The Ruins of Poienari Castle
Almost as soon as he came to power, his first
significant act of cruelty may have been motivated by a
desire of revenge as well as a need to solidify his
power. Early in his reign he gave a feast for his boyars
and their families to celebrate Easter.
Incubus Dreams by
Laurell K. Hamilton
Vlad was well
aware that many of these same nobles were part of the
conspiracy that led to his father's assassination and
the burying alive of his elder brother, Mircea. Many had
also played a role in the overthrow of numerous
During the feast Vlad asked his
noble guests how many princes had ruled during their
life times. All of the nobles present had outlived
several princes. One answered that at least thirty
princes had held the throne during his life.
seen less than seven reigns. Vlad immediately had all
the assembled nobles arrested. The older boyars and
their families were impaled on the spot. The younger and
healthier nobles and their families were marched north
from Târgovişte to the ruins of Poienari Castle in the
mountains above the Argeş River.
Vlad the Impaler was
determined to rebuild this ancient fortress as his own
stronghold and refuge. The enslaved boyars and their
families were forced to labour for months rebuilding the
old castle with materials from another nearby ruin.
According to the stories, they labored until the clothes
fell off their bodies and then were forced to continue
working naked. Very few of the old gentry survived the
ordeal of building Vlad's castle.
Dracula - Vlad III the Impaler - The old
boyar class of Wallachia