Magazine June 24, 2019, Issue

The Decline and Fall of Transylvania’s Ruling Class

Hunyad Castle in Transylvania (Wikimedia)

From The Prisoner of Zenda to The Grand Budapest Hotel, Eastern Europe’s blend of cultural exoticism and Old World familiarity has always been fertile territory for fiction, and no corner of the region looms larger in our collective imagination than Transylvania. Now that tourism has penetrated to the farthest reaches of the Carpathians, Transylvanians have fully capitalized on Bram Stoker’s literary legacy. Despite its tenuous connection to the Dracula mythos, Bran Castle, an imposing medieval relic just outside the Romanian city of Brasov, has been enthusiastically rebranded “Dracula’s Castle.” Local shopkeepers hawk all manner of vampire-related trinkets in the shadow

This article appears as “A Transylvanian Tale” in the June 24, 2019, print edition of National Review.

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