Princes of Transylvania (Part II)

The seventeenth century was a century of great conflict in Transylvania, but also so its longest periods of stable autonomy and the emergence of its most famous national heros. Prince Gábor Bethlen’s 15-year reign, 1613 to 1629, and the 18 years of the reign of György I Rákóczy, 1630-1648, are seen as islands of respiteContinue reading “Princes of Transylvania (Part II)”

Princes of Transylvania

(Part I) Transylvania. The name conjures up images of vampires and werewolves, and the most famous vampire of all, Count Dracula. But really, his story is part of the Principality of Wallachia and the Carpathian mountains which separate that region from Transylvania. The potential historic inspiration for Dracula, Vlad the Impaler, thus belongs to anotherContinue reading “Princes of Transylvania”

Radziwill—Princes sans frontières

Sometimes one single prominent marriage can bring an entire family lineage back into the popular consciousness, even if the details of the who, what, where remain fuzzy. Such is the case for His Serene Highness Prince Stanisław ‘Stas’ Radziwiłł, whose celebrated marriage to Lee Bouvier in March 1959 propelled him into the limelight as partContinue reading “Radziwill—Princes sans frontières”

Vorontsov and Dashkov princes

Sometimes one noble family needs another to boost its status slightly into the ranks of the dukes and princes. The Vorontsovs were an old noble family of middle rank who significantly influenced the history of Russia in the 18th century. The Dashkovs were an equally ancient family, and though of higher, even princely, rank, rarelyContinue reading “Vorontsov and Dashkov princes”