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Snagov: Dracula's Resting Place?


Snagov Monastery, Romania

Snagov Monastery, Romania

CC BY fusion-of-horizons

Fitting Burial in Snagov:

The village of Snagov is a short jog north of Bucharest and may be a worthwhile trip for any Dracula enthusiasts. The most notable feature is the lake, in the center of which is located an island. On this island is a 16th century monastery . . . and in the monastery—you guessed it—is the tomb of Vlad the Impaler. What setting could be more perfect for the grave of one of history’s spookiest personalities?

The Legend of Snagov:

In one version of the story, Vlad the Impaler was murdered in a nearby forest, and the monks of the monastery took it upon themselves to inter the villain. Perhaps the monks felt indebted to Vlad for the additions he insisted be added to their abode—most bizarrely, a prison and a torture chamber. Whatever the reasons, the monks dressed the body richly and put it to rest in front of the church alter.

The Mystery of Snagov Monastery:

Less romantically, there are some arguments against the body in the tomb being that of the real Vlad. While Vlad did request to be buried at the monastery, some say that it was another nobleman who was placed in this tomb.

Getting to Snagov:

You can reach Snagov by bus. The buses run every couple of hours to Snagov and stop in the village. Make sure you wear your walking shoes, because you’ll have to hike a kilometer or so to get to the lake. There you can rent a rowboat to take you to the island, but you’ll have to row yourself. If you want to enter the monastery, you’ll have to be wearing the proper attire, which usually means no shorts for anyone and headscarves required for women.

Expenses in Snagov:

It’s possible that this could be an expensive trip, as the people who run the rowboat service and those who allow you access to the monastery are well aware of the cash-making potential of their legendary Impaler. A $3 rowboat rental could cost you three times as much on an off-hour, and entrance fees to the monastery probably vary from traveler to traveler. So be ready to bargain if you don’t want to pay the asking price.
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