Vlad The ImpalerThis documentary examines the bloody career of Vlad the Impaler, the 15th-century prince of Wallachia who took no prisoners in his resistance to the spread of the Ottoman Empire. Known as Dracula, he learned the arts of war as a hostage of the Turks, but asserted his independence by working his own disloyal nobles to death and repelling a Turkish invasion by filling the battlefield with 23,000 impaled corpses.

When he came to power, Vlad immediately had all the assembled nobles arrested. The older boyars and their families were immediately impaled. The younger and healthier nobles and their families were marched north from Târgovi?te to the ruins of Poienari Castle in the mountains above the Arge? River.

Vlad was determined to rebuild this ancient fortress as his own stronghold and refuge. The enslaved boyars and their families were forced to labor for months, rebuilding the old castle with materials from another nearby ruin. According to tradition, 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. This documentary is a must for those that like to separate fact from myth.

Watch the full documentary now (playlist - 44 minutes)