Cultural Postcards + [Turkey]

Near East: Dracula’s prison to become 'tea garden'
Tokat Castle, where Wallachian Prince Vlad III 'the Impaler', the inspiration behind Bram Stoker's Count Dracula, is said to have been held captive in the early 15th century, will be turned into a tea garden.

Dracula’s prison to become 'tea garden'
Prince Vlad III 'the Impaler', who inspired Bram Stoker's Count Dracula, is believed to 
have been kept in the dungeons of Tokat Castle, which is undergoing a restoration
 process to become a tea garden [Credit: AA]

Provincial Culture and Tourism Director Abdurrahman Akyüz said the Roman-era castle was believed to have been built in the fifth or sixth century, adding that the castle served as a prison during Ottoman times.

“Tokat Castle is built on sheer slopes for defense and overlooks the city. Later in the Ottoman period, it was used as a prison. Notable prisoners were kept here. It is also rumored that Count Dracula stayed in the dungeon there for seven years,” he said.

Akyüz said restoration works had been initiated on the castle some time ago with the support of Tokat Gov. Cevdet Can and were still continuing. When the works are done, the castle, located in the Black Sea province of Tokat, will serve as a tourist attraction, he added.

Akyüz said the walls and bastions of the castle would be reinforced to prevent falling stones. “We are working to reinforce the wall.”

He said the castle would serve as a tea garden and that visitors would be able to drink their tea overlooking the centuries-old museums in Sulusokak, Arastalı Bedesten, Yağıbasan Madrasah, Takekciler Mosque and Alamescit.

Vlad III lived between 1431 and 1476. Most historians say he was kept in captivity in Romania. The exact length of his period of captivity is open to debate, though indications are that it was from 1462 to 1474.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News [October 13, 2014]