As strange and unbelievable as it may seem, ruthless Vlad the Impaler’s heart was broken. Yes, the mighty ruler, best remembered as Dracula, did fall in love and was blinded by jealousy.
Nowadays historians even try to blame his cruel nature and some atrocious decisions he made for the frustrations and passionate love for a beautiful, fair-haired girl. Katharina is the only woman Prince of Wallachia desperately fell in love with and chronicles of the 15th century describe her as an exquisite, 17-year-old German girl with a long, wavy, fair hair.
It was the winter of 1465, and the Prince was in Brasov, former known as Corona. Katharina was the daughter of an impoverished weaver and she had been educated in a Franciscan Convent. It was just before Christmas and she was pulling a sled uphill together with some friends. To everybody’s amazement, Vlad offered to help them, proving a gallant side which no one could imagine he might have. It was only when his guards and soldiers saw he couldn’t take his eyes from the extremely beautiful Katharina they understood the reason of his sudden kindness and interest for the mundane.
The Prince started to visit her and ordered the most expensive and wonderful dresses from Vienna to please her. But it was a doomed love as religious rules didn’t allow him to marry Katharina. In fact, some time later he even wrote a letter to Pope Pius II, asking him to get an annulment of his marriage to Anastasia, of Polish origin. All was in vain. The Prince couldn’t make his love story official. The 17th century chronicles write about many of the girl’s rich suitors who were shocked and angered finding out about this forbidden relationship.
On April 2nd 1459, upset because of the heavy taxation imposed by the Germans from Brasov and court intrigues, Vlad destroyed every crop in Tara Barsei and set Bartolomeu Church on fire. Moreover, his soldiers captured a lot of German merchants from Brasov, whom he cruelly killed in his unique, most cruel way. In return, people in Corona dragged her to the town’s market where she was humiliated and beaten to almost death, and her long, beautiful hair was cut. The legend says he had to trade her life for some merchants who had not been impaled yet.
In spite of this unfulfilled love, Katharina gave birth to 5 children who were taken after by the bloody Prince. Even after not being a ruler anymore, she stood by her lover and father of her children until his assassination in 1477.
Even impalers DO love sometimes, don’t they?