pass

Private Cemetery
in the Bârgãu Pass
In British travel literature, the Transylvanian landscape is often described as a fairy-tale scenery. Sighişoara and its neighbourhood has been the subject of several descriptions.

Fary-tale like hills
in the region of Sighişoara

Bran Castle
Bran castle has often been associated with the Dracula castle. The relationship between the real fortress and the imaginary castle has been discussed in my article "The Models for Dracula Castle in Stoker's Sources on Transylvania" published in Journal of Dracula Studies (2008) - full text available here.
The beauty of the Apuseni is praised both in 19th century British travel literature (for instance in Charles Boner's book on Transylvania, one of Stoker's sources for Dracula) and in contemporary works (for instance in Caroline Juler's travel book Searching for Sarmizegetusa).

from the Apuseni Mountains

The Apuseni Mountains:
The Rusty Precipice

Transylvania, "the Land Beyond the Forest": Panoramic view from the Mocrea Hill
Etymologically, Transylvania means "the land beyond the forest". From a summit of the Mocrea Hill (close to Ineu, Arad county), the snow-covered peaks of the Apuseni Mountains are seen, beyond the forest and the chain of the Codru-Moma Mountains. Beyond the forest in the photo... Transylvania begins. This image, which I often admired in my childhood, has influenced my feeling of nostalgia for the Transylvanian space. It is an image that I am looking for... in the writings of some foreign travellers who came from distant places to visit this region. During my doctoral research, when I started to read the British travel memoirs on Transylvania, I discovered that the Mocrea Hill is described in Patrick Leigh Fermor's book Between the Woods and the Water in an idyllic light. In the British travellers' descriptions, the first glimpse of Transylvania is often a panoramic landscape. Associated with the delight determined by the beauty of the landscape, the nostalgia for Transylvania is a frequent feeling in many British travel memoirs, because, during their sojourn here, "a blessed and happy spell descended" (Fermor p. 89).

Proiect CNCS, UEFISCDI, tip PD
Titlul proiectului: Impactul unui mit:
Dracula si imaginea României în literaturile
britanica si americana

Codul proiectului: PN-II-RU-PD-2011-3-0194