The Italian newspaper, Il Gazzetino, has claimed that the tomb of Dracula – the brutal Romanian leader linked to the modern vampire novel and films – has been found in the centre of Naples.
The inspiration behind Bram Stoker’s 1897 gothic novel “Dracula” is thought to be Vlad III, the 15th century Prince of Wallachia in Eastern Europe. Known posthumously as Vlad the Impaler, the ruler was known for his brand of cruelty across Europe, which included impaling his enemies.
Dracula disappeared in 1476 battle. While some sources have claimed that he died, the researchers claim he was in fact imprisoned and hauled away in chains by the Turks.
More than 500 years after Dracula’s death, a report in Il Gazzettino on Tuesday claimed a group of academics believe they have uncovered the mystery behind his burial site.
Two of the academics, named as brothers Giandomenico and Raffaello Glinni, reportedly traced Dracula to a tomb in the heart of Naples with the help of Nicola Barbatelli, director of Italy’s Museum of Ancient Populations (Museo delle Antiche Genti).
Using historical documents, the group is said to have linked “Vlad the Impaler” to a cloister in Piazza Santa Maria La Nova, on the edge of Naples’ historical quarter, the newspaper said.
“When you look at the bas-relief sculptures, the symbolism is obvious. The dragon means Dracula and the two opposing sphinxes represent the city of Thebes, also known as Tepes. In these symbols, the very name of the count Dracula Tepes is written,” Glinni told reporters.