Was Vlad the Impaler a Muslim or Roman Catholic?

Although young Vlad and his brother were bartered off to the Turkish Sultan as part of a peace treaty signed by his father, Vlad himself was by no means a follower of Islam.

If anything, he fought hard against the Turks for most of his adult life, perhaps as a result of his bitterness from being held hostage by them during his childhood.

When Vlad was born in 1431, his family was Roman Catholic, but his father converted the family to Romanian Orthodox when he took the job of prince. His son Dracula converted back to Roman Catholicism sometime around 1476.

But even before that official point in his spiritual life, Vlad had already made his alliances clear. Vlad picked up that kicky little nickname Kaziklu Bey or “the Impaler” in 1462 when Pope Pius II ordered the heads of all European states to make war with the Ottomans under the lead of Mohammed II.

Not many heads of state heeded the papal command except for Vlad. He put thousands of men, women, and children to battle, but beat the 250,000-man Ottoman army with terror, not manpower.

Vlad impaled about 20,000 Turkish prisoners on long poles and lined them up along the stretch of road leading into the city, so that the Turks would see them as they marched toward it.

Legend has it that Mohammed II saw the gruesome sight and commented, “Is it worth it?”

He and his troops thought it wasn’t and fled.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

2 thoughts on “Was Vlad the Impaler a Muslim or Roman Catholic?”

  1. The last sentence is in reference to the fact the Sultan and his armies were marching towards Europe to conquer and convert the populace. When the Sultan saw the field of carnage he saw what this Christian monarch was capable of and turned back. The Ottomans would eventually take the land from Vlad, but only after local conspirators ended his reign for them.

  2. Come on people! Vlad Tepes was born Orthodox, was fond of walking side by side with the priests, built many churches and monasteries, and hated the Catholic church with a passion. He often dismissed Catholic priests, and elevated Orthodox ones in their place If the Catholic priest disagreed with him, he was impaled. The only reason Vlad Tepes converted to Catholicism was to get what he wanted from the Catholic kings, and to punish the Orthodox for disagreeing with his inhumane policies. You Romans just want him apart of your faith because he’s famous.
    Do you honestly think if Vlad was alive today he would be able to rule over the Romanian people as a Roman Catholic. Not a chance in hell!
    Oh! and there’s actually no solid proof that he actually converted to the church of Rome; it was just second hand news from a Catholic.

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