The Skycap News team wanted to have some fun today and present our readers with some lesser-known tourist attractions around the world. Many of our readers will be familiar with the more common locales across the USA and numerous tourist resorts elsewhere. In fact, we had a lengthy conversation with a couple today about their first road trip to Myrtle Beach. That’s a feature article coming soon! The Skycap News team loves Myrtle Beach. However, we wanted everyone to wander off the beaten path this weekend and introduce an attraction with a “little more bite;” Snagov Monastery.
On a small island located in a lake outside of Bucharest stands Snagov Monastery which, is reputed to be the burial place of “Vlad the Impaler,” inspiration for Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.” Initially founded in the 14th century and later revived via a painstaking excavation in 1933. The monastery at first glance is a seemingly simple place of worship enjoying the topographical isolation a water-locked island brings.
One could write a novel about the legend of “Vlad the Impaler” but, that has already been done! Nevertheless, the story goes that after a lifetime of bloodthirsty acts, Vlad Tepes III was entombed in the church as per his request. A number of archaeologists and historians have worked to confirm whether this narrative is fact or simple Apocrypha. None have had the opportunity to firmly establish that in fact, the dictator was laid to rest on the isle.
Several have tried to bring some finality to this argument after having removed several of the burial stones located within. However, all that was unearthed was a mix of human and horse bones, but nothing that concretely affirms the possibility of Dracula’s interment.
Most historians believe that the former Prince of Wallachia was indeed entombed in a monastery during the Comana area. The locals not wanting to lose tourist intrigue or revenue, take full liberty to spread a myth that while potentially spurious, prolongs a long-standing legend.
The more traditional means of entry to Snagov Monastery is a small boat ride steered by a local tour guide. A footbridge was built several years ago to provide better access and view the grave. The grounds are nicely kept and the inside exhibits amazing eye appeal. It must be noted that you may or may not have to pay a fee to a fee for snapping a few photos.
The Romanian government began strategies to capitalize on the church’s unverifiable history by assembling plans to build an amusement theme park in Snagov called “Dracula Park.” Thankfully, everyone came to their senses and canceled all plans for commercial development in 2006.
While many do not think of Romania as a hotbed of tourism, it does reward the adventurous soul a unique look at the historical legend as well as unquestionable beauty.