A dungeon that held Vlad the Imapler, believed to be the real-life model for Bram Stoker’s Dracula, was reportedly discovered beneath Tokat Castle in Turkey, Turkey's Hurriyet Daily News reported Sept. 9. When the castle was being restored a team of archaeologists found dungeons, tunnels, storage rooms and a military bunker in the place where Vlad the Impaler was purportedly held in the beginning of the 15th century.
Researchers think Vlad the Impaler -- officially Prince Vlad III of Wallachia (now part of Romania) -- was held captive in the dungeons by the Ottoman Turks in 1442, The Week reported. Tokate was taken over by the Seljuk Turks from the Byzantines in the 12th century and was annexed to the growing Ottoman Empire in 1392.
"The castle is completely surrounded by secret tunnels. It is very mysterious," Turkish archaeologist Ibrahim Cetin said in a statement, according to the news site. "It is hard to estimate in which room Dracula was kept, but he was around here." Cetin did not elaborate, and the precise time Vlad was in captivity is not known. It’s believed he was held from 1462 to 1472, the news site wrote.
Restoration on the castle continues. Archaeologists have restored and reinforced its bastions, Hurriyet Daily News reported. “We try to shed light on history with the structure layers we unearth,” Cetin added.
Vlad earned his name by impaling his victims after he developed a strong hatred for the Ottomans while he was imprisoned, International Business Times UK reported. He supposedly killed 20,000 people in this manner.
He was born in 1431 to Vlad 1 Dracul. He fathered earned that surname, which means dragon, when he joined the Christian military Order of the Dragon, the UK’s Daily Mail said.
The discovery also happens to coincide with the new movie “Dracula Untold,” which comes out in U.S. theaters Oct. 10. The trailer has been provided below:
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