What even is Transylvania anyway?
Well, it’s not the imaginary homeland of vampires, that’s for sure.
Transylvania is a historical region in Romania. (It’s the light yellow region in the map up there.) Its name means “on the far side of the forest”, derived from the Latin trans, meaning “beyond” and sylvanus, which means “forest”. It has a long and interesting history, having changed hands between various empires and nations over the years. These days it is primarily ethnically Romanian, with a large ethnic Hungarian minority. It’s famous for its beautiful scenery and picturesque architecture.
So why is it associated with vampires? Because it is the setting of Bram Stoker’s iconic novel Dracula. The character of Dracula was based on a real person, Vlad III, who was almost certainly not a vampire, but is a Romanian folk hero, remembered for his efforts in fighting off the Ottomans. (Okay, and also for impaling a lot of people. But he still wasn’t a vampire!)